How to Get a Connecticut CDL License

A Connecticut Commercial Driver License is a special type of license that is necessary for drivers of certain heavy motor vehicles. Since commercial vehicles are classified by weight and cargo, any driver that wishes to legally operate a vehicle over 26,000 pounds in weight must receive a CDL. In addition, all vehicles that are going to be transporting more than sixteen passengers or carrying hazardous materials must be operated by a CDL licensed driver. Follow this guide to obtain the Connecticut CDL license and start hitting the road with ease.

CDL License Requirements
In order to qualify for the Connecticut Commercial Driver License, drivers must satisfy a number of requirements. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to drive within the state, or 21 years of age to drive through other states. Drivers must hold a valid, unexpired Connecticut Class D license. Drivers must also be able to present their social security card or the most recent W2 form to authenticate their identity. Additionally, an examination to determine the physical condition of the driver must be completed by a licensed physician, and meet all of the DOT requirements.

Along with the application, certain drivers will need to receive a background check before qualifying for the license. Connecticut recently passed legislation that requires all bus drivers to undergo a thorough background check, which will include a check of the state’s child abuse registry, as well as frequent drug testing. Background checks are also conducted on individuals that will be responsible for carrying hazardous waste or materials in their vehicles during the application process for the hazmat endorsement. Any drivers that have been convicted of a serious crime or have completed a sentence within the last five years should refrain from applying for the license altogether.

CDL License Training
After applying for the CDL license, the driver should receive a Connecticut Commercial Drivers License Handbook from their local DMV office and study it from cover to cover. The handbook includes a wealth of information about classifications, endorsements, state laws, and driving procedures that can be tricky. Once the driver has thoroughly prepared, they can take the written general knowledge test, which consists of thirty questions total. If the driver does not get more than six questions wrong, they will pass the test. There is an additional test for all drivers wishing to receive endorsements and each consists of ten questions. If they get eight or more questions right, they will be rewarded with a Commercial Driver Instruction Permit (CDIP).

Since drivers are expected to meet some tough state requirements and be proficient in their driving skills, adequate training will be necessary. While it is possible to obtain the CDL license without any education, it is a strongly recommended investment to ensure the most success on the exams. Connecticut CDL license training courses can be provided for new drivers in many different ways. Many companies offer in-house training schools or will pay for employees to attend a private commercial training program. Public school systems also grant school bus and passenger bus drivers training typically as well. The driving courses will supply plenty of practice behind the big wheel before the road test.

CDL License Process
After passing the written exam and receiving extensive driving training, drivers should schedule the road test through the DMV phone center. All exams are conducted at the Hartford Regional Market, but the specific time and date will be mailed to the driver. On the assigned time, the driver must arrive with an appropriate vehicle. Drivers must present the examiner their confirmation letter, their regular driver’s license, the driver’s instruction permit, and the application. Once all the paperwork is found to be satisfactory, the road examination will begin.

The Connecticut skills test requires passing three distinct parts. During pre-trip inspection, the driver must demonstrate that they are knowledgeable in how to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive before taking off. Next, the driver is examined on a static course that is closed off in a designated area. Finally, the actual on the road driving test will check the driver’s ability to drive safely and follow all procedures with proficiency. Only after completing all three parts with flying colors will the driver receive the CDL license.

CDL License Costs
Before taking the written and road tests, drivers will need to present payment for the required fees of $16 and $30. Upon receiving the permit, they will need to pay an additional $10, with $5 for each endorsement. Depending on the driver’s physician and insurance, they will need to pay between $50 and $100 for the DOT physical card. The newly issued CDL license will cost another $70 to $87.50, depending on endorsements. In total, the CDL license process will require payment of $176 to $268. Although the Connecticut CDL License cost is steep, it is a rewarding experience that will open many new doors for career paths.