How do you know if it is time for a commercial drivers license renewal? If it has been about 8 years since you first applied for your Delaware CDL, your next birthday will be your license’s expiration date. The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles will send you a renewal reminder before your license needs to be renewed, but don’t wait until the deadline is on top of you to learn how to renew your CDL. For example, you may not be able to renew the license itself in the month before it expires, but you will also be required to renew your medical certification.

Before your CDL renewal, give yourself plenty of time to see a doctor, study for any required tests and schedule your appointment at the DMV. Additionally, some CDLs require a TSA background check and may take several weeks to process. In order to have everything you need in-hand when you visit the DMV, start the renewal process early.

When to Renew Your CDL License in Delaware

Delaware CDLs may be renewed within 30 days of their expiration. The standard CDL in Delaware is valid for 8 years, but a hazmat license is only valid for 5 years due to federal regulations.

The Delaware DMV will send each driver a renewal notice 60 days before the license expires on the driver’s birthday, but the driver may not visit the DMV to renew until 30 days before the expiration.

However, the CDL holder may use the early warning to schedule doctor’s appointments or study for endorsement tests required to apply to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). It is also time that can be used to gather all the documents that are required to get a CDL.

CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Delaware

If you plan to renew a CDL that has a hazmat endorsement, you will be required to take a new hazmat test and renew your TSA background check. If you have other endorsements on your license, you may also be required to take CDL tests to maintain each.

The state and federal laws may have changed since the last time you took a knowledge test, so study for each test even if you are an experienced driver.

The Delaware DMV will give you three attempts to pass a test. The tests that are required to maintain an endorsement are:

  • Passenger transport test, for a passenger endorsement.
  • Air brakes test, for any vehicle that has air brakes or air over hydraulic brakes.
  • School bus test, required to drive a school bus.
  • Doubles and triples test, required to drive double and triple trailers.
  • Firefighter test, required for a firefighter endorsement.

If you have served in the military, you may be exempt from any skills tests that are required for a CDL. If you have operated military vehicles in the 12 months prior to your discharge from service, you may submit a Military Skills Test Waiver to apply for exemption from any required driving tests.

What do you need to renew your CDL license in Delaware?

Delaware CDL renewal requirements demand that all CDL holders must present proof of residence, identity, medical fitness and legal residence in the United States. All of the same documents must be presented for a CDL license renewal as to apply for a new CDL, and further additional documents are required to restore a hazmat license.

The documents you need are:

  • Proof of identity: U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, Foreign passport with supporting documents, U.S. certificate of Citizenship, U.S. Certificate of Naturalization or a Permanent Resident Card, photo driver’s license, Connecticut non-driver ID card, U.S. Military ID or discharge papers, Marriage or Civil Union certificate, pilot’s license, baptismal certificate, Social Security card, Employment Authorization Card, Veterans Health card or a federally-recognized tribal member ID Card.
  • Proof of residence: Utility bill, mortgage bill, bank statement, pre-printed pay stub, Medicaid or Medicare benefit statement, current homeowner’s or renter’s policy, current Connecticut motor registration, current motor vehicle loan statement, lease or mortgage agreement, Connecticut voter registration card or an official school record showing enrollment.
  • Proof of medical certification: A valid, unexpired medical certificate completed by a licensed medical professional.
  • Proof of social security number: Social Security card, a recent W-2, a paystub that shows the full SSN, any valid document from the Social Security Administration or a 1099 from the past five years.
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States: U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Certificate of Citizenship, U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, Permanent Resident card, valid Employment Authorization card or a Refugee Travel document.

CDL Renewal Process in Delaware

To finalize a Delaware CDL renewal, you must visit a DMV in person to present your required documentation, take a vision exam, complete any required knowledge tests and take a new license photo. However, there are some steps you will be required to take before you ever step foot into a DMV.

Step One: Renew Your Medical Certification

Before you visit a CDL location, you must renew your medical certification for a CDL license. All CDL holders are required to prove that they are capable of operating a commercial vehicle, and no CDL may be renewed without re-establishing a medical validation.

The CDL Medical Certification, or form MCSA-5876, is available from the Delaware DMV website or the U.S. Department of Transportation website. Download the form and ask a licensed medical professional to complete it. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation will only accept certain classes of doctors are qualified to judge Medical Examiner Certificate, which include the following:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD).
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (DO).
  • Doctor of Chiropractic (DC).
  • Physician Assistant (PA).
  • Advanced Practice Nurse (APN).

Submit your medical certificate by mailing, emailing or faxing your completed form to the Delaware DMV. You may email a scanned copy of the form to DOT_DECDLMEDCERT@state.de.us or faxing it to (302) 739-2606, ATTN: CDL Department. If you prefer to mail the paper copy, you may address the envelope to the:

Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: CDL Department
P.O. Box 698
Dover, DE 19901

Step Two: Submit the Self-Certification Affidavit

The CDL Self-Certification Affidavit is available from the Delaware DMV website. This form must be downloaded and completed by hand, and it is a required step for both holders of a CDL or a CLP.

The self-certification is a one-page form that requires drivers to report their full name, license number, phone numbers and the category of the driver’s license. Once completed, the self-certification form should be emailed, mailed or faxed to the same office as the MER.

Note: Take the time to make sure that all information on your form is legible. If any of your information is missing or incomplete, you will receive a notice from the DMV and will not be able to renew your CDL.

Step Three: Visit a CDL Facility

To finalize a CDL renewal or a CDL permit renewal, gather your required documents to take to the DMV. This includes your proof of identity, proof of residence, social security card, proof of legal status and a TSA letter, if applicable. You will be asked to turn in your previous license and renew your application.

You will then be given an eye-screening test to verify that you meet CDL requirements, and the DMV will administer any knowledge exams that are required for your endorsements. Once you have successfully proven your validity and passed each exam, a new license with an updated driver photo will be issued to you at the DMV.

Delaware CDL Permit Renewal Requirements

The Delaware commercial learners permit (CLP) is valid for 180 days, but may be extended one time for an additional 180 days. You might choose to extend your permit if you have not applied or are not ready to apply for a CDL.

To complete a CLP renewal, you must reapply at the DMV before your permit has expired and pay the fee. Unlike a driver’s license permit, the CLP is not dated to expire on your birthday, so mark a reminder of the day your permit lapses. A CLP in Delaware cannot be extended if it has already expired.

Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Delaware

To complete a hazmat renewal for your CDL, you must both renew your license and renew your TSA background check. To renew your license, you will need your TSA confirmation letter prior to visiting the DMV. It is recommended that you apply to the TSA at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your license to allow for processing.

The Delaware DMV will send a renewal reminder 60 days before the expiration of your license, and even though you cannot renew a CDL until 30 days before the expiration, you can file an application with the TSA.

The TSA Hazmat application is now available online, but you will still have to visit one of the offices in Delaware for fingerprinting. TSA offices also offer the application in person, if you would prefer to submit the application and have the fingerprinting done at the same time. There are two locations in Delaware:

  • Bennett Security Service
    • Appointment only
    • 335 Martin Street, Dover, DE 19901
    • Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • American Driver Training Academy
    • Walk-ins and appointments
    • 19-B Davidson Lane (Bldg. 3), New Castle, DE 19720
    • Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

CDL Renewal Fees in Delaware

The CDL renewal price is $48 for a license valid for 8 years. To renew a CDL with a hazmat endorsement the fee is $30, and the license is valid for 5 years.

Additional fees include:

  • $5 for every additional endorsement on your license.
  • $10 late fee for renewing an already expired license.
  • $86.50 to renew your TSA background check.
  • $20 to replace a lost license.
  • $5 CLP renewal cost.

You can pay CDL renewal costs by cash, checks, money orders and debit and credit cards. Debit and credit cards are the only acceptable form of payment for online services.

Last updated on Wednesday, May 1 2019.

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