NY Commercial Drivers License


Steps to Earning a CDL in New York

Step 1: Have a New York State driver license (Class D, Class E, or Non-CDL C) or a valid CDL from another state

Get the New York State Commercial Driver’s Manual (CDL-10) online or from a DMV office. Study the sections of the manual that apply to the type of CDL you need. The sections of the manual that you need to study are explained in the manual. The manual describes the classes, the restrictions, and the endorsements of CDLs. This information is also included on the Driver License Class Descriptions (pdf) (MV-500C).

Step 2: Apply for a commercial learner permit at a DMV office

You must pass the written test for the CDL that you need. There is an application fee of $10.00. This fee allows you to take all written tests (knowledge and endorsement) required for permit and license issuance applied for which are taken at the same time. There will be an additional $5 fee for any other required tests not taken and passed at the time of initial application. There is a fee of $40.00 to take the CDL road test (skills test). You can pay the road test fee when the DMV office issues your commercial learner permit, or you can pay the fee online. You must pay the fee before you can schedule your road test.

When you apply for an original New York State CDL (Class A, B, or C), you must certify that

  • You did not hold a driver license in any state or in the District of Columbia except New York in the last 10 years or you must report every US state (or the District of Columbia) where you held a driver license in the last 10 years.
  • You meet the Federal medical examination requirements (see Medical Certification Requirements for more information). 1

You must also prove your legal presence in the United States.

Step 3: Prepare for your road test and practice with a supervising driver

The supervising driver must have a driver license that is valid to drive the commercial motor vehicle that you use for practice.

Based on feedback we have received from the motor carrier industry regarding the new federal CDL test model, we have learned that drivers are facing difficulties with certain sections of the test, often times resulting in failures. In an effort to address some of the common difficulties encountered during the skills test, we are providing some information that may be useful for drivers and instructors.
Sections 11-13 of the CDL Manual (pdf) covers the skills test.  Please pay special attention to the Air Brake Check information on page 11-4.  We strongly recommend that drivers and instructors focus on the steps outlined for the air brake check, and follow the steps as written.  More information is provided in the full Commercial Driver’s Manual (CDL-10).
In addition, please note that the federal regulations allow the pre-trip inspection section to be randomized each time a new test is initiated for an applicant.  As a result, the pre-trip portion of the test could start at the front of the vehicle, in the middle, or if the test is for a Class A vehicle, with the trailer.  On page 11-12 of the manual, you will find the CDL Vehicle Inspection Memory Aid, which drivers are permitted to bring to the test as long as there are no notes or marked items on the document.  Motor Vehicle License Examiners will also have a copy to provide to the applicant at the test site, if necessary.
Step 4: Schedule your road test

Use the Road Test Scheduling System.  Please note that you can’t schedule an appointment for a date that is less than 14 days of being issued a Commercial Learner Permit (CLP). If you do not pass the road test, you must pay a fee of $40.00 before you can schedule another road test. You can pay the fee online with your credit card, or pay the fee at a DMV office.

New CDL restrictions defined below by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may affect CLP holders when taking a Skills Test in a vehicle without full airbrakes and/or a manual transmission.

  • E – No Manual Transmission Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)
  • L – No Airbrake Equipped CMV
  • Z – No Full Airbrake Equipped CMV restrictions

If the vehicle used for your skills test has:

  • An automatic transmission, and this is your first road test in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), you will be given an E restriction.
  • No form of airbrakes, and this is your first road test in a CMV, you will be given an L restriction.
  • Air over hydraulic brakes, and this is your first road test in a CMV, you will be given a Z.
  • If you have a CDL with an L restriction and you test in a vehicle with air over hydraulic brakes, you will be upgraded from an L to a Z restriction.

Call us to discuss your drivers education needs and our ability to customize your program.

(718) 928-7048


Drive Rite Academy is commited to the safety of all of our drivers.

Effective May 23, 2014, the New York State DMV will no longer issue a 10-day temporary license document upon successful completion of a Commercial Driver License skills test, in order to comply with the Federal self-certification and medical certification requirements for commercial drivers.

CDL Services Provided By DriveRite

Commercial Drivers License Services are provided by Drive Rite Academy in compliance with all local and state regulations for certified driving schools.  For more info on our private driving programs, click here.

We provide a reputable and professional service that aims to give you the confidence to pass your road test and drive safely on the roads.