Connecticut CDL Requirements
Connecticut CDL Classes
You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Connecticut (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle across Connecticut state lines (interstate) and to haul materials deemed hazardous. You need a CT CDL in order to operate either commercial or non-commercial motor vehicles that fall into the following categories:
Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the towed vehicle is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as any vehicle towing another vehicle that does not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds.
Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that does not meet the criteria of either Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or is used in transporting materials classified as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Each applicant must also have a passenger or hazardous materials endorsement in order to obtain a Class C commercial driver’s license.
The following vehicles are exempt:
- Recreation vehicles
- Military vehicles driven by military personnel
- Firefighting vehicles
- Authorized emergency vehicles
- Farm vehicles used for farming purposes within 150 miles of the farm
Applying for a Connecticut Commercial Learner’s Permit
You must have a Connecticut commercial learner’s permit (CLP), before you can take the CDL Skills Test. Before applying for a commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid Connecticut Class D driver’s license. You will be issued a Connecticut commercial driver’s license when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the Skills Test.
In order to obtain a Connecticut commercial learner’s permit, you must present the following:
- A valid Connecticut Class D driver’s license.
- Examination to Determine Physical Condition of Driver or a Medical Examination Report (must be submitted before you can take the knowledge tests).
- Your Social Security card (laminated or metal cards are not accepted) or most recent W-2 form.
- A printed confirmation notice of self-certification with the Connecticut DMV (All applicants must self-certify through the online Self-Certification Portal).
- A completed Application for Commercial Driver’s License (fill out the Request for Commercial Driver’s License Application first).
- Acceptable forms of I.D. showing legal status if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Once you have presented all the required documentation you will be required to take the CDL general knowledge test consisting of 30 questions. You must answer at least 24 of the questions correctly in order to pass.
Over 60% of first time CDL applicants fail the written test! Be sure to download the Complete CDL Practice Test Study Package, as it contains practice tests containing questions and answers specifically designed to help you pass the actual CDL written tests administered by the DMV. You may also want to download the Complete CDL Cheat Sheet Study Package as it includes a collection of study guides with key information designed to help you rapidly learn all the sections of the CDL manual you must know in order to pass the CDL written exams.
Our Free CDL Practice Test will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.
The fee for the general knowledge test is $16. If you fail the knowledge test you must wait until the next business day to take the test again. You will be required to fill out a new Request for Commercial Driver’s License Application and pay the $16 fee in order to take the test again. Once you pass the general knowledge test, you will be required to pay the $10 commercial learner’s permit issuance fee.
Once you pass the general knowledge written test, you will be eligible to receive the commercial learner’s permit. To receive the commercial learner’s permit, you must first self-certify your intended commercial driving status using the online Self-Certification Portal. When you self-certify, you must print the confirmation notice and bring it to the DMV to receive your commercial learner’s permit. You can read more about driver self-certification in the section titled “Commercial Driver Self-Certification” located further down this web page.
The commercial learner’s permit is valid for 6 months from the date of issuance and can only be renewed one time within a two year period. The commercial learner’s permit will allow you to drive a commercial motor vehicle but, only under the supervision of a front seat passenger who is at least 21 years of age and carries a valid Connecticut CDL of the same class as the vehicle you are operating. You may not operate any vehicle that is transporting materials deemed hazardous.
Click here to see the map and clickable list of DMV Hub Offices that administer the CDL knowledge tests.
Applying for a Connecticut Commercial Driver’s License
You will need the following in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state of Connecticut:
- A valid Connecticut commercial learner’s permit.
- A valid Connecticut Class D driver’s license.
- A test vehicle that represents the class of license that you are applying for.
- A driver with a valid CDL to drive the test vehicle to and from the DMV test site.
- A validated gold copy of DMV Form R-229a with the $30 validation for the test fee displayed on the application.
- The appointment confirmation letter you should have received in the mail.
The CDL Skills Test
The CDL Driving Skills Test consists of a Pre-trip Inspection, a Static Course Test, an On-Road Driving /Skills Test, and a Drop and Hook (coupling and uncoupling) Test if you are applying for a Class A CDL. If you fail any part of the Skills Test, it will result in a failure of the entire test. You will then be required to fill out a new commercial driver’s license application, pay the $30 test fee, and make an appointment for a new Skills Test on a date that is no sooner than seven days from the date you failed the first test.
You may NOT use the following during the CDL Skills Test:
- Any trailer that exceeds 48 feet in length.
- A vehicle equipped with a Farm, Transport, Dealer, or Repair plate.
- A truck-tractor as a representative vehicle for a Class B CDL.
Be sure to download and study the Connecticut Commercial Driver’s Manual, as it contains pertinent information that will help you pass the CDL Skills Test.
Commercial Driver Self-Certification
In the state of Connecticut, all commercial driver’s license holders must self-certify as to what type of driving they will be doing (intrastate or interstate), and whether they meet or exceed the medical and physical standards put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to legally and safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. All CDL applicants must self-certify once they obtain their commercial driver’s license.
You are required to self-certify whenever you:
- Apply for a commercial driver’s license.
- Renew a commercial driver’s license.
- Apply for a higher class of commercial driver’s license.
- Apply for a new CDL endorsement.
- Transfer a commercial driver’s license from another state.
All commercial drivers who intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for the following purposes only, do not require a commercial driver’s license and are considered “exempt” and therefore are waived from self-certification:
- Fire and emergency vehicles used to preserve life and property or to carry out governmental operations.
- Vehicles operated by non-civilian operators of military equipment.
- Recreational vehicles that are being used for personal recreational use only.
- Any farm vehicle used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies within 150 air-miles of the owner’s farm and not used in the operation of a common or contract motor carrier.
If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you are considered “non-exempt” and are required to hold a valid CDL and must self-certify. You may also need to provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
If you operate a commercial motor vehicle in either intrastate or interstate commerce solely for the following purposes, then you are under “excepted” status, and therefore do not need to provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, but may need to undergo a medical evaluation:
- Transporting school children and/or school staff members between home and school.
- Operating any vehicle as an employee of either Federal, State, or Local government.
- Operating fire and rescue vehicles for emergency purposes and other related events.
- Transporting sick, injured, or deceased persons.
- Primarily transporting propane heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring an immediate response.
- When responding to a pipeline emergency requiring an immediate response such as a pipeline leak or rupture.
- When custom harvesting on a farm or to haul farm machinery and supplies to and from a farm or when transporting crops between a farm and a market or storage facility.
- When operating a farm vehicle that is not a combo vehicle (power unit and towed unit), and is used to haul agricultural products, farm supplies (cannot be materials deemed hazardous), or farm machinery to and from a farm and within 150 air miles of the farm.
- Transporting bees as an apiarist during beekeeping season.
- When transporting migrant workers.
- As a private motor carrier of passengers for non-business activities.
If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you operate in either “non-excepted” intrastate commerce, “non-excepted” interstate commerce, or both.
“Non excepted” interstate drivers and “non-excepted” intrastate drivers must fax a copy of their current Medical Examiner’s Certificate to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles at (860) 263-5568, and must also self-certify their commercial driving status using the online Self-Certification Portal. The Medical Examiner’s Certificate cannot expire within 60 days from the date of submission.
Any commercial drivers who self-certify as “excepted” interstate or “excepted” intrastate, must enter or update their status online using the Self-Certification Portal. “Excepted” drivers are not required to provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, but may still be required to undergo a physical examination by an FMCSA certified physician. Remember, all “non-excepted” drivers must fax a copy of their current Medical Examiner’s Certificate to (860) 263-5568.
If you have any questions regarding self-certification, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles CDL Help Desk by calling (860) 263-5726 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you call. You can also email the CDL Help Desk at email@example.com. Please address your emails to Susan Archambault.
For more information about the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, please continue reading below.
Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License
All CDL applicants must have the Medical Examiner’s Certificate completed by one of the following:
- Licensed U.S. doctor of medicine (M.D.)
- Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)
- Licensed physician assistant (P.A.)
- Advanced practice registered nurse
The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be dated within the previous two years if you are renewing your commercial driver’s license. If you are a first time CDL applicant submitting your Medical Examiner’s Certificate, then the certificate must not expire within 60 days from the date of submission.
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles will only accept your Medical Examiner’s Certificate if it has been completed by a qualified physician who has been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can search for a FMCSA certified physician by using the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
The FMSCA requires you to have at least 20/40 vision in each eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees (70 degrees in each eye) in order to be certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under certain conditions, you may be able to be waived from these and other medical requirements.
Once you have completed and signed the Medical Examiner’s Certificate and and any applicable medical waivers, you can submit your documents by doing the following:
- Fax your completed and signed documents to (860) 263-5568.
Anyone who does not comply will be sent a notification letter by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and their CDL or CLP will be disqualified if they do not comply by the date given.
Please be sure that your Medical Examiner’s Certificate is legible and that the following items are completed:
- Your driver’s license number.
- The medical examiner’s license number or certification number and the state it was issued in.
- The date of the exam.
- The expiration date of the medical certificate.
Please include your name, address, and contact number on all faxes. Make sure your information is legible and be sure to double check and, if needed, correct any errors before submitting your documents. All CDL applicants are advised to keep copies of these documents for their own records. Failure to comply with state and federal self-certification regulations will result in a suspension, downgrade, or cancellation of your commercial driving privileges.
If you have any questions regarding medical documents submission, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles CDL Help Desk by calling (860) 263-5726 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you call. You can also email the CDL Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please address your emails to Susan Archambault.
Any person that is applying for a Hazardous Materials CDL endorsement is required to undergo a federal background check and federal fingerprint check according to guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration. All applicants must also provide the required documents to verify their identification and legal U.S. status. For more information, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s F.A.Q. page.
You can apply for the security threat assessment on the TSA Hazardous Material Endorsement Enrollment Website. You must begin applying at least 30 days before the expiration of your CDL. You can start the application process on the HTAP Online Application Website. To apply by phone call (855) 347-8371. Use the TSA Enrollment Center Locator to find the nearest TSA approved fingerprint office.
In the state of Connecticut, if you are currently serving in the military or have been honorably discharged within the last 90 days, and you have driven military vehicles that would require a CDL to operate as a civilian with a 2 year safe driving record, then you may qualify for the waiver of the CDL Skills Test and may be exempt from taking the commercial driver skills test. You will still be required to take the written tests. Certain restrictions apply. Download, print, and complete the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver to start the process.
Connecticut CDL Endorsements
H Hazardous Materials Required to transport hazardous materials which are placarded.
N Tank Vehicle Required to transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.
X Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination Required to transport hazardous materials using a tank vehicle.
T Double/Triple Indicates CDL holder is certified to operate multiple trailer haulers.
P Passenger Indicates the CDL holder is certified to transport passengers in a commercial vehicle.
S School Bus Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus.
V Student Transportation Vehicle Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a vehicle used to transport students to and from school.
A Activity Vehicle Indicates the CDL holder is certified to drive a vehicle used to transport students to and from school sponsored events and activities.
F Taxi Vehicle Indicates the CDL holder is certified to drive a taxi, livery vehicle, service bus, motor bus, or motor coach.
Methods of Payment
All DMV Hub Offices accept the following methods of payment:
- Personal Checks
- Bank Checks
- Money Orders
- Debit Cards
Please note that most debit cards with the MasterCard or Visa logo are accepted. All fees are non-refundable and are subject to change without notice.
Important Connecticut Commercial Driver’s License Resources
Complete CDL Practice Test Study Package
Complete CDL Cheat Sheet Study Package
Connecticut MCSAP Motor Carrier Handbook
Request for Commercial Driver’s License Application DMV Form R-229a
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Diabetes Medical Report
Examination to Determine Physical Condition of Driver DMV Form R-323
Medical Examiner’s Certificate DMV Form B-328
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
Medical Examiner’s Certificate
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
Check out our list of truck driving schools in Connecticut that will provide you with the necessary skills to obtain your commercial driver’s license and start your career in the exciting field of commercial truck driving! You may also want to check out our nationwide list of truck driving schools.
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Map of Connecticut CDL Testing Locations
**The CDL Skills Test is available at this location only. Please call to schedule an appointment.
Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information.
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