Renewing Your CDL in Texas
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After you've gone through all the rigmarole to get a commercial driver's license (CDL) in Texas, thankfully you won't have to worry about it again for five years. If you're age 85 and up, the license will expire in two years.
But when your license does expire after that time, you'll need to renew it in person at a driver license office.
Unfortunately, unlike with a regular driver's license, you can't renew your CDL by mail, e-mail, phone, or any other method. Nor can you renew it while you are living outside of Texas. These tighter restrictions for CDLs are largely because of new national security regulations mandated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
If you have held a valid Texas CDL within the past two years, you will not need to take the written exam or the driving skills test again to renew it. But both of these requirements will need to be met to maintain or add an endorsement for hazardous materials. For more information about the special requirements for renewing hazmat endorsements, read the federal guidelines. You may also be asked to get a new medical exam.
Renewing your CDL for another five years (or two years if you're age 85 and up) costs $61. If you'd like to add any endorsements or upgrade to a higher license class, this is a good time to do it. You'll need to take the appropriate tests, which cost $11 per endorsement or upgrade.
You must self-certify your type of vehicle operation with the Texas DPS by January 2014. This means you must self-certify one of the following driving categories:
- Non-Excepted Interstate
- Excepted Interstate
- Non-Excepted Intrastate
- Excepted Intrastate
If you choose Non-Excepted Interstate, you must, in addition to a completed self-certification application, provide the DPS with a federal medical certificate.
Questions? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website provides detailed information.
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