New York CDL Requirements

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


New York 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 York CDL Required

You need an New York 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 York 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 York 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
  • transport students in a school bus

How to Apply for an New York CDL

Documentation Requirements

  • Complete an application form (MV-44) in which you must:
    • provide the address of your NYS residence
    • list all the states (including DC) in which you were licensed to drive over the past 10 years
    • certify if you comply with requirements in 49 CFR Part 391
    • present a copy of your medical examiner’s certificate, if you meet the federal requirements
  • Show your NYS driver license
  • Show your social security card
  • pay the fees
  • pass the general knowledge test and any endorsement tests by getting at least an 80%

How much does the New York CDL cost?

What is the fee for a commercial driver’s license?

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.

The amount of the CDL fee that you pay depends on the expiration date and the class of your current driver license, and the date that you receive your CDL.

The local DMV office will issue a temporary CDL that is valid for 90 days. Your photo CDL will arrive by mail in three to four weeks.

Sources:
Official New York CDL Manual
New York DMV
FMSCA Guidelines