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How to Transfer a CDL from State to State

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If you have your commercial driver's license (CDL) and you plan on making a permanent move to another state within the United States, you will need to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your new state to transfer your CDL or to apply for an additional CDL. To transfer your CDL, you will need to provide proof of your new address, pass all required tests and pay any fees required for transfer. When transferring your CDL from one state to the next, you'll surrender your old CDL upon receiving a new CDL from the state of residence.

Search online for the location, address and hours of your new state's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.

Take your valid, non-expired CDL from your previous state to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your new state and apply to transfer your CDL to the new state if this is a permanent move. If you want to add the new state as an additional CDL, you'll apply for a new CDL from the state DMV office instead.

Provide proof of residency in the new state where you will be applying to transfer your CDL. Acceptable items constituting proof of residency for the DMV vary from state to state, but most states accept a copy of a lease agreement for local property in your name or a utility bill in your name.

Provide a medical exam certificate or letter from a physician stating that you are medically fit to hold a CDL and drive a commercial vehicle. In most states this letter must be less than one year old.

Complete and pass all required exams at the DMV. CDL exams will include an eye exam, possibly a written road sign and regulation exam and a driving exam, depending on the state's CDL application process.

Provide fingerprints and a background check if you are applying for a HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL.

Pay all CDL transfer and testing fees to the DMV and surrender your old CDL in order to receive your new one.

Tip

You are able to hold a valid CDL in more than one state at a time, but if you do, you'll have to pass all of the tests and pay all of the fees associated with holding the CDL for each state where you apply for one. If you are adding the CDL as an additional license, you will want to apply for a new CDL instead of applying to transfer your CDL. In cases where you are applying for a new CDL rather than transferring your CDL to the new state, you will not be asked to surrender your old CDL.

Warning

Most states have a standard requirement for the number of days you are allowed before you must apply to transfer a CDL to one issued by your new state or apply for a new CDL license in addition to your old one. It is usually between 30-60 days, but varies from state to state, so check the local DMV for your specific requirements.

About the Author

Since 1999 Kristina Blasen has written for several newspapers in southwest Florida including the "North Port Sun," the "Charlotte Sun," the "Arcadian," the "Englewood Sun," the "Venice Gondolier Sun" and the "Punta Gorda Herald." She has a Master of Education degree and a Ph.D in adult education from the University of Minnesota.

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