Get a CDL
Follow these steps to get your first time New York State commercial driver license (CDL).
Step 1: Have a New York State driver license (Class D, Class E, or Non-CDL C) or a valid CDL from another state
Get the New York State Commercial Driver's Manual (CDL-10) online or from a DMV office or call center. Study the sections of the manual that apply to the type of CDL you need. The sections of the manual that you need to study are explained in the manual. The manual describes the classes, the restrictions, and the endorsements of CDLs. This information is also included on the Driver License Class Descriptions (pdf) (MV-500C).
Step 2: Apply for a commercial learner permit at a DMV office
You must pass the written test for the CDL that you need. There is an application fee of $10.00. This fee allows you to take all written tests (knowledge and endorsement) required for permit and license issuance applied for which are taken at the same time. There will be an additional $5 fee for any other required tests not taken and passed at the time of initial application. There is a fee of $40.00 to take the CDL road test (skills test). You can pay the road test fee when the DMV office issues your commercial learner permit, or you can pay the fee online. You must pay the fee before you can schedule your road test.
When you apply for an original New York State CDL (Class A, B, or C), you must certify that
- You did not hold a driver license in any state or in the District of Columbia except New York in the last 10 years or you must report every US state (or the District of Columbia) where you held a driver license in the last 10 years.
- You meet the Federal medical examination requirements (see Medical Certification Requirements for more information). 1
You must also prove your legal presence in the United States.
IMPORTANT: DMV now offers three types of license/permit documents. Learn more about Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard documents.
Know what to bring to the DMV office
If you have a Standard and want to change to a REAL ID or Enhanced, you must come into a DMV office. Complete this guide to make sure you have the proofs of identification you need before coming.
The DMV Document Guide lists all acceptable legal presence and New York State residence proof documents. Please note: You must provide us the original documents (not photocopies), and documents submitted as proof of residence must have your current residence address on it (no P.O. Box permitted).
- If you are not U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (i.e., temporary visitors) your Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) or CDL document will have the legend “NON-DOMICILED” printed on documents issued on it. The “TEMPORARY VISITOR” and the expiration date of your legal status documentation will continue to be displayed on the CLP and/or CDL document.
Per new federal regulations, the DMV will check for any open suspensions or revocations you may have in any state. If you have an open suspension or revocation, we will reject your application.
You must apply for a CDL at a DMV Office.
Step 3: Prepare for your road test and practice with a supervising driver
The supervising driver must have a driver license that is valid to drive the commercial motor vehicle that you use for practice.
Step 4: Schedule your road test
Use the Road Test Scheduling System. Please note that you can’t schedule an appointment for a date that is less than 14 days of being issued a Commercial Learner Permit (CLP). If you do not pass the road test, you must pay a fee of $40.00 before you can schedule another road test. You can pay the fee online with your credit card, or pay the fee at a DMV office.
New CDL restrictions defined below by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may affect CLP holders when taking a Skills Test in a vehicle without full airbrakes and/or a manual transmission.
- E - No Manual Transmission Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)
- L - No Airbrake Equipped CMV
- Z - No Full Airbrake Equipped CMV restrictions
If the vehicle used for your skills test has:
- An automatic transmission, and this is your first road test in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), you will be given an E restriction.
- No form of airbrakes, and this is your first road test in a CMV, you will be given an L restriction.
- Air over hydraulic brakes, and this is your first road test in a CMV, you will be given a Z.
- If you have a CDL with an L restriction and you test in a vehicle with air over hydraulic brakes, you will be upgraded from an L to a Z restriction.
Will I get a temporary CDL after I pass my road test?
No. Effective May 23, 2014, the New York State DMV will no longer issue a 10-day temporary license document upon successful completion of a Commercial Driver License skills test, in order to comply with the Federal self-certification and medical certification requirements for commercial drivers.
Instead, commercial drivers will be issued a receipt indicating they must wait 1 business day before visiting a DMV office in order to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License document.
What is the fee for a CDL?
It depends on the expiration date and the class of your current driver license, and the date that you receive your CDL.
When will I get my CDL?
The local DMV office will issue a temporary CDL that is valid for 90 days. Your photo CDL will arrive by mail in 3 to 4 weeks.
What if I have a CDL from another state?
To get a New York State CDL, you must apply for your CDL at a DMV office and surrender your out-of-state CDL. If your out-of-state CDL has a hazardous materials endorsement, you must pass the hazardous materials knowledge test when you apply for your New York State CDL. You must also provide fingerprints for federal and New York State background checks for criminal violations.
Help us improve our website!
Please take this short, 3 question survey. We appreciate your feedback!
- 1. Federal regulations in 49 CFR Part 391