Connecticut CDL Requirements
Connecticut is one of the oldest states in the US, one of the original 13 colonies that became the 13 states. It's the southernmost state in the area known as New England. Rhode Island is to the east, Massachusetts to the north. The state of New York is on its west side. Hartford is the state's capital but it's not the most populous urban center. That honor goes to Bridgeport. Along with New Jersey and New York, it's also considered part of the "Tri-State Area". It has a history steeped in maritime tradition even though it doesn't have an ocean front; the coastline is actually a river estuary. The climate is continental, hot in the summer and cold in the winter with average rainfall throughout the year that doesn't change a great deal. Large industrial urban centers make up the south whereas small, rural villages make up the state's northern area. The topography is a mix of lowlands in the coastal area and central area, and highlands in the west and east.
Which CDL Licenses are Available in Connecticut?
Those applying for CDL licenses in Connecticut to drive such commercial vehicles must have a CDL license. You will be expected to complete a series of tests for each category.
The Class A license type applies to drivers of vehicles weighing 26,001lbs or above. With this type of license, you may pull trailers weighing 10,000lbs or above
The Class B license type applies to drivers of vehicles weighing 26,001lbs or above. Trailer weight should not exceed 10,000lbs
The Class C license applies to drivers of vehicles under 26,001lbs. They are also for drivers of vehicles for 16 occupants or more. Those who wish to drive vehicles suitable for transporting hazardous materials need this type of license
The Class D license is the standard driver's license. However, those who wish to drive vehicles in the above three classes require this type for a minimum of two years prior to the application. Please see below for further details.
Connecticut may require further endorsements for driving other types of vehicle.
CDL Eligibility in Connecticut
In line with Federal government and industry advice, the state government in Connecticut holds the regulations as subject to regular review. Regardless of the class stated above, all applicants will be expected to pass a series of tests before a license is granted. This will include a driving test in the chosen vehicle class.
License and Permits
- All applicants need to have held a standard driver's license for two years or more in order to be eligible for a CDL license in Connecticut
- Health checks including a vision exam are required as part of the licensing process
- CDL education courses are not mandatory, but as the testing process is long and difficult, this is strongly advised
- There is a written and skills exam which includes a general knowledge section
- You must be 18 years old or above with a clean driver's license
- Applicants younger than 21 can only drive within the state lines. Those above 21 may drive their vehicle out of state. This includes the transportation of materials
Proof of Residence of Connecticut
- All applicants are required to present valid and legal ID proving your Connecticut residence
- Applicants will require a valid and current social security number
CDL Requirements for Connecticut Residents
- A valid driver's license issued by the state of Connecticut
- Presentation of a valid SSN Card
- Proof of insurance permitting the applicant to drive
- Applicants may experience various record checks, a separate endorsement test. TSA screening will be additional requirement for transporting hazardous materials
Connecticut CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers
Connecticut holds its own set of rules for eligible out-of-state criteria but generally follows the same kind of rules that other states request. You may require further documentation but you can expect officials ask that you supply the following:
- Any present (in date) out of state CDL license you may possess including the medical certificate. If your right to a CDL is suspended elsewhere, Connecticut will not grant a license
- You will need to prove your US citizenship. A birth certificate from your state of birth or passport is usually sufficient. Originals are required in all cases
- You will require proof that you now live in Connecticut
- Your Social Security card or W-2
Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for Connecticut CDL
If you're a foreign national and not a US citizen, further documentation and criteria are required to earn a CDL in Connecticut. In order to obtain CDL certification, you will need to be a Permanent Resident. The following will need to be presented and validated before you may be legally able to apply for a CDL:
- Your valid Permanent Resident Card or other documentation declaring your right to remain in the US
- A legal form of identification. Please check the list of links at the end of this page for further details on what is and is not relevant
- Proof of residence in Connecticut
- Your international driver's license
- Any documentation you have related to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or EAC (Employment Authorization Card)
Please note that testing requirements in Connecticut are waived for military personnel transferring from Guam. Puerto Rico driver's license applications are treated in the same way as out of state applicants.
Do I Need a CDL?
In line with many other states, Connecticut offers a fast track system for the military. Called the ‘Troops to Trucks' program, it permits certain military personnel to waive the driver's test portion of the CDL application. It applies to those currently serving and close to discharge and to personnel discharged within 90 days of their application. You will still be required to pass the written test. You will also be expected to have a license free from motor offences relating to DUI, drugs, speeding, leaving the scene of an accident or any felony involving a motor vehicle. Those who have driven heavy military vehicles and have a two-year period of safe record may also be eligible for a waiver.
The following groups may also be subject to waiver or exemption under certain circumstances:
- Any drivers eligible to drive small-volume hazmat vehicles
- Any person instructed during emergency situations to drive a vehicle under the instruction of a peace officer
- Motorhome drivers
- Operators and drivers of farm vehicles in a 150-mile radius of the farm on which they work
- Plow operators for the removal of snow during an emergency clearing
- Those with experience to drive some types of military vehicle, and firefighting vehicles
Medical and Physical CDL Requirements
- All applicants for a CDL will be required to pass a medical examination. The Connecticut page at DOT has a link to all nationally-authorized medical examiners
- Assuming the candidate passes the test, you will receive a Medical Examiner's Certificate and Medical Examination Report Form
- These should be forwarded to the DMV. You may submit by email (the preferred method) or fax
- Once cleared, the applicant will receive a Federal Medical Card
- Applicants who are not successful in the medical exam can apply for a CDL restriction. Please see below
- Your employer will often pay the medical examination cost and should be your first avenue of query
Background Check for CDL Applicants
Most applicants will be subject to a TSA screening. There may be deeper checks for those seeking a license to drive vehicles capable of transporting toxic and hazardous materials. You will be required to submit for a fingerprint check and a check of your eligibility for US residence (citizenship or Permanent Resident).
CDL Testing in Connecticut
All CDL applicants in the state of Connecticut will be required to successfully complete both a knowledge test and a skills exam as set down by Federal regulations.
CDL Knowledge Test
All applicants should first pass the knowledge test before entering for the Road Skills Test. There are 50 general knowledge questions with 20 separate Endorsement questions and then a separate Air Break Knowledge Test of 25 questions.
CDL Road Skills Tests
You will be permitted on the road for this test only when you've completed all relevant sections of the CDL Knowledge Test. Each state is different in how it permits driver's to take this test, either through a licensed third party examiner or at a dedicated CDL test center.
- Before the test takes place, you must submit the vehicle for a pre-trip inspection
- They will examine your ability to control the vehicle and make adjustments to mirrors, seat and other internal components
- Only then will the actual road test commence. You will be judged on your ability to cope with traffic conditions
Connecticut CDL Office Locations
Connecticut has a large number of offices. Only a limited number provide licensing services.
- Bridgeport Office
95 Sylvan Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06606
- Danbury Office
2 Lee Mac Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
- Hamden Office
1985 State Street
Hamden, CT 06517
- Norwalk Office
540 Main Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851
- Old Saybrook Office
7 Custom Drive
Old Saybrook, CT
- Waterbury Office
2210 Thomaston Avenue
Waterbury, CT 06704
- Wethersfield Office (The Headquarters)
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161
- Willimantic Office
1557 West Main Street
Willimantic, CT 06226
The DMV website for Connecticut has further information including details on other offices at http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=808&q=244586
Connecticut CDL Endorsements
The centers in Connecticut mentioned above are able to license candidates for the following vehicle types::
- Double and Triple Trailer licensing (T)
- Passenger/Transport (P)
- Liquid bulk/Tanker cargo (N)
- Hazardous materials (H) and Hazmat & Tank combo (X)
- School Buses (S)
- Student Transportation Vehicles different from a bus (V)
- Activity vehicles for school-sponsored events but not to and from school (A)
- Taxi, motor bus, motor coach, livery vehicle (F)
Holders of CDL license holders may find that penalties are more stringent and greater than for similar infractions in any other type of vehicle. Serious offenses could lead to suspension or revocation of license.
Connecticut CDL Disqualifications
Connecticut regularly reviews its list of regulations and penalties for CDL drivers. The following list of infractions could lead to suspension of your license or temporary or permanent revocation.
- DUI (alcohol) under Connecticut law. Blood alcohol concentration should be no greater than 0.04%
- DUI (other controlled substances) under Connecticut law
- Refusal of an alcohol test when an officer of the law has instructed you to do so
- Failing to report an accident and leaving the scene
- Using the vehicle for any felony including production or distribution of any controlled substance
- Driving a licensed vehicle knowing your license is suspended or revoked
- Causing a fatality during operation of the CMV
A one-year disqualification applies to a first violation except for hazmat where a three-year disqualification applies. Any second violation results in a life-long disqualification but some may be eligible to appeal after ten years.
The following list of traffic violations will result in a 60-day period of disqualification following a second offense. A third offence within a three-year period will result in a 120-day suspension:
- Excess speed or reckless driving determined under Connecticut law
- Improper lane changes
- Following vehicles too closely
- Any other violation of Connecticut traffic law leading to a fatal accident
- Driving a CMV having not qualified through the CDL process
- Driving a CMV without the necessary endorsement and authorization
Railroad junctions in Connecticut mean there are specific laws required of drivers and relevant penalties. A first violation is punishable with a 60-day disqualification. A second merits a 120-day disqualification while a third leads to a minimum one-year disqualification.
- Failing to slow, ensuring tracks are clear before proceeding
- Failing to stop whenever they are required to do so
- Driving onto or across the tracks when there is not sufficient space for the vehicle
Connecticut CDL Salary, Employment, and Prospects
Demand for driving jobs - both light and heavy vehicles - is expected to grow some 5% according to BLS data released in 2017. This is low to moderate, slightly below the national average of all jobs. Reasons for this apparent slowdown vary based on job demand, a slow recovery from the economic difficulties of the last decade and technology improvements. Independent and small-scale haulage is replacing the traditional model and the advent of GPS means greater efficiency and a streamlined haulage service.
BLS revealed that the average salary in 2017 for heavy truck drivers was $41,340; the average hourly pay was $19.87. Connecticut's average pay rates were higher than the national average. The median salary was $47,420. The equivalent hourly wages came in at $22.34 (median) and $22.80 (mean calculation). Those on the lowest 10% salary grading reported $26,920 whereas the highest 10% grade were paid $63,140 or more.
The salary for light truck job roles is lower than heavy trucks. According to 2017 data, the mean salary was $34,790 and the hourly pay rate $16.73. As with heavy trucks, pay in Connecticut is slightly higher than the average. Light truck drivers here expect to earn an average $37,150. Equivalent hourly pay rates are $16.20 (median) and $17.86 (the mean average). There is a projected 4% growth between now and 2024, calculated at half the average across the country.
Bus driver salary across the USA at present is $31,920 with a comparable hourly pay of $14.96. As with the two previous classes, drivers of passenger vehicles in Connecticut enjoy higher than average salary. The average salary in the state is $42,940. Hourly rate averages are $19.64 (median) and $20.64 (mean). Job demand for passengers vehicles will grow 6% up to 2024. This is the national aggregated average for all jobs.
BLS Source: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ct.htm
Resources for Connecticut CDL Requirements
Learn more about Connecticut trucking schools.
Truck Driver Salary in Connecticut
|Location||25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Annual Salary|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||$37,840||$48,160||$43,060|
|New Haven, CT||$35,390||$52,160||$42,670|
|Norwich-New London, CT-RI||$33,230||$47,740||$39,730|
Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)