2023 Connecticut CDL Requirements Guide

The basic Connecticut CDL requirements include a valid Connecticut Class D license, clean criminal record, two forms of identification, social security card, W-2 form, or document proving legal presence for non-US born applicants, and proof of residence in Connecticut.
Written by Talullah Blanco
You must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid Connecticut Class D driver’s license, have a clean driving record, and felony-free criminal record, to apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Connecticut. 
If you want to operate a bus, semi-truck, or other commercial motor vehicles in
, you must have a commercial driver’s license for these large vehicles with specific driving challenges. While the application process to get a Connecticut CDL can be complicated, the basic requirements are simple and include age minimums of 18 and 21, proof of identity and state residency, and a clean federal and state criminal background check for Public Service Endorsement applicants.
In this guide,
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What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Connecticut? 

Obtaining a CDL in Connecticut is no simple task. The minimum requirements for any Connecticut CDL include several identification documents, proof of state residence, a clean bill of health, a commercial driver’s permit (CDP), and a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) you can take to your CDL skills test. 
However, the exact requirements depend on the class of CDL you’re applying for and any endorsements you’ll need to operate a specific vehicle. 

Connecticut CDL classes

There are three types of CDLs in Connecticut, each allowing you to operate different levels of commercial vehicles. Beginning from most to least extensive they are: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Let’s break down what vehicles each CDL class allows you to operate:
  • Class A: A combination vehicle whose Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) exceeds 26,001 pounds or more and it must tow a unit weighing more than 10,000 pounds
  • Class B: A single vehicle with a GVWR over 26,001 pounds but tows a unit less than 10,000 pounds
  • Class C: Commercial vehicles weighing less than 26,001 pounds or towing a unit less than 10,000 pounds, designed to transport 10 or more passengers or students under 21 years old to and from school, or moves hazardous materials that require placards 
Livestock carriers, tractor-trailers, truck and trailer combinations, and tanker vehicles are just a few examples of vehicles that require a Class A CDL to drive. You’ll need a Class B CDL for a large bus (think city and tour buses), box trucks, dump trucks with trailers, and regular trucks. For large passenger vans, school buses or HAZMAT vehicles, you’ll have to carry a Class C CDL and a specific endorsement for transporting passengers and hazardous materials. 


For Connecticut CDLs there are eight types of endorsements that allow drivers to operate specific vehicles:
  • T (Double / Triple): for towing more than one unit
  • P (Passenger / Transportation): for passenger transportation
  • N (Liquid Bulk / Tank Cargo): for transportation of liquid, gasoline, or hazardous materials in a tank vehicle
  • H (Hazardous Material): for transporting hazardous materials
  • S (School Bus): for driving a school bus
  • V (Student Transportation Vehicle): for vehicles used to transport students to and from school
  • A (Activity Vehicle): for student transport vehicles used other than go to and from school
  • F (Taxi, Livery, Service Bus, or Motor Coach): any for-hire vehicles used to transport people, a minibus with a baggage compartment.
Some CDL endorsements, like the H and S, require you to take additional tests and might even have additional requirements.

Minimum age requirement

The minimum age requirements for a Connecticut CDL depend on where you’re driving and what you're transporting. If you intend to only operate the commercial vehicle within the state, the minimum age requirement is 18 years. However, you must be 21 years or older to drive cross state lines (interstate trips) or to transport hazardous materials. 

Medical requirements

Connecticut requires anyone applying for a CDL to have a
medical certificate
that confirms you’re in good health. Medical requirements include:
  • Blood pressure of 160/100 or better
  • Blood sugar under 200 controlled without insulin injections
  • At least 20/40 vision 
  • Ability to recognize traffic signal colors
  • Ability to hear a forced whisper from at least 5 feet away with or without a hearing aid
  • No medical history or clinical diagnosis of epilepsy
  • No mental, nervous, organic, functional disease or psychiatric disorder that could interfere with ability to operate a commercial vehicle
  • Does not use Schedule 1 drugs, amphetamines, narcotics, or any habit-forming drugs
You’ll need to receive a physical exam from an approved medical examiner to get a qualifying medical certificate. Use the
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
to find a doctor near you. 

ELDT requirements 

You’ll have to complete an Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) from a registered provider in Connecticut if you are: 
  • Applying for a Class A or Class B for the first time
  • Upgrading your CDL from a lower to higher classification (i.e. Class C to B or B to A)
  • Need P, S, and H endorsements
As of February 2022, regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require all new CDL applicants to complete a training from a provider in
FMCSA’s registry
before taking the skills test and endorsement knowledge tests. 
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How to apply for a CDL in Connecticut

Before you apply for a Connecticut CDL you must have a valid
Connecticut driver’s license
as well as a
clean driving record
and felony-free criminal record
Some traffic violations could delay your CDL eligibility and some more serious traffic violations like excessive speeding, reckless driving, erratic lane changing, or driving without a valid license will disqualify you altogether. If you have committed a felony, received a DUI charge, left the scene of an accident involving a CMV, or violated out of service orders or railroad crossing regulations you won’t be able to get a CDL in Connecticut. 
If both your license and records are clear, you can begin the application process. You’ll need to apply for a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can get a CDL. Here’s what you’ll need to do for that:
  • Proof of US citizenship or legal residency
  • Proof of Connecticut residency
  • Two forms of proof of identification
  • A Social Security Number (SSN) or most recent W-2 form
  • Documents proving change of name, if necessary
  • Federal and state criminal background check for Public Service Endorsement applicants
  • Request and complete a
    CDL application
  • Self certify your driving type via the
    DMV online portal
  • Upload a medical examiner’s certificate to Connecticut’s Online Medical Certification System
Before you
schedule your knowledge test appointment online
, have the CDL application, self-certification, and medical certificate submitted to the corresponding portals. You’ll need to bring the documents bulleted above and a $16 exam fee, an additional $5 per endorsement, and $20 permit fee to your DMV appointment to take one or more of these knowledge tests:
  • General Knowledge
  • Vehicle Inspection
  • Passenger Transport (only for bus driver applicants)
  • Combination (if you want to drive combination vehicles)
  • Air Brake (if applicable) 
  • Endorsements (if applicable) 
These written knowledge tests are comprised of multiple choice and matching questions. You’ll need to answer 80% correctly to pass and receive your CLP. If you fail, you’ll have to make another appointment and pay all the exam fees again.
You’ll need to have your CLP for at least 14 days before you can take a skills exam for your CDL. Take that time to practice your driving skills on public roads with a CDL holder. The CLP is valid for one year before it expires and after that you’ll have to repeat the entire process over again to get a new one.
Now you can begin working towards getting your CDL. First you’ll need to complete the ELDT with a registered provider and fill out the
Request for a CDL Exam from a Private Citizen (R-405)
form and email it to the
to schedule your skills test. 
You’ll need to be accompanied by a valid CDL holder and bring the CMV you intend to use for the test along with all the necessary identification documents used to get your CLP, the actual CLP, and a validated gold copy of your CDL application form to the skills test. Here’s what your road test will include:
If you pass the skills test, there’s an additional $30 application fee
Finally, it’s time for your driving test. Be prepared to bring your CMV to the test and remember that it must pass a vehicle inspection for safety before you can use it for your skills test. In addition to the pre-trip inspection, your road test will include: 
  • Left and right turns
  • Intersections
  • Regular traffic checks and following distance
  • Lane changes
  • Entering and exiting expressway or rural limited access highways
  • Stopping and starting the vehicle
  • Curves
  • Railroad crossing
  • Bridge or overpass clearances
  • Signs
  • Student discharge (school bus)
  • General driving behaviors
  • Clutch usage and gear usage (for manual transmissions)
  • Brake usage
  • Lane usage
  • Merge
  • Steering
  • Use of turn signals
Once you’ve passed your skills test, you’ll pay a $30 application fee and then congratulations are in order because you’ve got your Connecticut CDL!

How long is a CDL valid in Connecticut? 

Your Connecticut CDL is valid for four years and can be renewed for a $70 fee or $118 fee if you have a public passenger restriction or endorsement. If your CDL expires, it’ll cost you $25 to reinstate it on top of the renewal fee.

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