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How to Get a Commercial Drivers License in New Jersey

Knowing New Jersey CDL license requirements is a crucial part of getting a commercial drivers license. It can help ensure that you are eligible for a CDL and know what class of CDL you will need. Equally important is knowing about CDL endorsements and which you will need in order to legally operate your commercial vehicle. Fortunately, the state provides a straight forward application process. Learn more New Jersey CDL information, including how to apply to a commercial drivers license, requirements you must meet, the types available and the endorsements you may need, to get started on the process.

New Jersey CDL Qualifications

Meeting the New Jersey commercial drivers license requirements is the first step to get such credentials. In order to obtain a commercial drivers license, you will need to be a resident who is at least 18 years old and already has a basic state driver’s license. However, it is important to know that if you are under the age of 21 years, then you may only operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state. Additionally, you must have a minimum of 20/40 vision in both eyes with or without corrective lenses and you must be able to recognize red, green and amber colors. Lastly, you must be physically fit enough to pass a medical examination.

Documentation Required To Get a Commercial Drivers License in New Jersey

Aside from needing to meet New Jersey CDL requirements, you will also be required to submit specific documentation with your application. When applying for a CDL drivers license, be sure to bring your examination test fee, as well as documentation that will satisfy New Jersey’s Six Points of ID Verification. Commonly-used documents include birth certificates, United States passports and marriage certificates. You will also need to bring your Social Security card and proof of your residential address.

An additional CDL license requirement is that you must obtain a Medical Examiner’s certificate from a licensed professional who has been federally certified for the CDL medical exams. This step must be completed before you submit your application. In order to apply for a CDL license in NJ, you must also submit your Commercial Driver License Self-Certification, which displays whether or not you will be operating a vehicle only within New Jersey, or intrastate.

The Different Types of New Jersey CDL Driver’s Licenses

When learning how to get a commercial drivers license in New Jersey, the first step is to determine what type of credential you will require. This is based upon the type of commercial vehicle you will be operating. CDL drivers licenses can come in Class A, Class B or Class C types and the differences are as follows:

  • Class A: Reserved for drivers who will be operating a vehicle that has a gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more, inclusive of any towed vehicles. If you obtain a Class A CDL drivers license, then you will be capable of driving any vehicle that requires Class B or C, assuming that you have the required endorsements.
  • Class B: Similar to a Class A CDL, but lacks permissions for towed vehicles and is given to drivers who will operate a commercial vehicle that has a gross weight of at least 26,001 pounds. A Class B CDL license can also be used to operate Class C commercial vehicles with the appropriate endorsements.
  • Class C: Used for operating commercial vehicles that are either designed for the transport of hazardous materials or are intended to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

New Jersey Commercial Drivers License Endorsements

The last New Jersey CDL license requirement that you should be aware of regards endorsements. CDL license endorsements permit you to drive a more specific type of vehicle and will come with additional testing and fees for each endorsement that is added to your driver license. These CDL endorsements include the following:

  • Endorsement T (Double and Triple Trailer): A CDL drivers license that contains an Endorsement T is required if you wish operate a commercial vehicle that will be pulling two or three trailers.
  • Endorsement P (Passenger): This endorsement is required for operating any commercial vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, the driver included.
  • Endorsement S (School Bus): While similar to a CDL license containing a P endorsement, Endorsement S is a more specific credentials that is used only for school buses.
  • Endorsement N (Tank Vehicle): This endorsement is needed when operating a vehicle that is transporting liquids or a bulk amount of gas.
  • Endorsement H (Hazardous Materials): You will need an Endorsement H on your CDL drivers license should you intend to operate a vehicle that will transport hazardous materials. This endorsement also comes with stricter federal guidelines and you will be required to retest every two years.

Additionally, it is important to note that while air brakes do not have a specific CDL endorsement, you will still need to test for them in order to operate a motor vehicle that uses air brakes. Should you not test for air brakes, you will receive an L restriction on your license, and you will not be permitted to operate a vehicle with air brakes.

New Jersey CDL License Application Process

After meeting all New Jersey CDL license requirements and learning what class CDL and endorsements are needed, you will need to visit one of the Motor Vehicle Commission agencies that includes a Driver Testing Center. After you have turned in your required documentation, completed application and paid all of your required testing fees, you will need to successfully pass a CDL knowledge test. Remember, if you are seeking CDL endorsements, you will likely have additional knowledge tests. Once you have successfully passed, you will be given a commercial license permit (CLP) and you will need to practice operating the type of motor vehicle that you are seeking a license for. The state of New Jersey requires that you practice with a CLP for a minimum of 20 days. Once you are comfortable driving, you can schedule a road skills test to receive your full CDL.

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