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.
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:
- Document proving date of birth
- Document proving signature
- Document proving Massachusetts residency
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.
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.
Complete the Initial CDL Application. This form is available at any RMV full service office. You may also download it from the Forms and Files section on our website.
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.
General Knowledge, 60 minutes allowed, 50 questions, 40 correct answers to pass
Air brakes, 25 minutes allowed, 25 questions, 20 correct answers to pass
HazMat, 30 minutes allowed, 30 questions, 24 correct answers to pass
Tank, 20 minutes allowed, 20 questions, 16 correct answers to pass
Passenger, 20 minutes allowed, 20 questions, 16 correct answers to pass
Doubles/Triples, 20 minutes allowed, 20 questions, 16 correct answers to pass
Combination Vehicles, 20 minutes allowed, 20 questions, 16 correct answers to pass
School Bus, 20 minutes allowed, 20 questions, 16 correct answers to pass
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.
A road test is usually required when applying for a 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 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.
Bring the following to the road test
- A completed Initial CDL Application for your license
- Your valid CDL permit
- Your current driver’s license (if applicable)
- A valid D.O.T medical certificate or medical waiver
- A qualified sponsor
- A properly equipped vehicle with proof of insurance coverage
- Vehicle registration
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.
The following describes the types of skills that will be tested during a CDL road test.
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.
Basic Vehicle Control
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.
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.
Passed Road Test
The road test examiner will stamp and sign your permit indicating you passed the road test and return it to you.
Failed Road Test
The road test examiner will stamp your permit to indicate the parts of the road test that were failed and return it to you.
The fee for the CDL general knowledge written test is $30.00. The fee for each CDL endorsement test you take at the same time as the general knowledge test is $10.00.
If you take a CDL endorsement test after the 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 $20.00.
Licensing Agency & Website:
Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Registry of Motor Vehicles, http://www.mass.gov/rmv/license/8cdl.htm