Commercial Driver FAQs in New Mexico
Who needs a commercial driver's license (CDL)?
In the state of New Mexico, a CDL is required for any driver who operates a vehicle that:
- Weighs 26,001 lbs. or more
- Has a trailer that makes the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer 26,001 lbs. or more
- Transports 16 passengers or more
- Requires hazardous materials placards
What are the general requirements for a CDL?
If you are applying for a CDL in New Mexico, you must be at least 18 years old. However, in order to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines, you must be at least 21 years old. You must already have a valid Class D driver's license. Also, you must pass written and driving tests administered by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) with a score of at least 80%. Applicants must be in good physical health and complete a DOT health certification.
Where can I receive training and take the tests for a CDL?
Any commercial driver training you choose to undertake will be at a third-party trucking school, at your expense.
All of the knowledge and endorsement tests are administered either by these third-party training schools or at an MVD office.
The three-part skills test can also be handled at the trucking schools, which will usually lend you the vehicle you need to take the test in.
If you're not enrolled in a commercial driving school, there are a facilities in each region of the state that are qualified to administer the CDL exam. Contact your local MVD office to obtain a list of those currently approved to conduct the tests. You will probably need to rent your own vehicle.
How much does it cost to apply for a CDL?
Fees vary, depending on the kind of endorsements you are applying for and where you take your on-road skills test. For more details on the cost of your application, contact your local MVD field office.
What kind of information should I bring when I apply for a CDL?
You should bring the following information:
- A valid form of ID (such as a current driver's license, passport, or military ID)
- Social Security card
- 2 documents serving as proofs of address (such as a utility bill and bank statement)
How do I renew my CDL?
You must renew your CDL in person at your local MVD field office. If you would like to add any additional endorsements to your license, then you will have to take the corresponding test(s). If you require hazmat placards on your vehicle, you must take the hazardous materials test each time you renew. Otherwise, no additional testing will be required. You will, however, need to bring:
- Your current CDL
- Your Social Security card
- Proof of address (a P.O. box is not acceptable)
What are the CDL classes?
Federal guidelines break down the commercial license classes as follows:
- Class A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
- Class B: Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
- Class C: 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 or more occupants, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials.
If I have CDL for one class, does that mean I can drive in any class?
That depends on what class you have. In general, you are permitted to operate any lesser class of vehicle. If you have a Class A license, for example, you may also operate Class B, C, and D vehicles. If you have a Class B license, you can also drive vehicles in Class C and D. If you hold a Class C license, the only other type of vehicle you may operate is Class D.
I just turned 18 years old and am looking for a trucking job. Can I get a CDL yet?
Sure. But you will be limited a bit by a "K" restriction, which only allows you to operate a commercial vehicle intrastate. This restriction will remain on the license until you turn 21 years old. Then you can opt for the long-haul routes between states.
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