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How to Get a Commercial Drivers License in Massachusetts

A CDL drivers license in Massachusetts allows drivers to operate commercial vehicles, such as delivery trucks, buses and tractor-trailers. The CDL license requirements are similar to the requirements for non-commercial licenses, as motorists are required to demonstrate their driving proficiency before receiving a license. If a driver meets CDL qualifications, then he or she may make an appointment to receive a learners permit. After, they may take a test to get an unrestricted commercial license. To get an MA CDL license, drivers need endorsements offered by state and federal governments and pay fees.

How to Apply to a Commercial Drivers License in Massachusetts for a Permit

The first piece of CDL information to learn about is the application process. One of the CDL license requirements in Massachusetts involves obtaining a learners permit first. To obtain a CDL license permit, drivers should take a completed CDL application (along with a medical and self-certification document, if necessary) and the needed identity verification paperwork to a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) office. You will need to schedule an appointment with the RMV to receive your permit, as well as pay a processing fee.

To get a CDL-license permit, applicants must consent to a background check spanning the last 10 years of your driving record. They will also need to pass a color vision test, as well as any tests related to the classification, restriction(s) and endorsement(s) you wish to receive. Drivers will receive a CDL license permit after passing all their tests and a background check. An MA CDL license permit is valid for 180 days and allows drivers to practice their skills on the open road. When learning, motorists may only operate the type of commercial vehicle they are qualified to operate. A supervisor with a CDL license must be accompany permit holders practicing on the road. If the CDL driver license permit expires and drivers still need additional training, then they must reapply and take the necessary tests again.

Massachusetts CDL License Requirements

The CDL license requirements in Massachusetts must be met if a driver wishes to operate a commercial vehicle. To be eligible for a CDL drivers license, a motorist must be at least 18-years-old, verify their MA residency, signature and birth date, and already be in possession of a Class D license. To obtain a commercial drivers license, motorists must provide the RMV with a Social Security Number also. Eligible drivers who are under the age of 21 are only allowed to operate motor vehicles within the state of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts CDL License Classifications, Endorsements and Restrictions

There are different Massachusetts CDL license classifications, which are based on the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) the license holder will operate. A Class A CDL drivers license allows motorists to operate a combination of vehicles weighing more than 26,001 pounds, including tanker vehicles and triple trailers. A Class B CDL-license allows motorists to operate a single vehicle weighing more than 26,001 pounds or more, such as large buses and straight trucks. A Class C commercial driver license allows drivers to operate commercial vehicles that do not fit into the A or B classes or those that carry at least 16 passengers, such as passenger vans and small combination vehicles. The MA CDL license classification obtained determines the type of endorsements required.

Commercial drivers license endorsements in Massachusetts allow drivers to drive and transport certain types of commercial vehicles, even after they have obtained a commercial license. To obtain CDL endorsements, drivers are required to pass a written knowledge and road skills test for each one. The different CDL license endorsements and the vehicles they allow individuals to operate are as follows:

  • H – Endorsement: Hazardous materials
  • N – Endorsement: Tanker trucks
  • P – Endorsement: Vehicle with a specified number of passengers
  • S – Endorsement: School bus
  • T – Endorsement: Double or triple trailer
  • X – Endorsement: Tanker vehicles carrying hazardous waste

Some motorists with a CDL drivers license choose to earn multiple endorsements. Alternatively, other drivers have CDL license restrictions that prevent them from operating certain types of commercial vehicles. Some of the most common CDL driving license restrictions are as follows:

  • E – Restriction: Manual transmission vehicles
  • L – Restriction: Vehicles with a full air brake system
  • M – Restriction: Class A passenger vehicles
  • N – Restriction: Class A and B passenger vehicles
  • V – Restriction: Medical restrictions that limits driving to intrastate commerce

To remove a CDL drivers license restriction, motorists may be required to pass additional tests or medical examinations and pay any applicable fees.

How to Get a Commercial Drivers License in Massachusetts

When you are ready for a CDL license in Massachusetts, you will need to take and pass the official behind-the-wheel commercial drivers license test. You may schedule your CDL license test with the RMV office if you have had your permit for a period of at least two consecutive weeks (14 days). Before you get a commercial drivers license in MA, you will need to complete and submit the CDL Road Test Application and bring a sponsor who holds the same CDL you are applying for with you to the RMV office. All sponsors must be at least 21-years-old. You will also need to pay the road testing fee and submit any medical certificates or waivers you may have.

When getting a commercial drivers license, drivers must bring their own commercial vehicle to the test, which must be of the same classification allowed by their license. Before the CDL license test, the vehicle must pass a safety check and the RMV instructor will make sure it has a valid registration and proof of insurance. The Massachusetts CDL drivers license test will require applicants to perform a pre-trip vehicle inspection and pass an off-street and on-street skills test that measures their ability to operate a commercial vehicle.

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