Do you need a CDL?
Which CDL do you need?
This chart will help you decide.

There is a Delaware Commercial Driver's manual which covers the CDL requirements, CDL procedures, testing requirements, and the basic knowledge required to obtain a CDL license. The manual is available for no cost at any Division facility.

The requirement for a CDL license is waived when the driver is operating farm equipment, firefighting equipment, recreational vehicles, or military members operating military vehicles.

CDL Class A License

This license is required when the vehicle's combination registered, actual or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is over 26,000 pounds, and the vehicle is towing a vehicle with a registered, actual or GVWR over 10,000 pounds.

CDL Class B License

This license is required when the vehicle's registered, actual or rated weight (GVWR) is over 26,000 pounds, and it is not towing another vehicle over 10,000 pounds GVWR.

CDL Class C License

This license is required for vehicles under 26,000 pounds when vehicles are designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver, or for vehicles required to be placarded for carrying hazardous materials (HAZMAT).

CDL Endorsements

NON - CDL Class A License

Required for the same CMV vehicles as the CDL Class A license, but only when operating farm, firefighting, and other authorized emergency vehicles under a CDL waiver.

NON - CDL Class B License

Required for the same CMV vehicles as the CDL Class B license, but only when operating farm, firefighting, and other authorized emergency vehicles under a CDL waiver.

Waivers for CDL Provisions

Non-commercial driver licenses are issued to those drivers who operate farm, fire fighting, and other emergency equipment under this waiver. In order to obtain a Non-CDL an applicant must pass a knowledge test and road test in the class of vehicle for which they are applying, either Class A or B. The skills and pre-trip tests are waived for this type of license. No special licenses are required when operating personal recreation vehicles, commercial motor vehicles for military purpose and emergency vehicles used in the preservation of life or property. The following defines these waived class of vehicles:

  1. Farm Vehicles which are:
  1. Controlled and operated by a farmer
  2. Used to transport either agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies or both to or from a farm
  3. Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier
  4. Used within 150 miles of the person's farm and
  5. Not used for hire.
  1. Fire fighting equipment which is:
  1. Used by any fire company in this State for the preservation of life or property or the execution of emergency governmental functions.
  2. Being operated under the authorization of a fire company for parades, special events, repair service, delivery or other such authorized movements.
  1. Military equipment owned by the Department of Defense, including the National Guard, when operated by persons on active military duty or members of the reserves and National Guard on active full-time or part-time duty.
  2. Recreational vehicles or trailers defined in Title 21 which provide temporary living quarters and are used solely for recreational purposes.
  3. Emergency Mobile Communication Units operated in relation to a County Emergency Communication Center, the State Police or any Municipality.
  4. Any other emergency vehicle, as defined by Title 21, used in the preservation of life or property or in the execution of emergency governmental functions and are equipped with audible and visual signals and are not subject to normal traffic regulation.

Information For Those Applying For A CDL License or Learner's Permit

Those drivers holding a CDL learner's permit must be accompanied by a licensed CDL driver when operating a commercial motor vehicle that the driver is being trained to operate.

Permit expiration and extensions:

A CDL learner's permit is valid for six months. You can extend the CDL learner's permit only once for an additional six months. You must apply for an extension at DMV before the expiration date and pay a $5.00 fee.

CDL Knowledge Test:

All CDL knowledge tests are by walk-in only and can be completed at any division facility. At a minimum an applicant will complete the General Knowledge test. Depending on the class of license or endorsements you are applying for, there may be additional testing.

CDL Skills Test:

All CDL skills test are by appointment only. Call the following numbers to schedule a CDL skills test: Dover (302) 744-2505, Georgetown (302)853-1000, Wilmington (302) 433-3200, New Castle (302) 326-5005. You are required to provide and test in a vehicle representative of the vehicle you will be driving. Please be on time for the test because the schedule is tight and we may not be able to work you in if you are late. You must bring the vehicle registration card and valid insurance card for the vehicle that you will drive during the test. Your learner's permit and the driver's license of the person accompanying you must also be reviewed. When taking the CDL skills test you must pass each part of the test before going to the next part.

Physical Qualifications for CDL Holders

A CDL driver must be physically qualified to operate a CMV. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently established medical certification guidelines that apply to all commercial driver license holders and applicants. Beginning on January 31, 2012, all CDL holders must self certify their driving status as outlined in the Self Certification Category Guide. Based on the CDL holders self-certification status, that driver may be required to submit and maintain a copy of his/her federal medical certificate with the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles. Those that are required to provide a copy of their medical certificate must do so no later than January 31, 2014. Drivers who have not completed this requirement will be downgraded to non-commercial, Class D privileges only. Although such drivers will not be downgraded until January 31, 2014, it is recommended that all drivers whose license expires prior to this date complete this requirement at their next driver license renewal cycle.

Please review the Self Certification Category Guide to assist you in determining your self-certification status and whether or not you will need to provide a copy of your medical certificate. Once you have identified your category, complete and submit the Self Certification Affidavit. Please remember, it is mandatory for all CDL holders to complete the Self Certification Affidavit and return it to the division no later than January 31, 2014.

To Obtain a Medical Examiners Certificate (DOT Physical Card)

To get the Medical Examiner’s Certificate you must be examined by a licensed medical examiner to determine if you are physically qualified to operate a CMV. Licensed medical examiners include, Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), Doctor of Chiropractics (DC), Physician Assistant (PA) and the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN).
You are responsible for bringing your certificate paperwork with you to your appointment with the examiner. To find out if your medical examiner will complete the Medical Examiner Certificate, you may want to call them first. For your convenience, please select the link below and print the Medical Examiner’s Certificate paperwork.

Fed Medical Certification (DOT Physical) Exam Form

Please mail or fax your affidavit and medical certificate, if required, to:

Mail: Delaware Division of Motor Vehicle
Attn: CDL Department
P.O. Box 698
Dover, DE 19901
Fax: (302) 739-2602
Attn: CDL Department

You may also visit our Q & A page to answer some questions you may have, any additional concerns can be directed to our divisions CDL section at 1-877-477-7117.

CMV AND CDL Holder Disqualifying Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA) requires a commercial driver license (CDL) holder to be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) when convicted of certain types of moving violations in a private passenger vehicle or in a CMV.  No CDL driving authority is permitted when any driving privileges are suspended, revoked, disqualified, denied, or cancelled. This document provides an overview of the MCSIA disqualifying violations and is meant to only cover major elements of Federal and Delaware law and is subject to change.

MAJOR VIOLATIONS

  • Administrative per se (probable cause) for operating a CMV with a blood alcohol concentration at or above .04.
  • Administrative per se (probable cause) for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration at or above .08.
  • Operating a CMV while your blood alcohol concentration is .04 or higher.
  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
  • Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • Refusal to take an alcohol test.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony (not a traffic offence).
  • Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a CMV.
  • Driving a CMV when as a result of prior violations committed while operating a CMV, the driver's license is revoked, suspended, disqualified, cancelled, denied, barred, or withdrawn.
  • Using a vehicle in the commission of a felony involving controlled substances.(Automatic Lifetime Disqualification)

If convicted of a major violation in a private passenger vehicle or in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for one year for the first offence or three years if carrying hazardous materials. If convicted of a second major violation in a private vehicle or in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for life.

SERIOUS TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS

  • Excessive speeding (15 mph or more above the posted limit).
  • Reckless driving.
  • Improper or erratic lane changes.
  • Following a vehicle too closely.
  • Violating state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with fatal accident.
  • Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL.
  • Driving a CMV without a CDL in the driver's possession.
  • Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements.
  • Texting OR using a hand held mobile telephone while operating a CMV.

If convicted of two serious traffic violations in a CMV within any three-year period, your CDL will be disqualified for 60 days or 120 days if convicted of three or more serious traffic violations in a CMV within any three-year period. Additionally, if convicted of a serious traffic violation in a private passenger vehicle and your private passenger vehicle driving privileges are suspended as a result thereof, your CDL may also be disqualified accordingly.

FRAUD VIOLATIONS

  • Misrepresentation of identity.
  • Fraudulently obtaining a CDL

If a State determines, in its check of a license status and record prior to issuing a CDL, or at any time after the CDL is issued, that the applicant has falsified information contained in subpart J of 383.73, or in any of the certifications required in 383.71(b) or (g), or in any of the documents required to be submitted by 383.71(h), the State must at a minimum disqualify the person's CLP or CDL or his/her pending application, or disqualify the person from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of at least 60 consecutive days.

VIOLATING OUT-OF-SERVICE ORDERS

If convicted of violating an Out-Of-Service Order in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 90 days nor more than 1 year for a first offence. If convicted of violating an Out-Of-Service Order while transporting hazardous materials in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 180 days nor more than 2 years for a first offence. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than one year nor more than 5 years for a second offence within any ten-year period. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 3 years nor more than 5 years for a second offence while transporting hazardous materials within any ten-year period. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 3 years nor more than 5 years for three or more offences within any ten-year period. Disqualification periods for violating an Out-of-Service Order will be determined by the court.

RAILROAD-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING VIOLATIONS

Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing violations include violation of a federal, state or local law or regulation pertaining to the following six offences:

  • For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear.
  • For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear of an approaching train.
  • For drivers who are always required to stop, failing to stop before driving onto the crossing.
  • For all drivers failing to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping.
  • For all drivers failing to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing.
  • For all drivers failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.

If convicted of a RailRoad-Highway Grade Crossing violation in a CMV, your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 60 days for the first offence. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 120 days for a second offence within any three-year period. Your CDL will be disqualified for no less than 1 year for a third offence within any three-year period.

Important Information for CDL Holders