Commercial Driver FAQs in New Jersey
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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 with a minimum of three years of driving experience.
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 U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate with you on the road at all times. This certificate must be renewed every two 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 four 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 first-offense conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) will result in a one-year suspension of your CDL. A second DWI conviction will result in your CDL being revoked permanently.
How can I get a certified copy of my driving record?
You may now apply for your driver history abstract online.
If you'd rather do this in person or by mail, visit an MVC Regional Service Center or call (888) 486-3339 (toll-free in New Jersey) or (609) 292-6500 and request the Driver History Abstract application form.
After you receive it, mail the application, a copy of your CDL, and a check or money order for $10 (payable to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission) to:
- Motor Vehicle Commission
- Abstract Unit
- 225 East State St.
- P.O. Box 142
- Trenton, NJ 08666-0142
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.