New Jersey follows the same basic process for licensing of commercial drivers. The Motor Vehicle Commission administers the CDL licensing and testing program. Applicants must first go to a local New Jersey MVC and apply for a permit. To get a full New Jersey CDL license, an applicant must also submit fingerprints for a background check, pass a medical exam and pass both CDL knowledge and skills/driving tests.
Access the New Jersey CDL manual. You can read this manual online at State.nj.us/mvc/pdf/Commercial/CDL_Manual_english.pdf, visit a local MVC office or call 609-292-6500.
Study the CDL manual, including the general portions plus any endorsement portions. A CDL endorsement — hazardous materials and school buses are two of them — is a special designation on a commercial driver’s license to drive a certain type of vehicle or haul certain cargo. If you are not sure about your job prospects, then what you can do is study for all endorsements and take them all at once. You can then keep your options open in terms of future driving job prospects.
You may also wish to supplement your study of the New Jersey manual with other resources. If you use a search engine online, you can find other CDL study materials by searching for “CDL practice test” and “CDL study guide.” Several websites offer free or low-cost resources for CDL training and study.
Go to a local MVC and apply for a permit. You will also need to submit fingerprints and take a medical exam to get your CDL license. Complete all the paperwork and then take your CDL knowledge test when you are ready.
Find a way to participate in New Jersey CDL training. For example, many prospective truck drivers take a CDL truck driver training course these days. Organizations like the Professional Truck Driver Institute certify CDL programs throughout the country. You can access a list at Ptdi.org/schools/schools.aspx.
Other options include school bus training or passenger-bus driver training programs. Contact private companies or your local New Jersey school district to find CDL training opportunities for these jobs.
Schedule your CDL skills test at the local New Jersey MVC. If you have to take this test, you must bring your own vehicle. The normal process is to borrow one from a friend or family member, use a rental agency or get a vehicle from a training school you attended or an employer.
Receive your New Jersey CDL license from the MVC. You can then operate commercial vehicles on the roads of New Jersey and interstate if you are at least 21 years of age.
Note: Haulers of hazardous materials must undergo a background check before getting the HAZMAT endorsement. If you are getting this endorsement, you can start the application process at Hazprints.com.
New Jersey CDL Manual
Certified Programs for Commercial Drivers