New Jersey CDL Requirements

New Jersey is one of the smallest states in the US (4th smallest) but has the 11th highest population of any state, making it the most densely populated state in the US. Despite being in the northwestern Atlantic area, it is not considered part of New England even though it's one of the original 13 states that were all considered New England. It's shape and form is that of a peninsula whose majority border to the north and east is New York, with the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Both the river and the state of Delaware are to the west, with Pennsylvania making up the majority of the western border. Despite its dense population and small size, New Jersey is home to some identifiable natural landscapes in the form of pine and oak woodland in the center, wooded uplands in the north and coastal plains towards the south.

Which CDL Licenses are Available in New Jersey?

Criteria for who can drive which type of vehicle is Federally mandated, but how to organize permissions and classification of license type is decided at the state level:

Class A CDL

Drivers wishing to operate the largest transportation vehicles (anything over 26,000lbs) to tow the heaviest trailers (weighing over 10,000lb) require this class

Class B CDL

Drivers wishing to operate the largest transportation vehicles (anything over 26,000lbs) to tow lighter trailers (weighing 10,000lb or under) require this class

Class C CDL

Drivers wishing to operate smaller transportation vehicles (26,000lbs or under), passenger vehicles for 16 persons or more, or hazmat transportation require this class

Class D

All drivers require a standard driver's license before they are permitted to apply for a CDL. This is the Class D license, covering non-commercial vehicles such as cars. Unlike other states, this excludes motorcycles. A separate license is required

The applicant must hold a Class D license in good standing for a period of two years. This means no pending or existing convictions in this time. You will be expected to undergo both a TSA check and medical checks and testing.

CDL Eligibility in New Jersey

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act Federal law imposes standards for commercial licensing across the country. There are some instances where states are permitted autonomy on issues. Needs of industry, safety and local conditions are a matter of state decision so long as they do not break Federal regulations.

License and Permits

  • In New Jersey, at the time of application, all CDL applicants must hold a Class D license. Motoring convictions on any license in the two years prior to your application will result in refusal
  • Medical testing is mandatory for all CDL applicants. The authorized person will check your medical records for serious conditions that could inhibit your driving and carry out tests such as a vision exam
  • Across the country, organizations offer training for applicants to learn to drive a CMV ahead of CDL application. Although these driving courses are not obligatory, they are highly recommended for most applicants

Age Restrictions

  • Only applicants aged 18 or over are permitted to apply for a CDL (any class)
  • Only applicants aged 21 or over are permitted to apply for an interstate CDL (any class)
  • Only applicants aged 21 or over are permitted to apply for hazmat privileges

Proof of Residence of New Jersey

  • Valid ID with an up to date address is required of all applicants
  • A Social Security Number is required of all applicants

CDL Requirements for New Jersey Residents

  • The address on the ID and current driving license should be up to date. Any change of address should be registered within 30 days
  • Your Social Security Number is required to provide proof that you have a right to live and work in the US
  • Insurance is required; the applicant must provide proof
  • Regardless of class, all applicants require TSA screening

New Jersey CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers

There may be further checks for residents moving to New Jersey from other states:

  • Residents who hold licenses from other states should present it to New Jersey MVC. Where not more than two years out of date, you will require only an exchange
  • Your US citizenship must be proven
  • Any medical condition that could affect your driving safety should be declared to New Jersey MVC
  • If you presently hold exemption paperwork from your previous state of residence, this should be presented

Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for New Jersey CDL

  • Only non-citizens with legal Permanent Resident status may hold a CDL. Your Green Card will be required at application
  • Should the applicant have entered the US under a refugee program, paperwork should be provided in support of this
  • You will require your passport from the country of your birth. If you hold a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, this too will be required
  • If you still hold a valid and current driver's license from the country of your birth, you must present it with the CDL application. Permanent surrender may be requested in exchange for a CDL
  • You will not be permitted to apply for a hazmat endorsement. Only US citizens may hold this privilege

Do I Need a CDL?

Military personnel on the verge of retiring (within the next 90 days) or recently retired (no longer ago than one year), are eligible for a waiver scheme to fast track them into a career in commercial driving. This is informally called "Troops to Trucks" but is formally the Military Waiver Program for CDL Driver Testing. Successful applicants are permitted to bypass the driving skills test section of the examination process. However, you are required to complete the written test. You will require your military ID card, a Certificate of Driving Experience from your CO and a Certificate of Release.

Applicants with current or pending convictions for DUI (illegal drugs as well as alcohol), excess speed and leaving the scene of an accident may have their application rejected. Should you have previously had your license rejected, refused, canceled or revoked for any reason in the past, your CDL application will be refused.

Other driver categories and vehicle types do not need a CDL:

  • Hazmat vehicles designed for the carriage of small volume waste
  • Any person requested to operate any CMV during an emergency situation by any authorized peace officer
  • Any person requested to operate any clearing equipment during an emergency situation by any authorized person
  • Recreational vehicles and those authorized to drive them
  • Agricultural machinery operators working within a 150-mile radius of their workplace
  • Any person qualified and authorized to drive police vehicles, firefighting equipment and other public service vehicles

Medical and Physical CDL Requirements

  • Medical checks form part of the CDL process. This means an eye test and examination of medical records to ensure the driver is not a danger to other road users
  • Once complete, the applicant will receive two official documents: A Medical Examination Report Form and a Medical Examiner's Certificate. These must be passed to the CDL office
  • Specify whether you require intrastate or interstate driving. Age restrictions apply; see above for further details
  • The driver will then be issued with a Federal Medical Card authorizing their right to enter the testing process
  • If the applicant fails part of the medical process, he or she may be eligible for restrictions on their CDL
  • Employers are usually responsible for CDL application costs. You should direct any queries through a relevant contact at your place of work

Background Check for CDL Applicants

CDL applicants must be US citizens or foreign nationals with Permanent Resident status; TSA screening is required in all cases. Only citizens may apply for hazmat privileges. Any citizen who requires this must submit for fingerprint checking.

CDL Testing in New Jersey

Before the applicant is permitted to proceed to the testing process, he or she must complete all prior steps.

CDL Knowledge Test

This part of the exam must be complete before the prospective CMV driver is permitted to take the test to the road. It examines the applicant's driving theory and understanding of both state and Federal laws. There are 50 multiple choice questions with 20 further multiple choice questions per endorsement.

CDL Road Skills Tests

Once the candidate has answered a minimum number of correct answers, he or she will be permitted to apply for the Road Skills Test.

  • The examiner is required to ensure the vehicle's suitability, safety and eligibility for the test
  • The examiner will next require the applicant to show their understanding of CMV interior controls
  • Once these two steps are complete, the applicant will be required to drive under normal conditions, paying attention to regulations and laws of the road

New Jersey CDL Office Locations

The New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) operates CDL services from the following locations.

In Camden

  • MVC Agency/Driver Testing
    2600 Mount Ephraim Ave.
    Camden, NJ 08104
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency
    835 E. Clements Bridge Road
    Runnemede, NJ 08078
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency/Testing/Regional Service
    215 Crown Point Road
    Thorofare, NJ 08086
    (609) 292-6500

In Cherry Hill

  • MVC Inspection/Road Testing Center
    617 Hampton Road
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Registration & Title
    1 Executive Campus, Rt. 70 & Cuthbert Blvd.
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Inspection Center
    725 Tanyard Road
    Deptford, NJ 08096
    (609) 292-6500

In Clifton

  • MVC Agency
    450 Main Ave.
    Wallington, NJ 07057
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Inspection Center
    20 W. Century Road
    Paramus, NJ 07652
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency
    183 South 18th St. Suite B
    East Orange, NJ 07018
    (609) 292-6500

In Elizabeth

  • MVC Agency
    1347 Kennedy Boulevard & Route 440
    Bayonne, NJ 07002
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency
    34 Center St.
    Springfield, NJ 07081
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Inspection Center
    410 South Ave. E.
    Westfield, NJ 07090
    (609) 292-6500

In Jersey City

  • MVC Agency/Driver Testing Center
    438 Summit Ave.
    Jersey City, NJ 07307
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency/Driver Testing Center
    8901 Park Plaza, 90th & Bergenline Avenue
    North Bergen, NJ 07047
    (609) 292-6500

In Newark

  • MVC Agency/Inspection/Test Center
    228 Frelinghuysen Ave.
    Newark, NJ 07114
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Inspection Center
    County Avenue & Secaucus Road
    Secaucus, NJ 07094
    (609) 292-6500

In Paterson

  • MVC Agency, Driver Testing
    125 Broadway Suite 201
    Paterson, NJ 07505
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency/Inspection/Test Center
    481 Route 46 W.
    Wayne, NJ 07470
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency/Inspection/Test Center
    8 Mill St.
    Lodi, NJ 07644
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency
    350 Ramapo Valley Road Suite 24
    Oakland, NJ 07436
    (609) 292-6500

In Plainfield

  • MVC Inspection Center
    1600 S. Second St.
    Plainfield, NJ 07063
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Inspection/Road Testing Center
    33 Kilmer Road
    Edison, NJ 08817
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency/Driver Testing
    45 Kilmer Road
    Edison, NJ 08817
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency/Inspection/Test Center
    1140 Woodbridge Road & East Hazelwood Avenue
    Rahway, NJ 07065
    (609) 292-6500

In Toms River

  • MVC Road Testing Center
    Route 530 & Mule Road
    Berkeley Township, NJ 08721
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency/Driver Testing Center
    1861 Hooper Ave.
    Toms River, NJ 08753
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Inspection Center
    1145 Route 70
    Lakewood, NJ 08701
    (888) 486-3339
  • MVC Agency
    1195 Route 70 Leisure Center, Store 9
    Lakewood, NJ 08701
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Inspection Center
    220 Recovery Road
    Manahawkin, NJ 08050
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency
    712 E. Bay Ave. Suite 7
    Manahawkin, NJ 08050
    (609) 292-6500

In Trenton

  • MVC Agency/Testing/Regional Center
    120 S. Stockton & Front Street
    Trenton, NJ 08611
    (609) 292-6500
  • Bakers Basin MVC Agency & Inspection
    3200 Brunswick Pike, Route 1 North
    Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency/Driver Testing Center
    500-555 High St.
    Mount Holly, NJ 08060
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Inspection Center
    1875 Route 38
    Southampton, NJ 08088
    (609) 292-6500
  • MVC Agency
    2236 Route 130 N.
    Dayton, NJ 08810
    (609) 292-6500

New Jersey CDL Endorsements

The following CDL endorsements are available in New Jersey:

  • Hazardous material vehicle (H)
  • Tank vehicle (N)
  • Passenger transport (P)
  • School bus (S)
  • Double/triple (T)

New Jersey CDL Disqualifications

Drivers of commercial vehicles are expected to adhere to a better quality and standard of driving. Than non-CDL holders. Due to these higher expectations, larger penalties will be imposed for driving convictions. Below is a list of serious offenses where a driving suspension of 12 months will apply. Any second conviction will lead to the imposition of a life suspension of CDL privileges. Should the following offences take place while driving a hazmat vehicle, a 3-10 year suspension is imposed. Use of a CMV for the transportation, distribution or sale of controled substances is a life suspension. Courts in New Jersey may impose further, deeper penalties.

  • A breath or blood test for alcohol that records.04% or above while driving a CDL class vehicle
  • A breath or blood test for alcohol that records.08% or above while driving a non-CDL class vehicle
  • Refusal to supply a breath or blood sample for alcohol testing
  • Failing to report any accident of which the CDL holder is a cause
  • Failing to stop at any accident of which the CDL holder is involved
  • Causing a fatality at an accident through dangerous or negligent driving
  • Using your commercial vehicle for any non-vehicle related crime
  • Driving any CMV while CDL privileges are revoked, canceled or suspended for any reason

Blood or breath alcohol testing that produces a result below .04% incurs a 24-hour long suspension with no further penalties.

Lesser offences with smaller penalties are listed below. A 60-day suspension applies to any second offense less than three years after the first (no penalty for a first offense). A 120-day suspension applies to third offenses within the same three-year period:

  • Excess speed recorded at greater than 15mph above the road's designated legal limit
  • Any instance of dangerous or erratic driving
  • Any instance of erratic maneuvering such as improper or risky lane changing
  • Where observed driving too close to vehicles ahead
  • Any other action or maneuvering not listed here that could be considered dangerous driving
  • Not having CDL privileges while operation a CMV
  • Not having sufficient CDL privileges while operation a CMV (driving a Class A vehicle while holding only a Class B license)
  • Not having sufficient or correct endorsements while operation a CMV
  • Driving a CMV without your CDL documents

Faults with a CMV that make the vehicle potentially dangerous to drive are subject to an Out of Service (OOS) order. Once an OOS is imposed, no driver is permitted to operate the vehicle. Only when the repairs and checks complete and the order lifted will it be permitted for service once more. Any OOS violation is a 90-day disqualification. If the driver breaks a second OOS, they will incur a ten-year disqualification. If the OOS is applied to a hazmat vehicle, a 3-10 year ban is applied.

Railroads have specific detailed laws applying with separate penalties for infractions. Each first offense from the list below incurs a 60-day suspension. Should the driver be convicted of a second offense, he or she will be subject to a 120-day suspension. A year-long ban applies to any third railroad offense:

  • At junctions where drivers are not always required to stop, the failure to slow sufficiently to ensure tracks are clear before moving through it
  • At junctions where drivers are not always required to stop, the failure to stop when the tracks ahead or not clear
  • At junctions where drivers are always required to stop, the failure to stop - even when the tracks are clear
  • Failing to stop at any junction where either the road or tracks ahead are not clear to pass through completely without stopping
  • The failure to obey signaling technology or traffic officer's instruction when at a junction
  • Where lack of undercarriage clearance means the vehicle cannot pass all the way through a junction

New Jersey CDL Salary, Employment, and Prospects

The Federal government body called BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) is responsible for monitoring data relating to employment such as growth industries, jobs that are dropping in demand and skills shortage areas. Every couple of years, they release new data covering many of these aspects. Most recently, data released in May 2017 suggests that commercial driving will grow 5% between 2014 and 2024. The national average is 7%; commercial driving can expect slower than normal growth.

Heavy Trucks

Heavy truck drivers can expect long hours and long distance, often spending long periods away from home. This is why this type of job has higher pay than others requiring CDL. In May 2017, the national average pay rates were $41,340 for employees paid a salary and $19.87 for employees paid per hour. The average earnings for those in the lowest 10% pay grade was $26,920 while the average for those earning the highest 10% was $63,140. New Jersey pay was considerably higher than the national average at $47,030 as a salary with equivalent hourly pay at $22.52 (median) and $23.07 (mean).

Light Trucks

Light truck drivers form the main network of local and short distance delivery, operating and working within a small radius. Pay is slightly lower with hours being more closely aligned with normal office hours. In 2017, BLS calculated a 4% growth between 2014 and 2024 for light truck roles. This is nearly half the national average. The explanation for the slow progress is likely the arrival of GPS and efficiency drives in such areas as route planning meaning fewer drivers. The national average pay rates are $34,790 for salaried employees and $16.73 for the hourly paid employees. In New Jersey, pay is slightly higher than the national averages at $37,100 for salaried employees and $16.01 (median) and $17.84 (mean).

Passenger Vehicles

Bus drivers and operators of other public transport vehicles require a Class C CMV license. Employees in this area can expect stable employment due to the ongoing need for publicly available transport infrastructure. This type of role will grow 6% nationally during the decade 2014 to 2024. Public transport drivers can expect a national average salary of $31,920 and average hourly pay of $14.96. In New Jersey, bus and public transport drivers earn slightly higher than average with a salary average of $35,290 and $16.40 (median hourly) and $16.96 (mean hourly) averages.

BLS Source:

Resources for New Jersey CDL Requirements

Learn more about New Jersey trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in New Jersey

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
New Jersey $35,940 $54,420 $43,860
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ $32,590 $47,370 $38,180
Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division $36,600 $50,080 $43,170
Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division $39,170 $58,380 $47,060
Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division $34,570 $53,270 $42,310
Ocean City, NJ $34,230 $47,690 $38,780
Trenton-Ewing, NJ $37,260 $51,010 $43,980
Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, NJ $32,140 $50,300 $40,220

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (