New Jersey CDL Requirements

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


New Jersey 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 New Jersey CDL Required

You need an New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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.

New Jersey 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)
  • apply for the hazardous material (HME)
  • apply for passenger (P) endorsements

You must have a valid CDL (commercial driver’s license) to legally drive a commercial motor vehicle on New Jersey public roads and highways, unless you are in the process of learning as a student driver. A CDL student driver must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid operator’s license as well as a valid CDL permit. When driving on public roads in New Jersey, a CDL student driver must always be accompanied by a person who is at least 25 years old and holds a valid commercial driver’s license for the class of vehicle being driven, including endorsements or restrictions

How to Apply for an New Jersey CDL

Documentation Requirements

See CDL Documentation and Identification Requirements (and other key forms) for New Jersey here.


Application process

  • Study ahead; read the CDL Manual
  • Visit your local MVC Agency
  • Pass the 6 Point ID Verification; you must present a Social Security card for an initial commercial permit. There are four requirements for 6 Point ID Verification.
    • At least one Primary ID
    • At least one Secondary ID
    • Verifiable Social Security Number
    • Proof of Address
  • Pay $125 CDL permit fee (non-refundable). For your convenience, MVC Agencies accept American Express® card, MasterCard® card, Visa® card, checks, money orders and cash Take the CDL knowledge test and the CDL road test as required.

How much does the New Jersey CDL cost?

Commercial license and endorsement fee
The cost of the four-year CDL is $42 and $2 for each endorsement. An applicant’s first CDL will be prorated to expire with any current basic license. Applicants without a basic New Jersey passenger driver license (Class D) should factor in the $24 fee for the Class D license.

Commercial licensing fee
The cost of a CDL permit is $125 for knowledge, endorsement, and road tests. The permit fee includes payment for medical form review, background check results and data exchange with Federal driver monitoring systems. Important note: Medical or background check results can lead to commercial license disqualification. Disqualification does not make an applicant eligible for permit fee refund.

Sources:
Official New Jersey CDL Manual
New Jersey MVC
FMSCA Guidelines