New York CDL CDL
CDL Commercial Drivers License - Home Study Course
CDL License Test Prep
New York CDL License Test

NEW YORK CDL LICENSE

Commercial Drivers License
CDL LICENSE Requirements
Home Study Course
For Tests Beginning May 1, 2017

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NEW YORK CDL Information
Specific New York CDL Information

Get a New York State CDL

To apply for a New York Commercial Driver License (CDL), you must have a NYS driver license (Class D, Class E, or Non-CDL C) or a valid CDL from another state.

When you apply for an original NYS CDL (Class A, B, or C) you must certify that:
  • you did not hold a driver license in any state or in the District of Columbia except NYS in the last 10 years or you must report every US state (or the District of Columbia) where you held a driver license in the last 10 years
  • you meet the Federal medical examination requirements (see Medical Certification Requirements for more information)

What do I need to do to get a New York CDL?
  • Get the NYS Commercial Driver's Manual (CDL-10) online or from a DMV office or call center. Study the sections of the manual that apply to the type of New York CDL you need. The sections of the manual that you need to study are explained in the manual. The manual describes the classes, the restrictions, and the endorsements of CDLs. This information is also included on the Driver License Class Descriptions (MV-500C).
  • Apply for a commercial learner permit at a DMV office. You must pass the written test for the New York CDL that you need. There is an application fee of $10.00. This fee allows you to take all written tests (knowledge and endorsement) required for permit and license issuance applied for which are taken at the same time. There will be an additional $5 fee for any other required tests not taken and passed at the time of initial application. There is a fee of $40.00 to take the New York CDL road test (skills test). You can pay the road test fee when the DMV office issues your commercial learner permit, or you can pay the fee online. You must pay the fee before you can schedule your road test.
  • Prepare for your road test and practice with a supervising driver. The supervising driver must have a driver license that is valid to drive the commercial motor vehicle that you use for practice.
  • Schedule your road test using the Road Test Scheduling System. If you do not pass the road test, you must pay a fee of $40.00 before you can schedule another road test. You can pay the fee online with your credit card, or pay the fee at a DMV office.

Will I get a temporary CDL after I pass my road test?

No. Effective May 23, 2014, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will no longer issue a 10-day temporary license document upon successful completion of a New York Commercial Driver License skills test, in order to comply with the Federal self-certification and medical certification requirements for commercial drivers.

Instead, commercial drivers will be issued a receipt indicating they must wait 1 business day before visiting a Motor Vehicles office in order to obtain a New York Commercial Driver's License document.

What is the fee for a CDL?

The amount of the New York CDL fee that you pay depends on the expiration date and the class of your current driver license, and the date that you receive your New York CDL.

The local DMV office will issue a temporary New York CDL that is valid for 90 days. Your photo CDL will arrive by mail in three to four weeks.

What if I have a CDL from another state?

To get a New York State CDL, you must apply for your CDL at a DMV Office and surrender your out-of-state CDL. If your out-of-state CDL has a hazardous materials endorsement, you must pass the hazardous materials knowledge test when you apply for your NYS CDL. You must also provide fingerprints for federal and NYS background checks for criminal violations.

New York CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the New York Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE New York CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.
  • Class A - 70 Questions (50 GK + 20 Combination Vehicles) - Skills test required.
  • Class B - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Class C - 50 Questions - Skills test required for bus, school bus and air brakes vehicles..
  • Passenger Endorsement - 20 questions - Skills test required in bus.
  • School Bus Endorsement - 25 questions - Skills test required in school bus.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Tank Vehicle Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement - 30 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Air Brake Restriction Removal - 25 questions - Additional skills test in vehicle with Air Brakes.

Classes of New York CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
(Combination
vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

New York CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # of Correct Answers Needed to Pass
General Knowledge 60 50 40
Air Brakes 25 25 20
HazMat 30 30 24
Tank 20 20 16
Passenger 20 20 16
Doubles/Triples 20 20 16
Combination Vehicles 20 20 16
School Bus 20 20 16

For the most complete and accurate official New York state CDL information, go to the Official New York CDL Website.

WHAT IS A CDL?

A "CDL" is a Commercial Drivers License. It meets certain "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from your New York "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial vehicles either within New York or outside of New York.

WHAT IS THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86)?

It is a law passed by the United States Congress which requires ALL the individual states to comply with certain standards in regards to the licensing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. New York driver licensing standards comply with the law, requiring CMV drivers to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable vehicles. A CDL license can ONLY be issued in the driver's STATE OF LEGAL RESIDENCE, and if you have a CDL, you can have NO OTHER DRIVER'S LICENSE in ANY other state.

WHEN DO I NEED A CDL INSTEAD OF MY REGULAR NEW YORK DRIVERS LICENSE?

A CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .

  • A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
  • A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
  • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the operator) or any vehicle carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
  • A vehicle of any size that carries hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS TO BEING REQUIRED TO HAVE A CDL?

Yes, a few . . .

  • Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
  • Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
  • Farmers . . . in certain cases.
  • Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

ARE THERE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A NEW YORK CDL?

You must meet the following requirements to obtain a CDL . . .

  • You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within New York and if no hazardous materials requiring placarding are transported and if you do not drive double or triple trailer rigs).
  • Possess a valid medical certificate in accordance with MCSR 49 CFR 391.41.
  • You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a CDL . . .
    • If you possess a license from any state other than your State of Residence.
    • If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege in New York or any other state.
    • If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
    • If you have a conviction for operating a CMV (commercial motor vehicle) while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
    • other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to NEW YORK are covered in detail within the Course.
      THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO APPRENTICESHIP OR TRAINING REQUIREMENTS TO GET YOUR NEW YORK CDL. THIS MAY SOON CHANGE.

Access Official Federal CDL Medical Requirements Info

HOW DO I OBTAIN A CDL?

By completing the following items . . .

  • Show your driver's license from your State of Residence.
  • Take and pass all written examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
  • Show proof of social security number.
  • Meet driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State of New York.
  • Fill out an application including certifications.
  • Show proof that you passed the required written tests, pass a vision screening, and show proof of a valid DOT medical certificate (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued and before you will be allowed to the the skills test).
  • Pay the New York CDL fees.
  • Schedule, take, and pass your CDL skills test.

A separate booklet is included with the complete New York CDL Course package which covers information such as fees, locations, contacts, and other items specific to the State of New York for the written and skills examinations for ALL classes of license and ALL endorsements.

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on a CDL?

It refers to the type of vehicle that you may operate . . .

  • CLASS A . . . allows you to operate vehicles which tow trailers or other vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds when the combined GVWR is over 26,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles. Applicable endorsements are required.
  • CLASS B . . . allows you to operate single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more OR a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, towing trailers/vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds GVWR or less. A Class "B" license also allows you to operate Class C vehicles. Applicable endorsements are required.
  • CLASS C . . .allows you to operate vehicles under 26,001 lbs. GVWR, that would normally not require a CDL; except when they are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver; or that carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation, or carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding. Applicable endorsements are required.

What are Endorsement Codes and when do I need them on my CDL?

Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . . .

  • AIR BRAKES endorsement for vehicles with air brakes.
  • (T) DOUBLE or TRIPLE TRAILERS. For tractors pulling two or three trailers.
  • (P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver);
  • (S) SCHOOL BUS. Any vehicle transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
  • (N) TANK VEHICLES. For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
  • (H) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards.
  • (X) Endorsement code designating a Tank (N) vehicle that carries Hazardous Materials (H).

Access Official Federal CDL Hazardous Materials Info

I'M OVER 18 YEARS OLDS, BUT NOT 21 YEARS OLD YET. CAN I GET A CDL?

Yes . . . with restrictions. Until your 21st birthday, you cannot drive a commercial vehicle outside the borders of New York. You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding and cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs.

CAN I USE MY NEW YORK CDL OUT OF STATE?

Yes! If you are 21 years or older it is good throughout the entire United States.

CAN MY CDL BE SUSPENDED OR REVOKED?

Yes, there are MANY reasons that your CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The New York CDL Course details ALL of the rules regarding suspension or revocation. The point to remember is that alcohol or drug use is not tolerated and your record WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOREVER!!!

SO LET'S SAY THAT MY CDL IS REVOKED. CAN'T I JUST GET A CDL IN ANOTHER STATE?

No!!! Those days are gone. One computer system keeps track of all licenses THROUGHOUT the United States. In a matter of seconds it can be determined if you possess more than one license.

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