Massachusetts CDL Requirements

Massachusetts CDL Classes

     You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Massachusetts (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle outside Massachusetts state lines (interstate). You must also be at least 21 years old to transport materials that are deemed hazardous and require a placard. You need a Massachusetts CDL in order to operate either commercial or non-commercial motor vehicles that fall into the following categories:

Class A
      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.  

Class B
      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. 

Class C
      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. 

Applying for a Massachusetts Commercial Learner’s Permit

      You must already possess a Massachusetts commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can take the CDL Skills Test. Before applying for a Massachusetts commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid Massachusetts Class D driver’s license and never at any time had your Class D license or right to operate revoked. You will be issued a Massachusetts commercial driver’s license (CDL) when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the CDL Skills Test. 

      In order to obtain a Massachusetts commercial learner’s permit, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old for intrastate driving (within the state of Massachusetts).
  • Be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving (outside the state of Massachusetts).
  • Be at least 21 years of age to transport materials deemed hazardous.
  • Possess a valid Massachusetts Class D driver’s license.
  • Provide your Social Security number.
  • Prove that you are of the lawful legal age by providing the required documents (if you do not already have a valid MA driver’s license).
  • Provide proof of current Massachusetts residency that shows your name & address (if you do not already have a valid MA driver’s license).
  • Provide a document proving your signature (if you do not already have a valid Massachusetts driver’s license).
  • Provide your current D.O.T. medical examination (cannot be more than 2 years old).
  • Complete and sign the Massachusetts CDL Application.
  • Pass the CDL general knowledge written test.
  • Pass the vision exam.
  • Pass the basic colors exam. 
  • Pay the $30 written test fee.
  • Pay the $10 fee for each additional CDL endorsements test (if taken at the same time as the general knowledge test).
  • Pay the $30 fee for each additional endorsement test (if taken after your CLP or CDL has already been issued).

      All the required identification documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted. If you have questions about which documents to bring to your local Registry of Motor Vehicles branch office when you apply for your commercial learner’s permit, you may call the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Telephone Center at (800) 858-3926 and speak to a customer service representative. 

The CDL Written Tests

     Before you can take any of the CDL written tests, you must present your completed and signed Massachusetts CDL Application, present any and all required documents of identification, pay the $30 written test fee, and pay any additional CDL endorsement fees at any full service Massachusetts RMV branch office. The CDL written test is administered on an automated testing system on a first come, first serve basis up to two hours before the branch closes.

      All commercial driver’s license applicants must pass the general knowledge written test in order to be eligible to receive a CDL. In order to receive a passing score, each applicant is required to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly. All written tests require a score of at least 80% to pass. The general knowledge test consists of fifty questions. You must answer forty questions correctly within a time period of sixty minutes to pass. All other CDL written tests have less than fifty questions and a time period of thirty minutes or less to take the test.

      Once you pass the CDL written tests, you will receive your commercial learner’s permit. The permit will be valid for up to two years from the date it is issued. If you do not pass the CDL Skills Test before the commercial learner’s permit expires, then you will be required to apply for a brand new commercial learner’s permit and repeat the entire process over again.

      If you fail the CDL written tests (and you do not currently possess a Massachusetts license in another class), you will be required to present all the proper documents of identification, and take the CDL written tests again. 

      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 Tests will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.

      When you are ready to take the CDL Skills/Road Test, you must call the RMV Telephone Center to schedule an appointment. CDL Skills/Road Test appointments cannot be made in person. The telephone numbers for the RMV Telephone Center are:

  • (857) 368-8000 for Massachusetts area codes 339,617,781, and 857, or if you live outside the state of Massachusetts.
  • (800) 858-3926 for all other Massachusetts area codes.
  • (877) 768-8833 (for the hearing impaired only)

      The Massachusetts RMV Telephone Center is open from Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM except on holidays.

      Click here to see the map and clickable list of Massachusetts RMV branch office locations that offer the CDL written tests.      

Applying for a Massachusetts Commercial Driver’s License

      Once you have your CLP, you will need to do the following to obtain a commercial driver’s license:

  • Provide your valid Massachusetts commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
  • Provide your current Massachusetts Class D driver’s license (if applicable)
  • Provide your valid Department of Transportation medical card or Medical Waiver.
  • Provide proof of vehicle insurance and vehicle registration (must be verified before you can take the test).
  • Provide a qualified passenger with a valid Massachusetts CDL to ride with you in your vehicle to the test site (valid inspection sticker required).
  • Provide the rental agreement & written permission on the company’s letterhead authorizing use of the test vehicle (if the test vehicle is rented).
  • Provide a completed and signed Massachusetts CDL Application.
  • Provide a completed and signed Massachusetts CDL Road Test Application.
  • Pass the CDL written tests (to obtain your commercial learner’s permit).
  • Pass the CDL Road/Skills Test.
  • Pay the $20 CDL Road/Skills Test fee.

      The CDL Road/Skills Test consists of a Pre-trip inspection, a Basic Vehicle Control test, and an On-Road Driving test and must be taken in the same class and type of motor vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.  The vehicle will be required to pass a safety check given by the examiner.

      You must bring a sponsor who holds a valid CDL that is of  the proper class and contains the endorsements for the test vehicle you are using. The sponsor must also hold a valid D.O.T. Medical Certificate. If you take the CDL Road/Skills Test in a commercial motor vehicle that is not equipped with air brakes, then you will have an air brakes restriction attached to your commercial driver’s license. 

The CDL Road/Skills Test

      The CDL Road/Skills Test is a three part test and consists of the following:

  • Pre-trip Inspection: Before you can take the CDL driving tests, you will first be tested on your knowledge of the class of vehicle you plan on driving once you obtain your CDL. The Pre-trip inspection also determines if your commercial vehicle is safe enough to drive on public roads.
  • Basic Controls Test: Before you can take the CDL Road Test, you will first need to prove that you have the skills to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads. This test consists of various off-road maneuvers such as backing up your vehicle. 
  • Road Skills Test: Once you pass the first two tests, you will be required to drive your commercial vehicle on public roads in various traffic situations. You will be required to operate the same class of commercial vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.

      Once you pass the CDL Road/Skills Test, you will be required to bring your commercial learner’s permit (stamped and signed by the examiner) to any full service Massachusetts RMV branch office and pay the required CDL fees in order to receive your commercial driver’s license.    

Be sure to download and study the Massachusetts Commercial Driver’s License Manual or the School Bus Manual before taking the CDL Road/skills Test.

     Click here to see the map and clickable list of Massachusetts RMV branch office locations that offer the CDL Road/Skills Test.

Commercial Driver Self-Certification

      In the state of Massachusetts, all commercial driver’s license applicants must self-certify as to what type of driving they will be doing (intrastate or interstate), and if they have met all the FMCSA medical requirements. You must complete and sign the Massachusetts CDL Self-Certification Form and submit it along with the Medical Examiner’s Certificate and the Medical Examination Report.

Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License

      In order to apply for a commercial driver’s license, you must have the Medical Examiner’s Certificate and the Medical Examination Report 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
  • Chiropractor

      The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be dated within the previous two years and attached to the Medical Examination Report (Form 649-F). The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will only accept your medical forms if they have 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 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.      

      You can submit your completed and signed Medical Examiner’s CertificateMedical Examination ReportMassachusetts CDL Self-Certification Form, and any applicable medical waivers by doing any of the following:

  • Fax your completed and signed documents to: (857) 368-0818 
  • Bring your completed and signed documents in person to any Massachusetts RMV branch office.
  • Mail your completed and signed documents to:

                              MassDOT, RMV Division 
                              Driver Licensing 
                              PO Box 55889 
                              Boston, MA 02205

      Please include your name, address, and contact phone number on all mailings and 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.

Hazmat Endorsement

      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.

Military Drivers

      In the state of Massachusetts, 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. 

Massachusetts CDL Endorsements

      H      Placarded Hazmat      Required to transport hazardous materials under DOT regulations. 

      N      Tank Vehicles      Required to transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.

      X      Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination   Required to transport hazardous materials in tank vehicles   

      T      Double/Triple Trailers      Indicates CDL holder is certified to operate multiple trailer haulers. 

      P     Passengers      Indicates the CDL holder is certified to operate passenger vehicles.

      S     School Bus      Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus. The “P” endorsement is also required.

Important Massachusetts Commercial Driver’s License Resources

Complete CDL Practice Test Study Package
Complete CDL Cheat Sheet Study Package

Massachusettes RMV Hazardous Materials Endorsement Flyer
Massachusetts CDL Application
Massachusetts CDL Road Test Application
Massachusetts 7-D School Pupil Transportation Certificate Application
Massachusetts RMV Request for Driving Record
Massachusetts RMV Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Massachusetts CDL Self-Certification Form
Massachusetts Application for Intrastate Medical Waivers
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
Medical Examiner’s Certificate
CDL Vision Screening Certificate
Massachusetts RMV Diabetes Medical Evaluation Form
Massachusetts RMV Cardiovascular Medical Evaluation Form
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners


      Check out our list of truck driving schools in Massachusetts 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.

If you found this article helpful, feel free to share it on Google Plus and Facebook using the buttons below.



Map of Massachusetts CDL Test Locations 



**The CDL Road/Skills Test is available at this location.

Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information. 

Please Note: Some of the documents linked on this page are in the Adobe Portable Document Format, also known as “PDF.” Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view, fill out and print forms. If you have problems with Adobe Acrobat Reader, see the Adobe Troubleshooting page for possible solutions.

© 2020 Truck Driving Schools Info. All rights reserved. | Home | About | ContactTerms | Privacy