How to Renew a Commercial Drivers License in Louisiana
A CDL renewal in Louisiana is not as complex as a CDL application if you renew your license before its expiration date. However, the renewal process may become tricky depending on whether you need to renew or add a license endorsement. For example, certain endorsements require you to visit a specific office, because certain Offices of Motor Vehicles (OMVs) only perform renewals.
Remember that a CDL license renewal is different from a standard license renewal. Most standard licenses may be renewed online, while CDLs must be renewed in person. CDL laws also require you to update other forms by the time of your renewal, such as medical forms. By reviewing important renewal information beforehand, you may become fully prepared by the time you visit an OMV.
When to Renew Your CDL License in Louisiana
The CDL expiration grace period in LA is a maximum of 10 days. However, you may want to renew your license before this grace period, as the process may take longer than you expect. If your license is not renewed before the expiration date, you may face a delinquent fee or even a traffic citation. If you incur a citation for driving without valid CDL privileges, you may lose your CDL privileges and be forced to pay reinstatement fees.
Luckily, you may renew a CDL up to 180 days before expiration. In addition, a CDL lasts for six years, so you do not have to worry about renewing it often. This includes Class A, B and C licenses. If you are 70 years of age or older, or are a non-permanent resident, you do not have to pay a delinquent fee.
CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Louisiana
CDL renewal requirements for licenses without endorsements or restrictions are relatively straight-forward. First, you must undergo a CDL medical exam if your current medical certificate is not up to date.
This exam requires you to contact a medical examiner recommended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and schedule a physical. Remember that the examiner may charge a fee.
In order to renew a commercial drivers license, you must pass another vision test as well. If you do not meet CDL vision requirements, you may apply for an intrastate driver waiver.
The waiver still has minimum vision requirements and calls for the evaluation of an optometrist, who must be certified by the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners. It also prohibits you from driving outside the state of Louisiana and from holding a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) endorsement.
If you drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in another state and are looking to obtain a Louisiana CDL, you must undergo additional assessments. For example, the state may request that you submit a driving record of 10 years. If you operate a HAZMAT vehicle and wish to renew this endorsement, you must undergo additional testing as mandated by federal law.
What do you need to renew your CDL license in Louisiana?
In order to renew your CDL, you may need to submit the following:
- a CDL self-certification form
- A current medical certificate from an approved medical examiner
The self-certification form asks you to identify the category of CMV driving that best describes your job. For example, you must indicate whether you plan to drive out of state. You only need to complete this form again if your type of commerce changes.
You must submit a current CDL medical certificate along with a completed medical examination report. These must be submitted before you apply for a CDL at a renewal office or issuing office.
When you visit an OMV, remember to bring other identification documents, such as your current CDL, and payment for fees. The CDL renewal cost may vary depending on what tests you must re-take and whether you want to add endorsements or drop restrictions.
CDL Renewal Process in Louisiana
The first step of renewing a CDL is to obtain current medical forms. Once a licensed medical examiner conducts a physical exam, he or she may fill out the examiner’s half of the medical report form. He or she may also complete the medical examination certificate.
The certificate may last up to 24 months, though the examiner may assign an earlier expiration date if he or she wants to monitor a health condition. You may need to visit multiple specialists if you have other issues, such as vision or hearing loss.
If you have a medical condition that necessitates further testing or more information, the medical examiner may give you a “Determination Pending” status. This status is valid for up to 45 days and allows you to operate a CMV until your current medical certificate expires.
You may also qualify for a temporary CDL medical card if you have a pre-existing or new condition. As soon as the temporary card expires, you must undergo another FMCSA approved examination. If you have a physical impairment, you may require additional testing in order to legally drive a CMV.
If your CDL medical card renewal is successful, you may fill out the self-certification form. If you plan to maintain a HAZMAT endorsement, you must submit additional forms. If you want to add endorsements such as passenger (P) or school bus (S), you must take the appropriate knowledge test and skills test. The knowledge test for P and S endorsements covers proper loading and unloading procedures and how to handle an emergency. The skills test covers proper handling of the vehicle.
You must renew your commercial drivers license in person in Louisiana. Visit a nearby Office of Motor Vehicles to hand in your CDL forms and complete applicable tests. If you are simply renewing your CDL, visit a CDL issuing office.
If you are re-taking tests, adding endorsements or planning to drive a HAZMAT vehicle, visit a CDL renewal office instead. Both issuing and renewal offices may be found in the Louisiana government’s OMV registry.
Below is a comprehensive list of what to bring:
- Your medical examiner’s certificate
- Your completed medical examination report form
- Your current CDL
- Proof of insurance on your personal vehicles
- Proof of residency
- Payment for fees
Louisiana CDL Permit Renewal Requirements
How long is a CDL permit good for in LA? In general, commercial learners permits (CLPs) last for 180 days. If you need more training time, you may extend the permit for another 180 days without an additional charge. You may only extend a permit once.
If you are asking, “Can I renew my CDL permit after it expires?” the answer is unfortunately no. If you have already renewed your permit once or it has passed its expiration date, you must apply for a new one. This means you must re-take the knowledge test and skills test and repay the application fee.
Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Louisiana
HAZMAT endorsement requirements for renewals include a knowledge test and a threat assessment. The hazardous materials knowledge test asks questions on emergency procedures, how to check your vehicle for problems and more.
You may have the written component of the test waived in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, HAZMAT written tests may not be administered orally for applicants with reading comprehension disabilities.
The other HAZMAT renewal requirement, a security threat assessment, is administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You may complete an application for this test online, though you may have to visit a TSA office to be fingerprinted.
The fingerprinting fee may be paid with a credit card, electronic check or money order. If you do not receive a notification from TSA within six weeks of fingerprinting, call 1-877-429-7746 for updates on the status of your application.
CDL Renewal Fees in Louisiana
The CDL renewal price depends on which fees apply to your situation. Contact your employer to find out if it covers some or all CDL renewal fees. Below is a list of potential fees:
- Service fee for all CDL renewals: $0 to $6
- CLP application, in the event your current CLP expires: $15
- Delinquent fee for licenses expired 10 days or more: $15
- HAZMAT security threat assessment: $67 to $86.50
- Fingerprint fee for HAZMAT endorsement: $89.25
- Additional license endorsements: $5 each
In addition to these fees, you may need to pay a medical examination fee, which varies depending on the examiner.
Louisiana CDL Renewal Forms
- Self-Certification Supplemental Form
- Medical Examination Report (MEC), form MCSA-5876
- Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), form MCSA-5876
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- CDL Renewal Information from DOTD.LA.gov
- CDL Issuing Offices and Renewal Offices from ExpressLane.org
- When to Renew Your CDL from DPS.Louisiana.gov