Log in links for this page

Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

To operate a commercial motor vehicle in Massachusetts, you must first obtain a commercial learner’s permit. You will have to take additional tests to get your permit, depending on which class of driver's license and endorsements you need.

Registry of Motor Vehicles


Ask the RMV Ask the RMV 

The Details of Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

What you need for Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

You must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for a commercial learner's permit (CLP):

  • Be at least 18 years of age for an intrastate (Massachusetts only) transport CLP
  • Be at least 21 years of age for an interstate (all states) transport CLP
  • Have a Class D license that will be valid for the entire length of the commercial permit
  • Proof of lawful presence in the U.S.
    • Customers applying for a “Non-Domicile” CDL must prove lawful presence for a minimum of 12 months. The expiration date of the Commercial credential will reflect the end of stay date.
      Canada and Mexico: Customers from Canada or Mexico are not eligible for “Non-Domicile” CDLs. To be eligible for a Massachusetts CDL, these customers must prove permanent lawful presence.
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Be a resident of Massachusetts
  • Not hold a driver's license in any other state
  • Be clear of outstanding obligations to any state
  • Meet minimum commercial driver's license medical standards
  • Pass the CLP general knowledge exam
  • Pass the combination vehicle exam, if applying for a Class A CLP
  • Pass either the hazardous material (H) endorsement exam or the passenger (P) endorsement exam, if applying for a Class C CLP

To apply:

  1. Decide what type of CLP you want – a REAL ID Massachusetts permit (valid for federal purposes) or Standard Massachusetts permit (not valid for federal purposes). Go to mass.gov/id to decide.
    • In addition to the required identification, all CDL applicants must prove either United States citizenship or permanent lawful presence. If your name differs on the lawful presence document, you must also provide proof of the legal name change.
  2. Start your application online
  3. Bring your required identification and completed application to an RMV Service Center


    Fees for Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

    Name Fee Unit
    Learner's Permit Application Fee $30 each
    CDL Endorsement Fee (if taken on the same day) $10 each
    CDL Endorsement Fee (if taken on a different day) $30 each

    How to apply Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

    You must make a reservation for this transaction. To make a reservation, click here.

    Bring the completed application, along with all proper documentation and fees to an RMV Service Center.

    The learner's permit exam is given on an automated testing system on a walk-in basis up to 2 hours before the service center's closing time.

    Most service centers accept cash, check, money order, and credit or debit cards. Since payment methods vary by location, check what’s accepted at the site you will be visiting.

    You cannot process this transaction online. However, you can get ready by completing the application online and answering a series of questions. At the end of the questionnaire, you will be provided with a complete application and list of required documents that you will need to bring with you to an RMV Service Center.

    You must make a reservation for this transaction. To make a reservation, click here.

    Next steps for Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

    Learner's permit exam

    You will have to take one or more knowledge tests to obtain your CLP, depending on what class of license and what endorsements you need. The CLP learner's permit knowledge tests and endorsements include:

    Learner's permit knowledge tests and endorsements
    Exam Time allowed (minutes) No. of questions on exams No. of correct answers needed to pass
    General knowledge 60 50 40
    Air brakes 25 25 20
    Hazmat 30 30 24
    Tank 20 20 16
    Passenger 20 20 16
    Doubles/triples 20 20 16
    Combination vehicles 20 20 16
    School bus 20 20 16


    More info for Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

    CLPs expire 180 days from the date of issue and can be renewed one time for an additional 180 days for no fee. If your learner's permit expires after the one renewal period and you want to get a new permit, you need to present the required sources of identification, take and pass the written tests, and pay the $30 written test fee plus the fee for any endorsements.

    You may only operate a vehicle for the same class permit that you hold. You must be accompanied by a licensed operator who holds a valid license with the correct class and endorsements for the vehicle you are operating. Your permit must be with you while you are operating the vehicle.

    Drivers of commercial vehicles over 10,000 lbs. must carry a valid U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved medical certificate. Also, drivers transporting 15 or more passengers or carrying placarded hazardous materials, regardless of vehicle size, are required to carry a DOT medical certificate. The only exception from this certification is state or municipal employees using a state or municipal vehicle.

    You must have a CDL to operate:

    • Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more.
    • A combination vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.
    • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver).
    • Any size vehicle which requires hazardous material placards or is carrying material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73. Federal regulations through the Department of Homeland Security require a background check and fingerprinting for the Hazardous Materials endorsement.

    Contact for Apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

    Ask the RMV Ask the RMV