Commercial Driver FAQs in Connecticut
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When do I need a Commercial Driver's License?
According to federal rules, you need a CDL to drive any of the following vehicles in any state:
- Class A CDL: Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.
- Class B CDL: Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 lbs. GVWR.
- Class C CDL: Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 passengers or more, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials.
How do I apply for a Connecticut CDL?
The process to apply for a CDL includes a written exam comprised of 50 questions. If you pass the written exam, you are eligible for a CDL learner's permit. To obtain the full CDL, you will need to pass a skills exam, which includes a road test. If you pass the road test, you will be issued a basic CDL in whatever class you have applied for and have been tested on. You will still need to be tested on specific endorsements, like driving a hazmat truck or a school bus, before receiving a permit in these areas.
How much does it cost for a CDL?
You will have to pay a fee to take the written and skills exams for the CDL ($16 for the general knowledge test and $30 for the skills test), plus $5 for each endorsement test. Your first-issue CDL itself costs either $70 or $87.50, depending on how long it is valid for (3 1/2 to 5 years). See the Connecticut CDL fee schedule. Remember, those are just the official costs. You will likely also be paying for truck driving school, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Do I need to take classes to get a CDL?
There are no specific education requirements to obtain a Connecticut CDL, but you need to pass some difficult exams. You may want to do some research on CDL education before attempting the written exam. You will likely have to take classes to pass the skills exam, which involves a road test. The Connecticut DMV does not offer such classes, so you will need to find instruction from a commercial provider.
What physical requirements do I have to meet to get a CDL?
The only physical requirement is that you be 18 years old or older. If you are under 21 years old, you can apply for an in-state CDL. There are specific physical and background checks mandated by the federal government for certain CDL endorsements.
Do I have to get a physical to obtain a CDL?
Yes. And the doctor from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners must fill out a form MCSA-5876, that must be turned in with your CDL application.
What are Connecticut CDL endorsements?
Endorsements are specialties above and beyond the basic CDL that require additional testing and licensing, such as the following:
- S―School Bus/STV
- N―Liquid Bulk/Tank Cargo
- H―Hazardous Material
How do I renew a CDL?
After the initial 3 1/2 to 5 years that your first license is valid for, you may renew in person at a DMV office. CDL renewals cost $70 and will then be renewed every 4 years. The DMV will require an updated background check, plus vision and physical exams.
What if I lose or destroy my CDL?