Class A Driver's License in The State Of Massachusetts

by Joshua on December 16, 2014

A rewarding career can be found in driving commercial vehicles. You can be a benefit to society by helping people with diverse needs to get to where they need to, shipping products to a customer center or company location, and being responsible for the environment by carefully carrying hazardous material.

In order to qualify for this exciting role, you must be licensed. The Commercial Drivers License, or CDL for short, will enable you to drive in such capacities as school buses , tank vehicles , passenger transport , and hazardous materials . CDLs also specify you with a class and an endorsement. Although each state has their own procedures in licensing their drivers, Massachusetts’ requirements are subject to the Federal regulations for this field.

Types of Endorsements in Class A

There are three types of class licensing for the CDL. They are Class A , Class B , and "Class C-hazardous ": and Class C-Passenger . To obtain a Class A Commercial Drivers License, you will need to specify an Endorsement. The choices are as follows:

Eligibility for a Commercial Drivers License

In Massachusetts, you can be as young as 18 years old in order to apply for a CDL, as long as you have a valid driver’s license. Commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000, transporting 15 or more persons, or carrying placard hazardous materials, must have a driver that carries an approved and current US Department of Transportation, or US DOT medical certificate. You can reach the Department of Transportation for more information about this.

Requirements for Class A

To get a CDL, for Class A, under any of the endorsements, you must fill out the CDL Application. The application is available at any Registry of Motor Vehicles, or RMV, full service office or you can download it at MassDOT RMV , under forms and files. After you complete the application and are ready, you will be required to take a written test of general knowledge. Then you will be given a combination endorsement written exam. Only a few of the endorsements, the Passenger Transport, Air Brakes , and School Bus, will add the additional Road Exam.

The tests are taking on a walk-in basis, so there is no need to set an appointment. They stop administering tests after 2 hours till closing time for the branch office.

More information on the written exams are:

  • General Knowledge has 50 questions, which you need 40 to pass, and you have an hour to take.
  • Air Brakes has 25 questions, which you need 20 to pass, and you have 25 minutes hour to take.
  • HazMat has 30 questions, which you need 24 to pass, and you have 30 minutes hour to take.
  • Tank has 20 questions, which you need 16 to pass, and you have 20 minutes hour to take.
  • Passenger has 20 questions, which you need 16 to pass, and you have 20 minutes hour to take.
  • Doubles/Triples has 20 questions, which you need 16 to pass, and you have 20 minutes hour to take.
  • Combination Vehicles has 20 questions, which you need 16 to pass, and you have 20 minutes hour to take.
  • School Buses has 20 questions, which you need 16 to pass, and you have 20 minutes hour to take.

The road test is only for school bus, passenger, and air brake endorsements. After you have practiced driving commercial vehicles and are ready, call the RMV telephone center to make an appointment to take your road test. You can only schedule this test by phone; in person requests will not by accepted.

Once you are scheduled for your road test, be prepared to be tested in the following areas:

  • Pre-trip vehicle inspection – this demonstrates to the examiner that you can conduct a full inspection of your vehicle properly. You might be asked why you are inspecting a certain part of the vehicle.
  • Basic vehicle control – this is to show skills in controlling the vehicle. You will also be asked to navigate the vehicle between some barriers.
  • On the road driving test – this has you operate the vehicle in a variety of traffic situations to prove you can drive a commercial vehicle.

Other Information

The general knowledge test costs $30 and the each endorsement is $10. The road test is $35. When you take the road test you will need to bring the following items with you to the test site:

  • Your CDL application
  • A Valid CDL permit
  • Your current driver’s license
  • An approved DOT medical certificate or waiver
  • A qualified sponsor
  • A properly equipped vehicle
  • Proof of insurance
  • Vehicle registration

If you need more information or have any questions, please contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles for Massachusetts by phone, website, or in person.

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