More about:

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) information

Learn about the different kinds of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL), as well as which tests and endorsements you’ll need for each.

Overview

Sample Commercial Driver's License

 

Commercial vehicles are divided into 3 classes based on size, weight, and functionality. Each class requires a different CDL. In addition to classes, you may also get endorsements, which permit you to drive specifically kinds of vehicles. For example, you'll need a special endorsement to drive a school bus. 

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 that you're qualified to operate specific kinds of vehicles or to use them in specific ways. For example, you need an endorsement to carry passengers in a commercial vehicle, and you also need an endorsement to drive a vehicle carrying hazardous materials. 

Once you've earned an endorsement, the letter that represents it will be printed on the front of your CDL, and a description on the back. 

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 a 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

Written exam and road test

H Endorsement

 

Hazardous Materials

 

Allows the customer to carry hazardous materials or waste 

Written exam and Transportation Security Administration threat assessment*

N Endorsement

Tank

Allows the customer to haul liquids in bulk 

Written exam

X Endorsement

Tank/Hazmat

This is a combination of the N Endorsement and the H Endorsement. If a customer has both, 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 getting 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 2 requirements you must meet before getting 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 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 as getting or renewing your CDL

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

Self Certification

If you're a CDL driver, you're federally required to self-certify: this means that you must tell the RMV if  you will operate only in Massachusetts, or will cross state lines. You must also tell us if you're required to hold a medical certificate. 

If you have an out-of-state CDL that's being renewed, upgraded, or transferred from that state, you need to complete a CDL self-certification, which includes a CDL self-certification form and a copy of the medical certificate. 

You may also need to provide the RMV with documentation showing that you have received a vision, diabetes, or skills performance evaluation variance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Additional Resources for Self Certification

Feedback

Did you find what you were looking for on this webpage? * required
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.
We use your feedback to help us improve this site but we are not able to respond directly. Please do not include personal or contact information. If you need a response, please locate the contact information elsewhere on this page or in the footer.

If you need to report child abuse, any other kind of abuse, or need urgent assistance, please click here.

Tell us what you think