Applying for a New CDL in Connecticut

Driving a commercial vehicle can be a great way to make a living, but in order to do it, you'll need to first get your commercial driver's license (CDL).

To get one, you'll need to adhere to the national regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and follow the licensing process in Connecticut run by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).


Per new federal entry-level driver training requirements effective February 7, 2022, the CT Department of Motor Vehicles now mandates new CDL applicants complete an entry-level driver training course through an authorized provider. You’ll need to complete this training prior to applying for your first commercial driver’s license, upgrading your existing CDL class, or applying for a HAZMAT, school bus, or passenger endorsement.

Who Can Get a Connecticut CDL?

To qualify for a Connecticut commercial driver's license, you will need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old.*
  • Possess a valid, non-CDL Connecticut driver's license.
  • Show proof of lawful permanent residency, if you are not a U.S. citizen. Acceptable documents include:
    • Certificate of citizenship.
    • Naturalization certificate.
    • Permanent resident (green) card.

* NOTE: Drivers under 21 years old will be restricted to operating motor vehicles within Connecticut—referred to as intrastate driving.

CT Commercial Learner's Permit

Before you can get a CDL in CT, you'll have to get your commercial driver instruction permit (CLP).

The process is pretty involved, so it may be helpful to take a CDL education course beforehand, although it's not required by either the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.

When you feel ready to apply, you'll need to schedule an appointment with your local CT DMV office and bring:

  • Your CT driver's license.
  • Proof of your Social Security number. You may bring in either:
    • Your Social Security card.
    • Your most recent W-2 showing your SSN.
  • The proper medical forms (see below).
  • A completed Application for Commercial Driver's License (Form R-229a), which you can obtain either:
    • At your DMV appointment.
    • By mail before your appointment.
  • Proof of legal permanent residency if you are not a U.S. citizen (see above).
  • Payment for the following fees:
    • Knowledge exam: $16.
    • Learner's permit: $10.
    • Applicable endorsement fees (see below).

At your appointment, you'll also be asked to complete certain tasks, such as:

  • Submit to a driving record check.
  • Pass all written exams needed for the type of CDL you want.
    • If you're applying for any endorsements, you'll also need to take those written tests at this time.

When all of the above is successfully completed, you'll be issued a Connecticut commercial learner's permit—congratulations!

Your permit will be valid for 1 year.and cannot be renewed.

What If I Fail My CDL Knowledge Test?

If you fail your written exams, it's okay. You'll be asked to make an appointment to retake the test, and you'll have to fill out another Application for Commercial Driver's License (Form R-229a) and repay the testing fee.

Connecticut CLP Restrictions

A commercial learner's permit comes with its own set of rules, very much like a regular driving permit.

While driving with your CLP, you'll only be allowed to operate commercial vehicles on public roads, and only while accompanied by a full CDL holder.

Your CT commercial learner's permit will be valid for 1 year, but you'll have to wait at least 14 days before you can take your skills test and earn your full commercial driver's license.

"If you're still not feeling ready when your CLP expires, you will have to retake the required knowledge test and pay the fees. 

Apply for a Connecticut CDL

When the waiting period of 14 days has passed and you feel ready, you can turn that CLP into a CDL by taking your skills test.

Schedule an appointment with your local CT Department of Vehicles office. Keep in mind that if you need to cancel your appointment for any reason, you'll have to reschedule your make-up test at least 7 business days in advance, or else you'll lose your testing fee.

You'll also have to arrange to take the test in the same type of vehicle you plan on driving with your CDL. If you can't, you may receive a restriction on your commercial driver's license.

Bring to your appointment:

  • Your appointment confirmation letter.
  • Your medical certification.
  • A receipt from the DMV to show your fee has been paid.
  • The goldenrod copies of your Application for a Commercial Driver's License (Form R-229a).
  • Your commercial learner's permit.
  • Your Connecticut driver's license.
  • The current registration and insurance for the vehicle you will be taking the test in.

Your skills test will consist of the following components:

  • Vehicle inspection.
  • Basic vehicle control.
  • On-road testing.

After completing everything, you will officially be a commercial driver's license holder!

CDL Fees in Connecticut

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles charges the following for CDLs and related services:

  • General knowledge test fee: $16.
    • Air brakes exam: $5.
    • Combination vehicles exam: $5.
  • Commercial learner's permit fee: $20.
    • CLP renewal: $20.
    • Duplicate CLP: $20.
  • Skills test fee: $30.
    • Paid at the time of your knowledge test.
  • Endorsements: $5 each.

CDL Medical Requirements

Every CDL applicant in Connecticut must be deemed physically fit for the job before they can earn their commercial driver license.

Before you schedule your initial appointment with the CT DMV, you'll have to get your medical paperwork in line. You'll need to schedule an appointment with a FMCSA-approved physician and have him or her help you fill out a Medical Examiner's Certificate (Form MCSA-5876).

You'll also have to explain to the state the type of driving you expect to do with your CDL, through a process called self-certifying. You can self-certify online through the Connecticut DMV. Make sure to print out your email confirmation and bring it with you to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The CT DMV has created a page with more information on how to self-certify.

Waivers for CT Military Veterans

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles have developed a program to help recent veterans and current service members earn their CDLs more easily by waiving the skills test.

Eligible applicants will:

  • Be currently enlisted.
  • Have departed the service within 1 year of applying for the waiver.
  • Have a military license authorizing you to drive military vehicles equivalent to commercial motor vehicles.

To qualify, you'll have to submit the following documents:

NOTE: The waiver will only exempt you from the skills test. You'll still need to pass all written tests, pay all applicable fees, and bring all other required documentation with you to your DMV appointment.

Replace a CT CDL

If you're in state and need to replace your commercial driver's license, you MUST apply for a duplicate in person at a Connecticut DMV office. If you're out of state when your license goes missing, see "Out-of-State Duplicate CDL Request" below.

Because it's illegal to drive a commercial vehicle without a CDL, it's important you apply for a replacement as soon as possible. Also, be sure to report your lost commercial license to local and state authorities to help fight identity theft.

In-State Replacement

To request a replacement CDL in Connecticut, head to your local DMV office and submit:

  • Commercial driver's license (CDL): $30.
  • Commercial learner's permit (CLP): $20.

If you have questions, give the DMV a call at (860) 263-5700 for Hartford residents, or (800) 842-8222 for all other areas in the state.

Out-of-State Duplicate CDL Request

If you're out of state and need to request a duplicate CT commercial driver license, you can submit your application by mail, fax, or e-mail.

You'll need to provide:

Submit your out-of-state application for a duplicate CDL:

  • By mail to:
    • Department of Motor Vehicles
    • Attn: Centralized Issuance Operations Unit
    • 60 State St.
    • Wethersfield, CT 06161
  • Via e-mail to: (you will need to scan and upload your application). The CT DMV will email you a link to pay your fee.

For more information and help, call the Connecticut DMV's out-of-state line at (860) 263-5700.


Application for Commercial Drivers License
Apply for a Connecticut commercial driver's license with this form. You must request the form using the DMV's online system
Application for Duplicate of Current Drivers License or Permit
Request a duplicate of any type of CT driver's license, instruction permit, OR identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
If you recently drove a commercial vehicle during your time in the military, submit this form to the Connecticut DMV to request a CDL skills test waiver. Must be signed by your commanding officer.
Application for Waiver of Operator License Fee Because of Active Service in U.S. Armed Forces
Request fee waiver for your CT driver's license if you're an active member of the military OR were honorably discharged. Must be signed by your commanding officer.
Request for a Connecticut Drivers License/Identifications Card by Mail
Request a renewal OR replacement CT driver's license, learner's permit, OR identification card by mail if you cannot go to a DMV agency in person.
Medical Examiners Certificate
Certain Connecticut CDL holders are required to carry this medical certificate. Must be completed by a medical professional.
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