How to Get a New York CDL License

In the state of New York, drivers of certain vehicles must possess a valid CDL license, and some requirements for this license are based on federal laws. The laws for CDL licensing in New York comply with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. There are certain standards and requirements that must be met in order to obtain a New York CDL license.

CDL License Requirements
In New York, a driver must possess a valid CDL when driving:

• A vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more;

• A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds, or if the combination of the vehicle and the trailer is more than 26,001 pounds;

• Any vehicle designated as a bus under the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 19-1,, Section 509-a or a vehicle designed to transport more than 15 people;

• Any vehicle carrying hazardous material notices

There are exemptions to these requirements, including:

• Vehicles owned and operated by a farmer, used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery or farm products within 150 miles of the farm, even if that vehicle weighs more than 26,000 pounds;

• Special purpose commercial vehicles that may not be operated at regular highway speeds and are not designed for the transportation of persons or property;

• Fire and police vehicles operating in New York State;

• Military vehicles operated by members of the armed forces;

• Vehicles operates strictly to transport personal possessions or family members for non-commercial purposes.

In order to qualify for a New York CDL, you must be a resident of New York State, be at least 21 years of age, speak English well enough to communicate with others, understand traffic signs and make entries on reports. Drivers must undergo and pass a physical examination by a licensed medical examiner.

CDL License Training
Many truck driving schools offer New York CDL license training designed to help those seeking a CDL in the state the tools they need to pass the required CDL test issued by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. Items covered in the training include:

•Safe driving tips
•Transportation of cargo in a safe manner
•Transportation of passengers
•Operation of air brakes
•Operation of combination vehicles, such as tractor-trailers
•Operation of double/triple tractor trailers
•Operation of tanks
•Hazardous Materials Information for a HazMat endorsement
•Information on operating school buses
•Pre-trip inspections
•Vehicle control
•On-Road operation

In addition to a written, test drivers must pass a road test in order to obtain their CDL in New York, and training programs provide experience in on-road operation.

CDL Process in New York
The process for obtaining a CDL in New York is to pass the physical examination at the time they take their skills test. Once they have passed the skills test, they are issued a 10-day temporary license. During that time, the state reviews information in the National Driver Registry and the Commercial Driver License Information System. If there are no issues, the applicant returns to New York DMV to obtain a permanent license.

Military Applicants
For applicants with military experience driving commercial motor vehicles, New York allows them to file a waiver to the CDL road skills test by providing a current New York or out-of-state driver’s license, if the out-of-state license will be exchanged for a New York license. They must meet all other requirements, be regularly employed within the last 90 days in a military position requiring the operation of a commercial motor vehicle and have operated that type of vehicle for at least two years.

CDL Costs
New York CDL license cost includes a $10 fee for the CDL permit for a regular commercial driver’s license. Endorsements have additional fees, including:

•Certified Vehicle Escort Driver – $40.00
•Hazardous Material Endorsement – $5.00 written test fee

Obtaining a New York CDL is simple and inexpensive, although training for the testing portion of the application may require additional costs. If you plan to drive large, commercial vehicles and live in the state of New York, it is necessary to obtain a valid CDL.