How to Replace a Commercial Drivers License
A CDL replacement is available to qualified drivers who have a valid, unexpired commercial driver’s license. When that license is misplaced, stolen, damaged or needs an update such as legal name or address, drivers must replace CDL license as soon as possible. Essentially, a duplicate license carries all the same information as the original regarding endorsements etc. If the driver wishes to make a change to these details or renew their license because it is about to expire, they need to complete a different process.
You cannot operate a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL on your person. In fact, this is a punishable offense that carries both fines and penalties. Apply for a duplicate CDL as soon as possible to avoid legal repercussions. Additionally, a lost CDL license will hold you back from completing necessary duties for your life and career because you will not be able to get behind the wheel. A DMV CDL replacement is not difficult to obtain, and it will protect you from legal and financial inconveniences in the future.
When do you need to get a duplicate CDL license?
For most individuals, a CDL replacement is needed because their current commercial driver’s license has been rendered unusable. A lost CDL drivers license should be replaced as soon as possible, even if the driver feels that it may be found in the future. In most states, if the license has been stolen, it is optional to report the incident to the police. However, this may vary from state to state, and a police report may actually be required.
It is essential for the information on the license to be accurate, up-to-date and easy-to-read. In general, a damaged license should be replaced. This is especially necessary if the identification information has been obscured. Whether the license has been burnt, creased, torn or otherwise marked, a duplicate CDL license is needed. Additionally, the legal name and current address need to be accurate. Obtain a CDL replacement if this vital information needs to be updated.
Documents Required to Replace a CDL
Each state has different requirements regarding required documentation. However, you can expect to provide proof of identity, citizenship and residence in most situations in order to receive a DMV CDL replacement. While specific documents may vary in these categories, most states will accept only original documents. No photocopies or scanned materials will be accepted.
Some examples of proof of identity would be:
- Unexpired U.S. passport.
- Birth certificate.
- Valid driver’s license.
Bring your Social Security card. It is also a good idea to bring along any CDL-related materials you may have, such as your medical card.
While proof of state residence varies from state-to-state, most states accept:
- Utility bill.
- Phone bill.
- Mortgage or rental agreement.
- State property tax bill.
- Rental insurance policy.
To apply for a duplicate CDL, most states require two documents that provide proof of residency. Check your state’s specific guidelines, as many bills have to be dated within a certain timeframe to be accepted. In most cases, bills must be within 30-60 days and documents such as the rental insurance policy will need to be current and valid.
To make changes to your legal name and address on your CDL replacement, you need to provide supporting documentation. For a name change, that may be a marriage certificate or divorce decree and, for an address change, an official address change request with USPS. Many states will require you to visit the DMV in person in order to make these essential changes.
How to Replace a CDL in Person
Getting your DMV CDL replacement in person is the most time-consuming method. However, it is the best way to receive your replacement on the same day. Other methods require you to wait until your new license arrives by mail.
Additionally, many states only allow you to obtain a license by visiting a location in person and do not offer any online or by-mail options. The best way to save time is to arrive prepared and research your state’s specific instructions regarding how to replace a CDL license.
In most cases, you can print and complete your application before you visit to save time. Bring along the necessary documents regarding proof of identity and residency, as well as your Social Security card.
Be prepared to take a new photo and pay the CDL replacement fees. If you are replacing a damaged license, you may be asked to surrender your damaged license before you are allowed to obtain a CDL replacement.
How to Replace a CDL by Mail
The majority of states will not allow you to apply for a duplicate CDL by mail. However, there are a few exceptions. In Connecticut, for instance, if you are out of state and a CDL replacement is necessary, you can apply for the license by mail. You can expect to complete a license application and mail in a money order or check for the proper amount. Accepted payments will be state-specific.
In some cases, you may be able to submit the form by e-mail or fax. Keep in mind that it will take 7-10 business days to receive your duplicate CDL license. The state may also provide only a temporary placeholder and require an in-person DMV visit when you return to the state.
How to Replace a CDL by Phone
Most states do not issue CDL replacements by phone. However, Massachusetts is one of the few states that offers the option. Generally, dial your state DMV’s specific toll-free number and navigate the automated system to request your duplicate CDL license.
You may need to speak with a representative and provide basic information such as full, legal name, date of birth and Social Security Number. He or she should also inform you how long it will take for you to receive your replacement.
How to Replace a CDL Online
More states are beginning to offer CDL replacement services online. Visit your state’s DMV website and navigate to their online portal. Follow the prompts and enter in your vital information such as full, legal name, Social Security, address and date of birth.
Some states may require you to know your CDL license number. If you have any outstanding fees or debts in the state, it is possible that you will not be able to use the online option to apply for a duplicate CDL. Expect to pay the state’s CDL replacement fees and wait an average of 7-10 business days for your new license to arrive.
CDL Replacement Fees
While CDL replacement fees vary from state-to-state, expect to pay $13-$25.
- Commercial Driver's License Program from fmcsa.dot.gov