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How to Renew a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in Kentucky

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Renewing a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in Kentucky is a relatively simple process compared to applying for a new CDL.


  1. If your CDL has been lost or stolen, you will need to apply for a replacement CDL, rather than a renewal.
  2. You must renew your CDL in person, at your local county Circuit Court Clerk's office.
  3. Bring the following items with you to the local county's circuit court clerk's office, when renewing your commercial driver's license:
  4. Your current Kentucky commercial driver's license.
  5. A valid Kentucky Department of Transportation (DOT) long form physical.
  6. You must also bring the correct CDL [ renewal fee] and an additional fee of $3 for the "hot file" check. Fees vary, depending on endorsements on your CDL. Check with your local county Circuit Court Clerk's office on the exact fee before arriving for the renewal.


If your CDL includes a Hazardous Material Endorsement that you wish to retain, you must undergo a fingerprint and background check by the Transportation Security Administration. It is necessary to do this at least two months before your CDL expires to allow for sufficient processing time.

  1. Call (888) 655-9655 to make an appointment with The Kentucky State Police (KSP) to get your fingerprints taken. The fee for the background check is $115 and does not include the endorsement test fee.
  2. All [ applications] have to be signed in front of the examiner collecting the fingerprints.
  3. You will have to bring two forms of identification, your current license and DOT medical card.
  4. The application is sent to the TSA to start the background check and the fingerprints are validated against FBI records.
  5. Once your background checks are complete you will receive an approval letter will be mailed to you from the TSA.
  6. Bring the TSA approval letter to your local county Circuit Court Clerk's office and pay the $5 fee for the HAZMAT written test. If you pass, you can then have the HAZMAT endorsement added to your renewed CDL.


  • The payment for the fingerprinting can only be made by certified check made out to the Kentucky Treasury.
  • If you do not start the renewal process in time, you must have [ documented evidence] for the delay.
  • An additional fee of $24.00 will be charged for an expired commercial driver's license. If your CDL has been expired for more than one year, you will need to take several tests in order to renew your CDL. Refer to the Kentucky CDL driver's manual for the test requirements and rules.
  • A ‘hot file' check is a check conducted by the KSP for all outstanding dues and warrants against new or renewal CDL applicants. The check will be immediate and will not delay the renewal of the CDL.
  • See our Commercial Drivers Education section for more information on CDLs.
  • See also Applying for a new CDL and Replacing a Lost CDL.

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