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THE MASSACHUSETTS CDL COURSE PACKAGE COVERS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PASS THE MASSACHUSETTS CDL WRITTEN AND SKILLS TESTS FOR ALL CLASSES OF MASSACHUSETTS CDL AND ALL AVAILABLE MASSACHUSETTS CDL ENDORSEMENTS.

MASSACHUSETTS CDL Information
Specific Massachusetts CDL Information

Obtaining a Massachusetts CDL Permit and License

Important Self-Certification Information for all Massachusetts Commercial Drivers

By January 30, 2014 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 they 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.

Beginning August 15, 2012 customers who wish to obtain, or who currently hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) that is being renewed, upgraded, or transferred from another State, will be required to complete their 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 a driver's 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), the driver will also need to provide this documentation to the RMV.

CDL drivers that will not be completing a transaction with the RMV between now and January 30, 2014, do not have to visit a RMV branch office at this time. Compliance information for these drivers will be available in early 2013.

The following chart lists the Massachusetts Commercial Driver License classes, endorsements, and testing requirements. There are a number of endorsements which require a written exam but not a road test.

Eligibility Requirements for Massachusetts CDL Permit and License

If you are at least 21 years of age and have not had your driver's license or right to operate taken away by the Registrar, you may apply for an interstate (all states) transport CDL permit at any RMV full-service office. If you are at least 18 years of age and have not had your driver's license or right to operate taken away by the Registrar, you may apply for an intrastate (Massachusetts only) transport CDL permit at any RMV full-service office.

Massachusetts Documentation Requirements

If you do not have an existing Massachusetts license at the time of application and you are 18 years of age or older, you must present all of the following:

All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted.

Federal law requires that commercial drivers have a social security number. Your Social Security Number must verify with the Social Security Administration.

Your application will be processed through the National Driver Register and the Commercial Driver License Information System to verify the status of your operating privileges in other jurisdictions.

D.O.T. Medical Certificate

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

To Obtain Your Massachusetts CDL Permit

Complete the Initial Massachusetts CDL Application. This form is available at any Massachusetts RMV full service office.

You must present the application, the required identification documentation, and the $30.00 written test fee, and the fee for any endorsements, in person, to any RMV full service office to take the written test. The test is given on an automated testing system on a walk-in basis up to two (2) hours before the branch's closing time.

Commercial Driver's License Manuals are available at RMV Branch offices or on this website. You should study the manual before applying for a CDL permit. If you are applying for a school bus license, you must also study the 2004 Model Commercial Driver's License Section 10 School Bus Manual. This document is also available at branch offices.

At the time of your written test, you must also pass an eye screening for field vision and basic colors.

If you pass the written test, you will receive a 2-year permit. Practice driving your commercial vehicle during this time.

If you fail the written test and you do not currently have a Massachusetts license in another class, you must present the required sources of identification documentation and take the required tests again the next time you apply for a permit. Please refer to the list of identification requirements to ensure that you bring the necessary documents with you.

Massachusetts CDL Fees

The fee for the Massachusetts CDL general knowledge written test is $30.00. The fee for each Massachusetts CDL endorsement test you take at the same time as the general knowledge test is $10.00.

If you take a Massachusetts CDL endorsement test after the Massachusetts CDL permit or license has been issued, the fee will be $30.00. Each additional endorsement test you take during this same transaction will be an additional $10.00.

The fee for a road test is $35.00.

Operation of a Vehicle with a Massachusetts CDL Permit

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.

Expired Massachusetts CDL Permit

Permits expire two (2) years from the date of issue. If your permit expires 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. Applying for a Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License

A road test is usually required when applying for a Massachusetts Commercial License. If you already have a Class D license and are applying for a Class C license, a road test is required only if you are also applying for passenger, school bus, and/or air brakes endorsements.

Once you have passed the written permit test, you should practice driving in a Commercial vehicle. When you are ready to take a road test, you must call the Massachusetts RMV Telephone Center to schedule your road test. All road tests must be scheduled by the Telephone Center. You may NOT make a road test appointment in person. Requirements for Road Test

Bring the following to the road test:

For all road tests, you are required to supply a properly equipped, legally registered and insured vehicle that has a valid inspection sticker. It also must be of the proper type and manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating for the class license you are applying for, and it must pass a safety check by the examiner.

If the vehicle is rented, you must provide the rental agreement and written permission on the rental company's letterhead authorizing use of the vehicle for a road test.

To take the road test, you must bring a sponsor who has a valid Commercial driver's license with the proper endorsements for the vehicle class you are using. Your sponsor must also have a current D.O.T. Medical Certificate.

Taking the Massachusetts Road Test

The following describes the types of skills that will be tested during a CDL road test.

Massachusetts Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection During the pre-trip vehicle inspection, you will be asked to do a vehicle inspection and point out to the examiner what you would inspect on the vehicle and why.

Massachusetts CDL Basic Vehicle Control Test During the basic vehicle control part of the road test, the examiner will test the your ability to control the vehicle. You will be required to navigate the commercial vehicle between cones or barriers and demonstrate control of the vehicle.

Massachusetts On-Road CDL Test During the on-road test portion of the road exam, you will be tested on your skill to drive the commercial vehicle in a variety of traffic situations.

Obtaining a Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License

Pass the road test before the expiration date on your permit.

To receive your Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License, you must bring the stamped, signed permit and the appropriate fees to any Massachusetts RMV full service office.

Upgrading to a Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License

Class D to Class C

To upgrade from a Class D license to a Class C license, you need to take and pass the general knowledge written test. You should also obtain at least one of the following endorsements, in addition to any other endorsements requested:

You are not required to take a road test for the Class C driver's license. However, if the requested endorsement requires a road test, you must take the road test for that endorsement before obtaining the Class C driver's license. There is not a benefit to obtaining a Class C driver's license without an endorsement because there are no specific commercial motor vehicles that require a Class C license on its own. You will be issued your Commercial License after passing the required written test and paying all applicable fees.

Class D to a Class A or B - Upgrading from a Class D license to a Class A requires the general knowledge written test, combination vehicle endorsement written test, and written tests for any other endorsement you select. You will also be required to take a road test in a Class A vehicle. See Applying for a Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License section for information about road tests. You will be issued your Commercial License after passing the road test and paying all applicable fees.

Upgrading from a Class D license to a Class B requires the general knowledge written test and written tests for any other endorsements you select. You will also be required to take a road test in a Class B vehicle. See Applying for a Commercial Driver's License section for information about road tests. You will be issued your Massachusetts Commercial License after passing the road test and paying all applicable fees.

Adding Endorsement(s) to a Massachusetts Commercial License

Refer to the CDL Class chart at the beginning of this section to determine what type of test you need to take for a specific endorsement.

A written test is required for all endorsements. A written test and a road test are required for Airbrake, Passenger, and School Bus endorsements. Obtaining or Renewing a Hazardous Materials Endorsement

There are two requirements you must meet before obtaining or renewing a Hazardous Materials Endorsement. Note: You can still obtain or renew a Commercial Driver's License without the Hazardous Materials Endorsement if you do not meet the criteria listed above.

Converting an Out-of-State Commercial Driver's License

When converting an out-of-state CDL, the written and road tests may be waived if the CMV operator is currently licensed at the time of his/her application, and the following criteria are met:

The following documentation must be provided for waiver consideration:

If the above requirements are met, the customer can obtain a Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License without taking the general knowledge exam or a road test. If the customer cannot meet the above requirements, the out-of-state Commercial Driver's License can be converted to a Massachusetts Class D driver's license. The out-of-state license must be surrendered at this time. The customer may then apply for a Massachusetts Commercial Learner's Permit. Customers must pass the written and road tests in order to obtain the Commercial Driver's License.

The conversion process is the same for all commercial motor vehicle classes (Class A, Class B, and Class C). However, note that some states issue non-commercial Class A, B, and/or C driver's licenses that do not qualify as Commercial Driver's Licenses under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's definition. These can only be converted into a Massachusetts Class D driver's license.

Expired Commercial Driver's Licenses cannot be converted. However, an out-of-state Commercial Driver's License that has been expired for less than four years can be converted to a Massachusetts Class D driver's license.

Transferring Endorsements

When a customer applies for a Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License out-of-state conversion, he/she may also choose to transfer the endorsements on the previous Commercial Driver's License. However, due to federal requirements, a H Endorsement is not transferable. To receive a H Endorsement on a Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License, the customer must reapply for the endorsement.

Massachusetts CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Massachusetts Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE Massachusetts CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.

Classes of Massachusetts CDL and Required Tests

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

Massachusetts CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # 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

For the most complete and accurate official Massachusetts state CDL information, go to the Official Massachusetts CDL Website.

What is a CDL?
A "CDL" is a Commercial Drivers License. It meets certain minimum "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from the Massachusetts "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial trucks or buses.

What is the COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86) administered by the FMCSA?
It is a law passed by the United States Congress which requires ALL the individual states to comply with certain standards in regards to the licensing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Massachusetts driver licensing standards comply with the law, requiring CMV drivers to obtain a Massachusetts Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable trucks and buses. A CDL license can ONLY be issued in the driver's STATE OF LEGAL RESIDENCE, and if you have a CDL, you can have NO OTHER DRIVER'S LICENSE in ANY other state.

When do I need a Massachusetts CDL instead of my regular Massachusetts Drivers License?
A Massachusetts CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .
1. A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
2. A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
3. A vehicle used to . . .(a.) carry 15 or more passengers (excluding the driver), or (b.) carry (15) or less people (including the driver) when carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
4. A vehicle carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a Massachusetts CDL?
1. You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within Massachusetts and if no hazardous materials requiring placarding are transported and if you do not drive double or triple trailer rigs).
2. You must be physically capable (in accordance with the MCSR 49 CFR 391.41 Physical Qualifications for Drivers regulations) of obtaining a valid DOT medical examiner's card (before being issued a CDL permit or taking any CDL skills test).
3. You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a Massachusetts CDL . . .
* If you possess a license from any state other than Massachusetts.
* If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege from Massachusetts or any other state.
* If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
* If you have a conviction for operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
* other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to Massachusetts are covered in detail within the Course.

How do I obtain a Massachusetts CDL?
1. Show your Massachusetts driver license.
2. You must take and pass all Massachusetts examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
3. Show proof of social security number.
4. Meet Massachusetts driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State.
5. Fill out an application including certifications.
6. Provide a DOT medical certificate and pass the required CDL knowledge and vision tests (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued).
7. Pay the Massachusetts CDL fees.
8. Schedule, take, and pass your Massachusetts CDL skills test.

A separate booklet is included in the Massachusetts CDL Course package which covers information such as fees, locations, contacts, procedures and other items specific to Massachusetts for the written and skills examinations for ALL classes of CDL and ALL available endorsements.

What is a CDL "Skills Test" and how do I take it?
A "skills" test is the practical portion of the exam and includes . . .
1. A vehicle inspection test to measure your ability to perform a vehicle safety check.
2. A basic control skills test.
3. A driving test.
The skills test is normally given at an approved third party testing site in your area. This can vary and the latest procedures are indicated in the Massachusetts CDL Course.

So let's say I get a Massachusetts CDL. Can I use it Out-of-State?
Yes! It is good throughout the entire United States.

Can my Massachusetts CDL be suspended or revoked?
Yes, there are MANY reasons that your Massachusetts CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The Course details ALL of the rules regarding suspension or revocation. The point to remember is that alcohol or drug use is not tolerated and your record WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOREVER!!!

So let's say that my Massachusetts CDL is revoked. Can't I just apply for a CDL in another State?
No!!! Those days are gone.

Are there any exemptions to being required to have Massachusetts CDL?
Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on my Massachusetts CDL?
It refers to the type of vehicle that you may operate . . .
CLASS A . . . allows you to operate vehicles which tow trailers or other vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles.
CLASS B . . . allows you to operate single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more OR a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, towing trailers/vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds GVWR or less. A Class "B" license also allows you to operate Class C vehicles.
CLASS C . . .allows you to operate vehicles under 26,001 lbs. GVWR, that would normally not require a CDL; except when they are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver; or that carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation, or carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding. Applicable endorsements are required.

What are Endorsement Codes and when do I need them on my Massachusetts CDL?
Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . . .
(T) DOUBLE or TRIPLE TRAILERS.
(P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver); or those which carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
(N) TANK VEHICLES. For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
(H) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards.
(X) Endorsement code designating a Tank (N) vehicle that carries Hazardous Materials (H).

I'm over 18 years old, but not 21 years old yet. Can I get a Massachusetts CDL license?
Yes . . . with restrictions. You are limited to INTRAstate driving of commercial vehicles (you cannot drive a commercial truck or bus out of Massachusetts). You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding, cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs and cannot drive a School Bus with children on board until you turn 21 years of age.

We could go on and on with FAQs but I hope this covers most of your GENERAL questions. Please be assured that the Course answers EVERYTHING that you need to know to obtain ANY or ALL of the available CDL licenses and endorsements in an easy to understand manner. The material is presented in three different ways to reinforce your retention. GOOD LUCK !!

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