Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

If you would like to drive a commercial vehicle in Massachusetts, you will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Overview

Sample Commercial Driver's License

 

Commercial motor vehicles are divided into 3 classes based on size, weight, and functionality. You must have the proper class of CDL in order to operate the corresponding commercial motor vehicle. In addition to classes, you may also obtain endorsements for you CDL.

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
(Combination vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

 

 

Endorsements

An endorsement is a designation on your CDL that indicates you are qualified to operate motor vehicles with certain characteristics not defined by the class types.

Each endorsement is associated with a letter, which will be printed on the front of the CDL. A description of the endorsement will be printed on the back of the CDL.

Endorsement

Displays on Driver's License as

Description

Testing Requirements

A Endorsement (L restriction Removal)

Does not print on driver's license

Allows the customer to operate commercial motor vehicles with airbrakes. The A Endorsement is implied in the absence of an L Restriction

Written exam and road test

P Endorsement

 

Passenger

Allows the customer to carry passengers in a commercial motor vehicle

Written exam and road test

H Endorsement

 

Hazardous Materials

 

Allows the customer to carry hazardous materials or waste in a commercial motor vehicle

Written exam and Transportation Security Administration threat assessment*

N Endorsement

Tank

Allows the customer to haul liquids in bulk in a commercial motor vehicle

Written exam

X Endorsement

Tank/Hazmat

This is a combination of the N Endorsement and the H Endorsement. If a customer has both the N Endorsement and the H Endorsement, his/her Commercial Driver's License will display the X Endorsement.

N/A

T Endorsement

 

Doubles/Triples

Allows the customer to pull double or triple trailers. This endorsement is only available for Class A driver's licenses. However, it is not a requirement for obtaining a Class A driver's license

Written Exam

S Endorsement

 

School Bus

 

Allows the customer to transport students in a full-sized school bus

Written exam and road test

*There are two requirements you must meet before obtaining or renewing a Hazardous Materials Endorsement.

  • Apply for and successfully pass the Transportation Security Administration's Security Background Check. This is now required for all Hazardous Materials Endorsement applicants. It could take approximately 60 days or more to receive the results.
  • Take and pass the Hazardous Materials Endorsement exam. You can do this at the same time you obtain or renew your CDL

Call 1 (877) 429-7746 or go to https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/ to begin the process.

Self Certification

All CDL drivers are required under federal regulation to inform the RMV of the type of commerce they plan to operate within (interstate or intrastate) and whether or not you are required to hold a medical certificate. This notification is called self-certification. It is called self-certification because the driver alone needs to determine the self-certification category he/she falls into based on his/her driving information.

If you wish to obtain, or who currently hold a CDL that is being renewed, upgraded, or transferred from another state, you will be required to complete the CDL Self-Certification. The CDL Self-Certification Form and a copy of the medical certificate, if applicable, must be presented at the time of the transaction.

If your medical examiner's certificate is only valid with a vision, diabetes, or skills performance evaluation variance granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), you will also need to provide this documentation to the RMV.

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