How to Renew a CDL

A commercial drivers license renewal occurs every few years, just like a standard drivers license renewal. When you are issued a commercial drivers license, or CDL, you have a responsibility to maintain this credential. While it is up to each state to determine when to renew commercials drivers license credentials, you can expect for the CDL to expire on a recurring cycle. Having to renew CDLs every so often is a way for each state to reevaluate a senior driver’s standing as a CDL holder, which is done through certain medical documentation, and if needed, retaking the CDL exam. The cost of commercial driver license renewal will vary from state to state, so it will be up to you to keep on top of the CDL renewal process your state requires, as well as filing any applications and fees that apply. You might be worrying about the amount of time a renewal might take, but the renewal process is quicker than the original CDL issuance. If you have the right information up front, you will be able to renew your CDL with confidence. Learn more about renewing CDL licenses for seniors in the sections below.

How much does it cost to renew commercial drivers license for seniors?

Since a CDL renewal is required to continuously drive a commercial vehicle, you are probably wondering the cost of commercial driver license renewal, and how often it needs to be renewed. While each state needs to meet the federal standards regarding CDL renewal, the administration of the actual CDL remains the function of the state. Therefore, when it comes time to perform CDL renewals, each state determines the license renewal cycle, CDL license renewal procedures, license fees and application and issuance processes, as long as federal standards are met.

Who is responsible for processing senior CDL renewal requests?

In accordance to federal law, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires all seniors renewing CDL licenses to provide the DMV with proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence. Those seeking CDL renewals must show proof of lawful legal residency. Depending on the state, you might be required to go to a DMV office to renew your CDL license in person.

When it comes to the issuance of CDLs, it is your responsibility to know the processes for CDL renewal, but you can do so by preparing ahead of time. Before you take the time to request a DMV CDL renewal, it is best to review your state DMV’s requirements. It is inopportune to visit the DMV for your CDL renewal unprepared and risk having your CDL expire because you didn’t take the time to check which paperwork you needed to bring with you. You can make the renewal for CDL process quick and easy if you follow the proper procedures.

Required Documentation to Renew CDL Licenses for Seniors

If your CDL is expiring soon, federal standards require all CDL drivers license renewal applicants to self-certify with the State’s Driver License Agency (SDLA) in one of four categories: interstate- non-excepted, interstate excepted, intrastate non-excepted and intrastate excepted. Senior drivers certifying in non-excepted intrastate commerce or non-excepted interstate commerce must provide valid medical exam documentation, which includes the Medical Exam Certificate (ME Certificate). Your ME Certificate must be legible, authentic and unexpired, and this information needs to be on file with your state’s DMV before CDL renewal. Failing to present valid medical documentation or failing to keep your ME Certificate current for your DMV CDL renewal will result in the denial of a commercial license renewal request.

Tests Required for Senior CDL Renewal

Federal law requires a CDL drivers license renewal with endorsement “H” (Hazardous Materials or HAZMAT, any size) to complete a security threat assessment by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). A senior driver must also pass the “H” endorsement test to retain his or her CDL, but only within the two years preceding a license transfer if he or she is transferring a CDL from one state to another.

About Database Checks for Senior CDL Renewals

When a senior driver attempts a DMV CDL renewal, the state must perform a check of its database, and also the databases of the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) and National Driver Register (NDR). The state must notify the CDLIS of a senior driver’s issuance, renewal, transfer or upgrade of a CDL license within 10 calendar days, beginning on the date of the CDL license issuance or renewal. This check is crucial when approving a commercial drivers license renewal, because it ensures that the senior driver has no disqualifications in that state, or any other. This CDL license renewal step also double-checks that a senior driver does not already possess a commercial license from more than one state, which is illegal.

If a CDL renewal check by the state does, in fact, conclude that a senior driver possesses a license from another state, then the CDL holder must surrender his or her driver’s license issued by that state before issuing or transferring the license to a new state. Each state must accept the out-of-state driving record of a senior’s CDL transfer application and include this record as part of the new state’s file.