20 Jun 20 Tips: How do I get a Commercial Driver’s License?
20 Tips: How do I get a Commercial Driver’s License?
If you are looking to get a CDL and are wondering how the process will go, then this article, with the help of ny-defense.com, will look to help you by highlight 20 tips on how to get a commercial driver’s license in New York State.
Determine whether your current license makes you eligible for a New York CDL
As pointed out by ny-defense.com, New York residents who have either an NYS Class D or Class E license are eligible to apply for a CDL. Class D is an operator license for passenger cars and trucks with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less while Class E is a livery license covering the same vehicles as Class D, plus for-hire vehicles that carry 14 passengers or less.
What if you don’t have any of these licenses?
If you don’t already have any of the licenses described in the previous point, you will need to get a regular Class D or E license from the New York DMV, or a CDL from another state before you apply for a commercial license.
Surrendering your regular license
Once you qualify for a CDL, you will need to surrender your regular driver’s license. This is because, as articulated by ny-defense.com, you are only allowed to have one driver’s license of any kind at a time. Having more than one can result in hefty fines or jail time.
What if I have a valid CDL from another state?
As already mentioned, if you have a valid CDL from another state, you may apply for a New York CDL at a DMV office. You will, however, need to surrender your current CDL to get a New York CDL, while also being required to provide fingerprints and pass a background check.
What will make you ineligible for a CDL?
You will not be eligible to apply for a CDL if you have any of the following on your driving record:
Leaving the scene of an accident
Felonies involving a motor vehicle
Violations involving alcohol and/or drugs
Know what class of vehicle you will be driving
As discussed at ny-defense.com, not all large vehicles require a CDL, RVs, military vehicles, emergency vehicles, and farm vehicles are usually exempt from CDL requirements. Class A, B, and C vehicles require you to have a CDL before you may drive them.
Determine whether you will be driving interstate or intrastate
New York DMV has two categories for CDLs: Interstate Commerce and Intrastate Commerce, in agreement with Federal regulations. These categories help determine which type of CDL you are eligible for. Interstate commerce means that you drive a CMV from one state to another state, or from one state into a foreign country, while intrastate means that you will drive a CMV only within the state of New York. The letter “K” will be added to your restrictions to let the police known that you are not allowed to drive anywhere that is not New York. You will not be eligible to apply for interstate commerce if you are not 21 years of age or older.
Determine whether you will be driving as excepted or non-excepted
As outlined at ny-defense.com, there are two statutes for CDL holders in New York: Excepted and Non-Excepted. Drivers who fall under the former are exempt from needing a medical certification while those who fall under the latter must provide medical certification. Excepted commerce categories are usually restricted to the transport of people and farm goods, while non-expected commerce categories include all other driving purposes. If you drive for both Excepted and Non-Excepted activities, you must select Non-Excepted.
Ensure you are eligible for the required Medical Certification
Federal regulations require all CDL holders who operate under the Non-Excepted commerce category to have a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. Therefore, talk to your physician to help you determine whether your health status is acceptable for a CDL. Conditions like seizures or epilepsy, eye disorders or diseases (but not glasses or contact lenses), heart diseases or heart attack, sleep disorders, missing limbs, stroke or paralysis, etc. will need to be disclosed.
Get a copy of the NYS Commercial Driver’s Manual
As you prepare to get your DCL, you should start by getting this manual which will help you prepare for the written knowledge test, which you must pass to receive your CDL learner’s permit. You can find the manual online at the New York DMV website, or you can get a copy from any New York DMV office. When you get the CDL manual, you will only need to study the sections of the manual that apply to the type of CDL you are applying for.
Obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate
You must have a registered Medical Examiner certify your vision, hearing, blood pressure, and general physical condition before you can apply for a CDL or learner permit. Your healthcare provider may be on this registry, but it is important to double-check before scheduling a physical examination to make sure that your provider has a National Registry number, as the New York DMV will reject certificates that don’t have a National Registry number according to ny-defense.com.
Make sure you have all the items needed to apply for a CDL learner permit
In addition to passing the written test for the CDL, you will need to bring several items with you to the DMV as proof of your identity to get a learner permit. They include your existing driver’s license and your Social Security Card for proof of identity as well as two additional documents such as utility bills or pay stubs that display your full legal name. Also, bring a total of $50 to pay fees as well as a completed Medical Certification Requirements for Commercial Drivers form and a Medical Examiner’s Certificate that proves that you are fit to drive a commercial vehicle.
Visit the DMV office in your area
Remember, as pointed out by ny-defense.com, you must apply for the CDL learner permit (and the CDL) in person. Bring the identification and certification documents from the previous point. You will need to pass the written test for the CDL you are applying for before you get a learner permit.
Take the general knowledge test
You will be asked questions based on the information you reviewed in the commercial driver’s license manual. You must answer at least 80% (40 out of 50) of the questions on the general test correctly to pass the test and receive your learner permit.
You must practice with a person who is at least 21 years old, who has the same commercial driver license (and the same endorsements) as you are applying for. If you have a family member or friend who is a licensed commercial driver in New York, ask to practice with them. While there is no minimum hour requirement for driving practice in New York, you should practice as much as possible to be confident on the road test. If you have never held a commercial driver license before, the New York DMV strongly recommend that you find professional training before you apply for a CDL
Know what to expect from the CDL road test
As articulated at ny-defense.com, the road test includes many knowledge and skills areas, which is why you should make sure you are proficient in them before you take your road test. Retaking the road test costs $40 each time.
Schedule an appointment for the road test and attend your appointment
Once you are comfortable and confident with your road skills, you should schedule an appointment to take your road test. You can schedule the road test online at the New York DMV website or via phone by calling 1-518-402-2100. You must pay the $40 fee before you can schedule a road test. Arrive at your appointment at least 30 minutes early with your learner permit, Medical Examiner’s Certificate, and your commercial vehicle.
What may lead to you failing your road test?
During the test, if you have or cause an accident, commit any single traffic violation, or dangerous action, or lose more than 50 points, you will fail the road test. If you fail the road test, you may schedule a new test on the next available date. You may not take more than one road test per day. You must also pay the $40 fee again before you can schedule a new road test as per ny-defense.com.
Wait one business day after passing your road test before visiting the DMV office
After you pass the road test, you will receive a “Road Test Results” Receipt. However, this will not permit you to drive. You must wait one day before visiting a DMV office with this receipt to pay for and receive your Commercial Driver License document.
Keep your license up-to-date
Finally, the requirements for renewing your DCL are the same as for renewing a regular driver’s license except for the medical certification requirements. You must present your medical certificate each time you renew your license. You can’t renew a CDL online.
This article is only just the tip of the iceberg as far as this topic is concerned, and you can uncover more detail by checking out ny-defense.com.