New Hampshire CDL Requirements

New Hampshire CDL Classes

      You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of New Hampshire (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle outside the state of New Hampshire (interstate). You must also be at least 21 years old to transport materials that are deemed hazardous and to transport passengers using a commercial motor vehicle. You need a New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire Commercial Learner’s Permit

      You must already possess a New Hampshire commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can take the CDL Road Skills Test. Before applying for a New Hampshire commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid New Hampshire Class O driver’s license. You will be issued a New Hampshire commercial driver’s license (CDL) when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the CDL Road Skills Test. 

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

  • Be at least 18 years old for intrastate driving (within the state of New Hampshire only).
  • Be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving (outside the state of New Hampshire).
  • Be at least 21 years of age to transport materials deemed hazardous.
  • Be at least 21 years of age to transport passengers in a CMV.
  • Possess a valid New Hampshire Class O driver’s license.
  • Provide proof of identity (New Hampshire driver’s license, instruction permit, or identification card).
  • Provide your current out-of-state driver’s license or I.D. card (if you are not currently licensed in New Hampshire).
  • Provide proof of your Social Security number.
  • Provide your certified birth certificate or passport (if you are not currently licensed in New Hampshire).
  • Prove you are of legal U.S. status by providing the required documents.
  • Provide proof of your current New Hampshire residency that shows your name and address (i.e., a utility bill, vehicle registration, insurance card).
  • Provide your current D.O.T. Medical Examiner’s Certificate and completed Medical Examination Report (“non-excepted” drivers only).
  • Provide your completed and signed Statement of License Status Form.
  • Provide your completed and signed Commercial Driver License Application.
  • Pass the CDL general knowledge written test. 
  • Pass the vision exam.

      If you have any questions about which documents to bring to your nearest New Hampshire DMV Office when you apply for your commercial learner’s permit, you can either call your local New Hampshire DMV Office or, you can call the New Hampshire DMV General Customer Service line at (603) 227-4000 and speak to a customer service representative from 8:15 am to 4:15 pm, Monday thru Friday. You can also contact the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles by email at NH.DMVHelp@dos.nh.gov.

CDL Written Tests

      All commercial driver’s license applicants must pass the general knowledge written test in order to be eligible to receive a CDL. The CDL knowledge tests are administered by computer using a touch screen monitor. No special knowledge of computers is needed to take the tests. Applicants can take the written tests audibly using headphones if they choose.

      All written tests are administered in multiple choice form and are type specific to the license class or endorsement the applicant is testing for. In order to receive a passing score, each applicant is required to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly in the time allotted for that test. All written tests require a score of at least 80% to pass. Any applicant that exceeds the time limit or incorrectly answers too many questions on the test will fail and be forced to wait ten calendar days before they are allowed to take the test again.

      All CDL knowledge written tests are administered at the New Hampshire DMV Offices . Knowledge tests are administered on a first come, first served walk-in basis only. The New Hampshire DMV Offices do not take appointments for applications or knowledge tests.

      The CDL knowledge tests are not administered after 3:00 pm. New Hampshire DMV Offices tend to be busier in the afternoon so, applicants should plan accordingly. Please keep this in mind when planning your arrival time, as the CDL written tests will take approximately sixty minutes or more to complete, based on the number of tests you plan on taking.

      Once you successfully pass the CDL written tests and pay the required fees, you will be issued a commercial learner’s permit. The commercial learner’s permit will be valid for up to six months from the date it is issued and will allow you to practice driving a commercial motor vehicle.

      You may only operate a CMV under the supervision of a front seat passenger who is at least 21 years old and carries a valid CDL of the same class or greater than the class of vehicle you are operating. If you do not successfully pass the CDL Road Skills Test and obtain your commercial driver’s license before your commercial learner’s permit expires, then you will have to repeat the entire process.  

      Over 60% of first time CDL applicants fail the written test! Be sure to download and study the New Hampshire CDL Driver’s Guide as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL tests, including some sample test questions.  

      If you are planning on taking the School Bus Endorsement written test, than be sure to download and study the Handbook for the New Hampshire School Bus Driver as it contains pertinent information to help you pass the test.

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

      Click here to see a map and clickable list of New Hampshire DMV Offices that offer the CDL written tests.

Applying for a New Hampshire Commercial Driver’s License

      In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state of New Hampshire, you must:

  • Possess a valid New Hampshire commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
  • Possess a valid New Hampshire Class O driver’s license.
  • Possess a current D.O.T. card (cannot be more than 2 years old).
  • Provide proof of vehicle insurance and vehicle registration (must be verified before you can take the test).
  • Provide a test vehicle of the same class as the CDL you are testing for (must display a valid inspection sticker). 
  • Provide a passenger that is 21 years of age or older with a valid New Hampshire CDL to ride with you in your test vehicle to the test location.
  • Pass the CDL Road Skills Test.
  • Pay the $60 fee to cover the cost of the commercial driver’s license.
  • Pay the $10 fee for each CDL endorsement you obtain.

The CDL Road Skills Test

      The CDL Road Skills Test is a three part test that consists of a Pre-trip Inspection, a Basic Vehicle Controls Test, and an On-Road Driving Test. You will be required to take the test in the same class and type of motor vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.  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. 

  • 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 Road Skills 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, moving your vehicle forward, and making turns within a defined area. 
  • 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.

      The Basic Controls Test may include the following maneuvers:

  • 90 degree alley docking
  • Straight line backing
  • Parallel parking (driver side)
  • Parallel parking (conventional)
  • Offset back/right
  • Offset back/left

      The Road Skills Test will take an average of 15 to 20 minutes to finish and will be administered on a route predetermined by the examiner. The test route may include the following:

  • Starting
  • Stopping
  • Braking
  • Turning
  • Observing traffic signs
  • Observing traffic signals
  • Observing other traffic
  • Using vehicle controls
  • Maintaining proper lane positions
  • Downgrades
  • Downgrade stopping
  • Upgrades
  • Upgrade stopping
  • Railroad crossings
  • Bridge clearance
  • Underpass clearance
  • General observance of traffic laws
  • General safe driving practices for trucks or buses

      If you fail the Road Skills Test, you will be forced to wait ten days before you will be allowed to take the CDL Road Skills Test again.     

     On the day of your CDL Road Skills Test appointment you must:

  1. Arrive on time.
  2. Bring your commercial learner’s permit.
  3. Bring your valid D.O.T. medical card.
  4. Bring a passenger qualified to drive a CMV with the same class of CDL or greater than the test vehicle.
  5. Bring a test vehicle that is the same class of license that you are testing for and that has passed inspection.
  6. Bring the revenue needed to pay the necessary fees to obtain your commercial driver’s license.

      Failure to do any of the above may result in an immediate cancellation of your CDL Road Skills Test appointment! The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles advises applicants to schedule their CDL Road Skills Test appointment a few weeks in advance.

      If you fail to show up for your CDL Road Skills Test appointment or if you do not give at least 24 hours notice of your appointment cancellation, then you will be required to wait 30 days to take the test again. The New Hampshire DMV has the right to cancel any CDL Road Skills Test appointment due to bad weather, under sourced staffing, or any other unforseen circumstances.

      Once you pass the CDL Road Skills Test and pay the required fees, you will obtain your commercial driver’s license. Be sure to download and study the New Hampshire CDL Driver’s Guide as it contains pertinent information that will help you pass the CDL Road Skills Test. 

      If you are planning on taking the School Bus Endorsement Road Skills Test, than be sure to download and study the Handbook for the New Hampshire School Bus Driver as it contains valuable information that will help you pass the test.

     Click here to see the map and clickable list of New Hampshire DMV Office locations that administer the CDL Road Skills Test.

Commercial Driver Self-Certification

      In the state of New Hampshire, all commercial driver’s license applicants must self-certify as to what type of driving they will be doing (intrastate or interstate), and whether you are “non-excepted” (a medical examination is required) or “excepted” (a medical examination is not required). If you are employed by a government agency or municipality and will be operating a commercial motor vehicle solely for the government agency or municipality, then you are “excepted” and you are not required to carry a medical card. If you are not employed by a government agency or municipality, and you possess a valid CDL, then you are “non-excepted” and are required to carry a medical card whether you are operating a commercial motor vehicle or not. 

      All commercial drivers who intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for the following purposes only are “excepted” and do not require a medical card:

  • As a federal, state, or local government employee.
  • As an operator of fire trucks and/or rescue vehicles during emergencies and other related activities.
  • To transport public school children and/or public school staff members to and from home and school only.
  • Operating a CMV controlled by a farmer, that is used to transport agricultural products, farm       machinery, or farm supplies (must not need a hazardous materials placard) within 150 air-miles of the farm.

      If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you are “non-excepted” and require a medical examination administered by a FMCSA certified physician.     

Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License

      All “non-excepted” CDL applicants 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. The New Hampshire Division 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.     

      All new CDL applicants, and those renewing their CDL in the state of New Hampshire, are required to complete and sign a copy of the Statement of License Status Form. You will then be required to submit the form along with your medical documents (after they have been completed by a FMCSA certified physician) and the Commercial Driver License Application (new CDL applicants only). 

      Once you have completed and signed the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, the Medical Examination Report, the Statement of License Status Form, the Commercial Driver License Application, and any applicable medical waivers, you can submit your documents by doing one of the following:

                                         NH-DMV 
                                         DRIVER LICENSING BUREAU 
                                         23 HAZEN DRIVE 
                                         CONCORD, NH 03305

      Be sure to double check and, if needed, correct your information before you submit your documents. If you are a first time CDL applicant, you must bring a completed and signed copy of the Commercial Driver License Application in person to any New Hampshire DMV Office. You cannot mail or email the application. Failure to comply with state and federal self-certification regulations will result in a cancellation of your commercial driving privileges.

      If you have any questions regarding self-certification, you can contact Jeff Oberdank by phone at (603) 227-4020 or, you can send Jeff Oberdank an email at Jeffrey.Oberdank@dos.nh.gov.

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 New Hampshire, 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 CDL Skills Test Waiver Military Application to start the process. 

      If you have any questions about the CDL Skills Test Waiver Military Application, you can either call your local New Hampshire DMV Office or, you can call the New Hampshire DMV General Customer Service line at (603) 227-4000 and speak to a customer service representative from 8:15 am to 4:15 pm, Monday thru Friday. You can also contact the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles by email at NH.DMVHelp@dos.nh.gov

New Hampshire 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. A School Bus Certificate is also required.

New Hampshire CDL Restrictions

      B      Corrective Lenses Required

      C      Mechanical Aid Required

      D      Prosthetic Aid Required

      F      Outside Mirror Required

      G      Daylight Hours Driving Only

      K      CMV Intrastate Only

      L      No Air Brakes CMV 

      M      No Class A Passenger Vehicle

      N      No Class A/B Passenger Vehicle

      O      No Tractor Trailer CMV

      T      60-day Temporary License

      V      Medical Variance Docs Required

      Z      Alcohol Interlock Device Required

Methods of Payment

The New Hampshire DMV accepts the following methods of payment:

  • Cash (counter/in-person transactions only).
  • VISA
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Personal Checks
  • Money Orders
  • Traveler’s Checks

Personal checks, money oreders, and traveler’s checks must be made payable to “State of NH – DMV”.

Important New Hampshire Commercial Driver’s License Resources 

New Hampshire CDL Driver’s Guide
Handbook for the New Hampshire School Bus Driver
New Hampshire CDL Practice Tests
Criminal Record Release Authorization Form for School Bus Drivers
School Bus Driver Qualification File Checklist
Commercial Driver License Application
CDL Skills Test Waiver Military Application
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Department of Safety – Routes Authorized for 53 Foot Semi-Trailers
Department of Safety – Request for 53 Foot Trailer Route Designation Form
New Hampshire DOT Twin Trailer Routes Map
Statement of License Status Form
Eye Examination Form
Application for Waiver of Physical Deficiency
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 New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire CDL Written Test Locations 

TitleAddress
1. Berlin DMV Office 143 E. Milan Road, Berlin, NH 03570
2. Claremont DMV Office 17 Water Street, Mill #1, Claremont, NH 03743
3. Colebrook DMV Office Town Hall, 17 Bridge Street, Colebrook, NH 03576
4. Concord DMV Office 23 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03305
5. Dover DMV Office 50 Boston Harbor Road, Dover, NH 03820
6. Epping DMV Office 315 Calef Hwy, Epping, NH 03042
7. Keene DMV Office 15 Ash Brook Court, Keene, NH 03431
8. Manchester DMV Office 377 S. Willow Street, Manchester, NH 03103
9. Milford DMV Office 4 Meadow Brook Drive, Milford, NH 03055
10. Nashua DMV Office 110 Broad Street, Nashua, NH 03064
11. North Haverhill DMV Office Grafton County Courthouse, 3765 Dartmouth College Hwy, North Haverhill, NH 03774
12. Salem DMV Office 154 Main Street, Salem NH 03079
13. Tamworth DMV Office 1864 White Mountain Hwy, Tamworth, NH 03886
14. Twin Mountain DMV Office 549 Route 302 West, Twin Mountain, NH 03590

 

 

Map of New Hampshire CDL Skills Test Locations

TitleAddress
1. Concord CDL Test Site 23 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03305
2. Durham CDL Test Site University of New Hampshire, West Edge of Parking Lot, 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824
3. Lebanon CDL Test Site Lebanon, NH 3766
4. Nashua CDL Test Site Nashua DMV Office, 110 Broad Street, Nashua, NH 03064
5. Twin Mountain CDL Test Site Twin Mountain, NH

 

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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New Hampshire CDL Requirements
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