Applying for a New Jersey CDL – Class A License
If you want a Commercial Driver’s License , or a CDL, you will need to take a few additional steps to get that license compared to what is needed to get a traditional driver’s license. Once you have that license, however, you can use it to earn money driving professionally, to open your own business, and more.
A Class A driver’s license enables the driver to operate a vehicle that has a truck and trailer that weigh more than 26,001 pounds and atrailer alone weighs more than 10,000 pounds. You can also drive Class B and Class C licenses, if you have the required endorsements to drive such a vehicle. There are a variety of different endorsements that you might be eligible for or want.
Special endorsements include:
- S – For driving a school bus
- H- For hazardous materials only
- T- Double & Triple Trailers
- N- For individuals who will operate a tank vehicle
- P – The P endorsement is needed for those who want a passenger endorsement
New Jersey does not require that an individual have any prior training or experience before a CDL license is granted, as long as there have been no problems with the regular driver’s license in the past. However, trying to pass the tests that must be taken to earn this special license will not happen if you are not familiar with the rules and requirements set forth for commercial drivers. Many different driving classes are available for those wishing to earn a CDL; it is a good idea to take one of these classes. If you choose not to obtain this special training, studying the CDL driving manual before the test is a must.
To pass the test you will need to understand how to operate the vehicle, as well as how to inspect it before leaving (something any driving company will make you do each time you get ready to leave,) how to park, how to couple and uncouple the vehicle and many other tasks. The last thing that you want to do is try to take the driving test without any prior experience or knowledge of how things work.
How to Apply for a Class A CDL in New Jersey
In order to apply for a Class A CDL license in the state, you must be a licensed driver over the age of 18 years old. You will need to make a trip to your local Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to apply for the license, where all of the necessary paperwork must be completed and a test completed. An identification card and birth certificate are needed. A fee must also be paid. In New Jersey , there is a cost of $125 needed to take the test. The test consists of both a written exam as well as a driving test. As long as you have studied your driver’s handbook, passing this test should not be difficult.
In addition, a Medical Examination Report must be provided to the MVC. This is a health report that states you are in good physical health, well enough to operate a commercial vehicle. You should have the physical examination performed before the day of the CDL driving test. Once you earn your CDL, this examination must be kept with you at all times. Each three years, a new physical must be taken to receive a new driver’s license.
Along with the $125 test fee, there is a $42 fee required for the actual CDL license. If you have special endorsements, a fee of $2 is needed for each endorsement that you hold.
If you will be driving a vehicle for a company that transports hazardous materials, there are additional endorsements and tests you will need to complete. This varies according to what you will be transporting.
What Happens if you Fail?
If you fail any portion of the test, the Class A CDL license will not be granted, and the portion that you did not pass will need to be retaken. There is a two-week period that must pass before you are eligible to retake the test if it is not passed the first time. If you do not pass on the second try, you will need to wait for several months before taking the test again. It is best to do plenty of studying before you take the test, and perhaps even invest your money and time into one of the classes offered for CDL drivers.
Who Can Earn a CDL – Commercial A License?
There are some people that are deemed ineligible to earn a New Jersey CDL license . The list of ineligible individuals includes those who have been convicted of certain crimes, minors under the age of 18, those without a regular driver’s license, and individuals who have certain infractions on their driving record.