Michigan CDL Requirements

You must get an Michigan commercial driver’s license (CDL) to be able to drive commercial vehicles in Michigan. For Federal CDL Requirements applicable to every state, click here.


Michigan adopted the Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, and is part of a nationally uniform system of classifying, testing, and licensing commercial vehicle drivers.


When is an Michigan CDL Required

You need an Michigan CDL when you operate the following vehicles:

CLASS A – Applies only to “combination” vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) more than 26,000 pounds, and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with a Class A CDL (plus any appropriate endorsements) can also operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D (below)

CLASS B – Includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being pulled must not be more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with an Michigan Class B CDL (plus appropriate endorsements) can also legally operate all vehicles in Class C or D.

CLASS C – Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B as contained in this section, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).

CLASS D – Private passenger, regular operator.

Michigan CDL Age Requirements

You must be at least 18 years of age to drive within state lines (intrastate).

You must be at least 21 years old to:

  • drive commercial vehicles across state lines (interstate)
  • haul hazardous materials

How to Apply for an Michigan CDL

See CDL Documentation and Identification Requirements (and other key forms) for Michigan on Michigan CDL manual.

Documentation Requirements:

When ready to apply for your first CDL, come to a local Secretary of State office and present:

  • Your driver’s license.
  • Proof of your Social Security number (Social Security card, payroll check stub, W-2 Form).
  • (If applying for a hazardous materials endorsement) Proof of U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident Card.
  • Fill out the CDL Certification Form (BFS-103, see Appendix A), which includes a statement certifying that you meet the commercial driver medical qualifications. If you have had any change in your physical condition that could affect your ability to drive since your last driver’s license renewal, the service agent may give you a physician’s statement to be completed by your physician before you can apply for a driver’s license renewal.
  • Meet the driver eligibility requirements. (See pages i and iii)
  • Pass the required knowledge and vision tests. You must pass all required knowledge tests to obtain a CDL
  • Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP). This allows you to practice driving under the supervision of a driver who has a CDL for the type of vehicle you are operating. A CDL TIP is also required for taking the CDL skills tests.
  • Pay your CDL Group Designation and Endorsement fees.
  • Contact an approved third-party testing organization to schedule and take your CDL skills test. These public and private organizations are certified by the state to administer the CDL skills tests.
    Call the Department of State Information Center at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) or visit the department website at www.michigan.gov/sos for information about approved third-party testing organizations in your area.
  • After passing your CDL skills test, you will:

    • Receive your Michigan Department of State Driver Skills Test Certificate (TPT-010) from the third-party testing organization. Your certificate is valid for one (1) year from the date it was issued; after the one year, you cannot apply for a CDL until you have taken and passed all required CDL tests;
    • Take the skills test certificate directly to a Secretary of State office;
    • Pay a correction fee to receive a temporary CDL permit allowing you to operate a CMV for the CDL test passed;
    • Receive the photo CDL in the mail in approximately 10-14 business days from the time the CDL permit was issued

How much does the Michigan CDL cost?

The fees are as follows:

CDL Group Designations and Endorsement Fees

  • Operator License $25 – Standard $45 – Enhanced
  • Chauffeur License $35 – Standard $50 – Enhanced

Fees for Group Designation or Endorsement

  • CDL Vehicle Group Designation $25
  • CDL Endorsements (if any) $ 5 ($10 for an “X” endorsement)

Correction Fees

  • Operator License $18 – Standard $38 – Enhanced
  • Chauffeur License $18 – Standard $43 – Enhanced

Sources:
Official Michigan CDL Manual
Michigan DMV/DPS
FMSCA Guidelines