Commercial Driver FAQs in New Jersey
What are the minimum requirements for a commercial driver's license (CDL)?
Applicants should be at least 18 years old to drive within New Jersey, and physically fit. To drive commercially outside of New Jersey, you need to be at least 21 years old.
The state has some vision requirements, too; you should have at least 20/40 vision in each eye (with or without glasses) and be able to identify red, green, and amber colors.
Finally, you need to already have a basic automobile driver's license before you can apply for a commercial one.
Will I need to have a physical examination in order to obtain my CDL?
To promote public safety on the highways, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require you to have a physical examination and carry a medical certificate with you on the road at all times. This certificate must be renewed every 2 years.
Where can I find the training I need to qualify for a CDL?
You'll definitely need commercial driver education to pass the tests required to be issued a CDL. Your employer might train you, or you can enroll in a commercial driving course at a private driving school, vocational or technical school, or community college. In New Jersey, a licensed driving school must display its state license at the principal place of business.
Why must commercial drivers who want a hazardous materials endorsement undergo a background check?
This requirement is intended to protect American citizens from the potential threat of terrorists carrying hazmat cargo.
Can I get a duplicate CDL?
Indeed. New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will issue you a duplicate CDL only if your original license is lost, stolen, or destroyed (in other words, you can't simply get a second one as a backup). You may not drive until you receive a replacement.
When must I renew my license?
In New Jersey, a CDL must be renewed every 4 years, and renewal applications are sent through the mail from the MVC.
What if I have a DWI conviction as a CDL driver?
The law states that a 1st offense for driving while intoxicated (DWI) will result in a suspension of your CDL for 1 year. A 2nd offense will result in your CDL being revoked for life.