How to Renew a Commercial Drivers License in Massachusetts
Acquiring a CDL renewal in Massachusetts may not be difficult if you prepare in advance. For example, state and federal laws require you to update certain documentation before you renew your license. It is also important to know the category of commercial driving in which you fall, and whether you want to add endorsements at the time of your renewal.
Meeting CDL renewal requirements is crucial if you want to continue driving a commercial motor vehicle. Driving with an expired license or without the proper endorsements can lead to a suspension. To avoid suspensions and fines, review information on CDL expirations, testing requirements, eligibility requirements, fees and more.
When to Renew Your CDL License in Massachusetts
Though a CDL expiration grace period may not be observed in Massachusetts, you may renew your CDL up to one year before the date of expiration. An earlier renewal may benefit you if you want to add an endorsement, or drop a restriction more quickly.
When does a CDL expire? An MA RMV commercial driver’s license lasts for five years. The expiration date is easy to remember, as it expires on your birthday. You may receive a notice of expiration from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to give you time to prepare.
Be sure to renew your license before it expires, as you will face severe fines and penalties for driving a CMV with an expired CDL.
CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Massachusetts
CDL renewal requirements in MA include a vision screening, physical examination and applicable endorsement exams. The vision screening adheres to the standards established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In order to pass, you must have a certain level of visual acuity in both eyes, without corrective lenses. You may need to undergo further testing if you have an eye condition.
If your medical documentation is not up-to-date, you must undergo a physical exam provided by a medical examiner. Remember that the total CDL renewal cost may increase if an examiner or a specialist charges a fee. The examiner will determine whether you are physically capable of operating a CMV.
If you have a condition that might impede your ability to drive, you can obtain additional medical documentation that permits you to drive.
If you want to renew CDL credentials because you are adding endorsements, you may need to take certain endorsement exams. Check beforehand whether certain endorsements have other requirements, because these may prevent you from adding an endorsement right away. For example, the school bus (S) endorsement requires you to have at least three years of continuous, licensed driving experience.
What do you need to renew your CDL license in Massachusetts?
To renew commercial drivers license credentials in Massachusetts, first check to see if your medical documentation is up-to-date. This documentation includes a medical examiner’s certificate, an interstate medical exemption or a medical waiver. If your medical certification is about to expire, you must make an appointment to see a medical examiner for a physical.
You must also fill out – and submit – a CDL self-certification form. Normally, CMV drivers must complete this form every one to two years. If you are a non-excepted interstate driver or a non-excepted intrastate driver, you must submit this form every time you resubmit your medical certification.
If you do not re-certify by the form’s expiration date, your license will be downgraded to a Class D driver’s license.
On the form, certify which category of commercial driving applies to you. The possible categories include:
- Non-excepted interstate (NI).
- Excepted interstate (EI).
- Non-excepted intrastate (NA).
- Excepted intrastate (EA).
When you are ready to visit an RMV office for a CDL license renewal, bring the required documentation with you. Mandatory items include:
- Your current commercial drivers license.
- Proof of citizenship or permanent lawful presence.
- Proof of residency.
- Proof of your Social Security Number (SSN).
As you prepare to satisfy the CDL renewal cost, you must also bring payment in the form of a check, money order, credit card, debit card or cash. Verify acceptable forms of payment with your local RMV beforehand, as certain locations may not accept all payment methods.
CDL Renewal Process in Massachusetts
You may apply for a MA CDL license renewal online or in person. If you apply online, you must still visit an RMV office to verify certain documents. If you are successful, you will receive your renewed CDL by mail, in seven to 10 days.
Before visiting an office, however, you must update your medical documentation – if the expiration date is near. Make an appointment with a medical examiner listed on the FMCSA registry. If the examiner decides that you qualify for a CDL medical card renewal, he or she will complete a medical examiner’s certificate and the second half of the medical examination form.
If the examiner decides that you need further testing or do not qualify, you may apply for an interstate medical exemption or medical waiver.
Before renewing a CDL in Massachusetts, it is also important to check the status of your driver’s license, as you may have fines or taxes that must be paid before you can renew. You can find out your license status online with Massachusetts MyRMV, or by phone at 857-368-8000. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call 877-768-8833. For unpaid tolls, contact EZ Pass. Once you make these payments, save your receipts, in case you need to present them at an RMV.
If you want to add endorsements to your license for an extra CDL renewal price, you may do so when you renew your CDL at an RMV office. You may need to take an endorsement exam, such as the combination endorsement written exam.
Remember to arrive early on the day of your test, especially if you must take multiple exams. If you want to renew a hazmat endorsement (HME), you must complete additional requirements.
How to Renew Your Commercial Driver’s License Online in Massachusetts
To begin the CDL renewal application process online, you must have the following information available:
- Your license, permit or identification number
- Your Social Security Number (SSN)
Upon completion of the online application, visit an RMV service center with the required identification documents.
How to Renew Your Commercial Drivers License in Person in Massachusetts
If you do not want to submit the CDL renewal application form online, you may download the form from the MyRMV portal. To have access to this form, you must have an MA driver’s license. Submit the hard copy of the application in person, along with proper identification and medical documentation. Remember to bring payment for the associated renewal fees.
Massachusetts CDL Permit Renewal Requirements
If you are wondering, “How long is a CDL permit good for in MA?” the answer is 180 days. However, you have the option for a CDL permit renewal for an additional 180 days. CDL permit expiration occurs after 360 days, as you may not renew your permit a second time.
At this point, you must reapply for a learner’s permit by retaking the knowledge test and paying a fee. Remember that the purpose of the permit is to take – and pass – the CDL skills test, so waiting too long may hinder your progress.
Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Massachusetts
According to federal law, you may only receive a HAZMAT renewal after you pass a security background check. This check, or threat assessment, is administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You must apply in person, and first, schedule an appointment online, or by calling 855-347-8371.
Once you provide the required documents and fingerprints for CDL license renewal at the appointment, you must wait 60 days or more to learn the results. Begin this process early to avoid having an incomplete background check by the time your CDL expires.
MA hazmat endorsement requirements state that you must retake the HME written exam, as well. This exam covers safety procedures for different materials, which placards or symbols you must place on your vehicle and more. You may take the exam on the same day as your in-person renewal.
CDL Renewal Fees in Massachusetts
The total CDL renewal fee depends on which endorsements you add to your license, and whether you are applying after your license expired. Your employer may cover some of these costs.
- Class A CDL: $75
- Class B CDL: $75
- Class C CDL: $75
- Threat Assessment Fee: $67 to $86.50
- Same-day endorsement fee: $10 per exam
- Different-day endorsement fee: $30 per exam
CLP application fee, if the first CLP expired: $30