Connecticut CDL Requirements (A Complete 2023 Guide)

Connecticut CDL Requirements (A Complete Guide)

So we have already given you the Connecticut driver’s license requirements. 

Today, we’ll be focusing on the Connecticut CDL requirements for those that want to operate a commercial truck

Are the requirements that much more different?

What are the steps to obtain this type of license?

We’re here to answer all those questions and more. 

And as always, we’ll go into ALL the details, so you are not left asking any more questions. 

Let’s get right into it!

CDL Classes in Connecticut

Before anything else, you need to choose your CDL class. 

There are 3 types of CDLs in Connecticut:

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C

Let’s break them down into detail so you know which one you’ll need. 

Class A

You need a Class A CDL to operate a combination vehicle with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or higher. It must tow a unit weighing more than 10,000 pounds.

A Class A CDL is considered the highest CDL classification. You can also operate Class B and Class C vehicles if you carry it.

Class B

A Class B applies if your vehicle’s GVWR is 26,001 pounds or more but tows a unit lighter than 10,000 pounds.

You can drive a Class C vehicle if you carry a Class B CDL. However, you are not authorized to operate a truck categorized as Class A.

Class C

You must have a Class C CDL if you’re driving a single vehicle weighing less than 26,001 pounds. It also applies if it tows a unit weighing less than 10,000 pounds.

Here are some typical descriptions of a Class C vehicle:

  • It transports 16 or more passengers, including the driver. 
  • Designed to carry more than 10 individuals, along with the driver, and used to transport students below 21 years old to and from school.
  • It moves hazardous materials requiring placards in compliance with federal regulations.

CDL Requirements in Connecticut

The next step is to know whether or not you’re qualified to carry a CDL. 

The qualifications are listed below. See if you can check off everything:

  • At least 18 if you only indent to drive within the state. At least 21 for interstate trips or to transport hazardous materials.
  • A valid Connecticut Class D license.
  • Two forms of identification, one of which must be a primary ID based on the Connecticut DMV list
  • A Social Security card or your most recent W-2 form.
  • Proof of residence in Connecticut
  • A document proving legal presence in the U.S. (for non-U.S.-born applicants)
  • Documents proving a change of name, if necessary
  • A federal and state criminal background check (for Public Service Endorsement applicants)

How to Get a CDL in Connecticut

There are 2 parts to getting your Connecticut CDL. First, you need to earn your Commercial License Permit (CLP). 

Only after you’ve had your CLP can you get your CDL. 

Let’s see each part in detail. 

Getting Your CLP in Connecticut

Here are the steps to getting your CLP in Connecticut:

  1. Request for a CDL application form to be emailed to you (you may request it online). Once you receive the form, fill it up. 
  1. Self-certify your driving type through the DMV’s online portal. If successful, you will receive an email confirmation.
  1. Get a medical certificate and upload it to Connecticut’s Online Medical Certification System.

Note: Someone from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners must conduct your medical exam and complete the MCSA-5976 form.

  1. Schedule your knowledge test. The DMV does not accept walk-in applicants so you must make an appointment online. You also need to pay the exam fee 
  1. Go to the DMV office on the day of your exam and bring the required documents (application form, email confirmation, MCSA-5976, and proof of identity, legal presence, SSN, residency, and driver’s license).
  1. Pay for the knowledge test. It costs $16 for the general information portion and an additional $5 for each endorsement you get. You need a score of 80% or higher to pass.

Note: If you fail the knowledge test, you must make another appointment online and pay all fees again.

  1. Pass the knowledge exam(s).
  1. Pay the $20 permit fee to receive your CLP-Term, which is valid for a year. 

Note: Ensure you get your CLD before the CLP expires. Otherwise, you’ll have to repeat the entire process to get another CLP.

Once you have your CLP, you can already operate a commercial vehicle under your class. However, a licensed CLD driver must supervise you at all times. 

Take this time to practice your driving skills because you’ll need to take a road test before getting your CLD.

Getting your CDL in Connecticut

Once you have held your CLP for 14 days, you can start working towards a CDL. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Complete the CDL Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) from a registered provider.

Note: The following individuals must complete the program:

  • Everyone applying for Class A and Class B CDLs
  • CDL drivers upgrading from a Class C to a Class B CDL OR a Class B to a Class A CDL
  • Applicants who need P, S, and H Endorsements
  1. Fill out the Request for a CDL Exam from a Private Citizen (R-405) and save it as a PDF file. You should send it to so the DMV can process it. They will provide you with a schedule for your skills test within 3 business days.
  1. Bring the following to your skills test:
  • The vehicle you intend to use for the skills test. A driver with a valid CDL must accompany you.
  • A valid Connecticut Class D license
  • Your Commercial License Permit
  • A validated gold copy of your CDL application form. 
  • $30 payemtn receipt.
  • A current, unexpired, and legible medical certificate from a certified medical examiner.  

Note: You must have uploaded this to the DMV’s Online Medical Certification System before your test schedule.

  1. Pass the skills test.
  2. Pay the $70 CDL fee.
  3. Claim your Connecticut CDL. You must return to the same DMV office after 2 business days.

And there you have it.

You now have a CDL in Connecticut. 


CDL Exemptions for Military Members in Connecticut

You may be excused from undergoing the CDL skills test if you are on active duty, a reservist military personnel, or separated from them within the last year. 

This exemption only applies to the skills test portion of the CDL application process. However, if you need a P, S, or H endorsement, you must complete it.

Military applicants must present the following:

  • Information on all states where you held a license in the past 10 years.
  • A verified Connecticut Driver’s License. If you do not have this, you must provide additional documents to prove your identity.
  • A valid U.S. Government Motor Vehicle Operator ID Card. It must indicate the type of vehicle and the vehicle capacity you are qualified to drive.
  • A medical certificate completed by a certified medical examiner within the last 2 years.
  • A self-certification of your driving type.
  • DMV forms for Fee Waiver (B-88), CDL Application (R-229A), and Application for Military Skills Test Waiver.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Evidence that you operated a military motor vehicle within the last 2 years that is the equivalent of the truck you intend to use.

Connecticut CDL Endorsements

An endorsement authorizes you to operate various types of vehicles. When applying for a CDL in Connecticut,  you can add nine different endorsements, depending on your task and cargo.

Here’s a list of the endorsements and the situations when they’re needed:

T(Double / Triple)You’ll need this endorsement if you have a Class A CDL and operate a vehicle that tows more than one unit.
P(Passenger / Transportation)A P endorsement is used for all CDL types if you use your vehicle to transport passengers.
N(Liquid Bulk / Tank Cargo)You must have this endorsement if you’re operating a Class A or B vehicle and it has a permanently mounted cargo task designed to transport liquid or liquid gas. The tank must be rated at 119 gallons or, if it’s more portable, at 1,000 gallons or more. You also need a tank endorsement if your Class C vehicle transports hazardous material in gas or liquid gas.
H(Hazardous Material)Regardless of CDL type, you need this endorsement if you’re transporting hazardous material that requires your vehicle to have placards. You must be at least 21 to receive this endorsement. You must also be an American citizen, have Connecticut as your permanent state of residence, or carry a valid Employee Authorization Document.
S(School Bus)You need an S endorsement if you’re driving a school bus. You must also have a P (passenger) endorsement.
V(Student Transportation Vehicle)Vehicles used to transfer students to and from school fall under this category, including those for special education students. You must also have a P endorsement for this. 
A(Activity Vehicle)It is for a Student Transport Vehicle used in other situations besides to and from the school. An example of these is vehicles connected with school-sponsored events. You must also have a P endorsement.
F(Taxi, Livery, Service Bus, or Motor Coach)You must have this endorsement to drive a taxi, livery vehicle, service bus, or motor coach.  You must also have a P endorsement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got some questions? Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked ones about CDLs in Connecticut. 

What disqualifies you from getting a CDL in Connecticut?

You may be disqualified to get a CDL for the following reasons:

  • You have a DUI charge
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)
  • Committing a felony
  • Severe traffic violations like excessive speeding, erratic or improper lane changing, reckless driving, or driving without a valid license.
  • Violating out-of-service orders or railroad-highway grade crossing regulations

You should always keep your personal driving record clean in order to get a CDL. You may even lose your commercial driving privileges if your Class D license is canceled, revoked, or suspended.

How much does it cost to get a CDL in Connecticut?

Here are the fees associated with getting a CDL in Connecticut:

General Knowledge Test$16
Endorsement Tests$5 each
Skills Test$30
New CLP$20
Duplicate CLP$20
Duplicate CLD$30
CLD Upgrade$22
CLD Renewal$70
CDL Late Renewal Penalty$25

What can I expect from the CDL road test in Connecticut?

A CDL road test in Connecticut has 3 parts:

  • Pre-Trip inspection — This tests your ability to determine whether you know your vehicle is safe to drive or not. The examiner will ask you to conduct a vehicle inspection, which requires you to walk him through the parts you’re examining and why you must look at those.
  • Static course — This segment allows you to demonstrate basic driving maneuvers, such as moving your CMV forward, backward, and turning it. You’ll complete it in an enclosed area.
  • On-the-road — The last part requires driving your CMV safely in various traffic situations. You’ll typically do this on nearby roads while the examiner tells you where to go and what maneuvers to demonstrate.

What is the passing score for the CDL knowledge test in Connecticut?

You need to get 80% of the questions correctly to pass the knowledge test. This applies to the general knowledge exam and all endorsement exams you need to take.

Here’s a table that breaks it down:

ExamNumber of QuestionsRequired Correct Answers
General Knowledge5040
Hazardous Materials Endorsement3024
Air Brakes Endorsement2520
Combination Vehicle Endorsement2016
School Bus Endorsement2016
Tanker Endorsement2016
Doubles / Triples Endorsement2016

The Wrap Up

So those are the steps to getting your CDL in Connecticut. 

As you can see, there are a lot of steps you need to take. This is why, it’s a good idea to have a clear picture of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how it should be done. 

This is exactly what this Connecticut CDL requirements guide gives you. 

Remember, gather the requirements first, so all your documents are in order. Next, focus on getting your CLP.

Once you have that, get some driving experience — make sure a professional driver with a valid CDL supervises you all the time.

When you’re eligible, go through your road test. After you pass, you’re just a couple of days away from getting your commercial driver’s license.

So what are you waiting for?

Get started today. 

And good luck!

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