How to Renew a Commercial Drivers License in Michigan
A CDL renewal in Michigan is different from lower-class drivers license renewals. For instance, you must provide medical documentation and other CDL specific forms. You must also renew the license in person, at an MI Secretary of State (SOS) office, whereas other license holders may be able to renew online or by mail.
While the process may seem difficult, to renew commercial drivers license credentials is essential if you want to continue driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). If you drive a CMV without renewing it, you face severe fines, penalties and a suspension. Avoid expiration penalties by consulting the following information on CDL renewal testing, required documents and more.
When to Renew Your CDL License in Michigan
Given that there may be no CDL expiration grace period in MI, it is crucial that you renew your license before it expires. Otherwise, the CDL renewal cost may increase because of late fees or retesting fees. CDLs are valid for four years, so you will have time to begin the renewal process.
You may consider renewing your CDL earlier than usual if you want to quickly add an endorsement.
CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Michigan
CDL renewal requirements may include a physical examination, vision screening and applicable endorsement exams. The physical examination is required if your current medical certificate expires soon, or has already expired. Upon completion of the exam, your medical examiner will determine whether you are still fit to operate a CMV.
To renew a commercial driver’s license, you may need a vision screening as well. In order to pass, you must meet a certain visual acuity and be able to distinguish certain colors. Corrective lenses may help you meet this requirement. If an SOS employee suspects that you have a visual condition, he or she may require you to undergo further testing with a vision specialist.
When you renew CDL credentials, you may also be required to take endorsement exams, if you wish to add an endorsement to your license. These exams cover a range of topics, including how to inspect your CMV and how to operate the CMV in dangerous situations. If you want to add or renew a hazmat endorsement (HME), you may have to meet additional requirements.
What do you need to renew your CDL license in Michigan?
You may need a CDL medical card renewal if your current one is about to expire. This documentation must be presented to an SOS office at the time of your renewal. It may include one or more of the following:
- A medical examiner’s certificate
- A medical examination report
- A federal medical waiver
- A federal skills performance evaluation
As with other license renewals, with CDL license renewal, you must present additional documentation that verifies your identity. Acceptable documents must provide proof of:
- Social Security Number (SSN).
- Michigan residency or legal presence in the U.S.
Remember to bring a form of payment for the CDL renewal price, and other applicable fees.
CDL Renewal Process in Michigan
The MI CDL license renewal process begins with your medical certification. First, find a medical examiner approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and schedule an appointment for a physical.
If the physical is successful, the examiner will fill out the second half of your medical examination report, complete the medical certificate and give it an expiration date. These certificates usually last up to 24 months. Be aware that the CDL renewal price may increase, as most examiners charge a fee.
During your CDL renewal cycle, if your examiner finds additional health problems that require further testing, you may apply for a medical variance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Variances include a medical waiver or a skills performance evaluation. These must be presented at an SOS office, and may not be mailed or faxed.
Next, you must complete the CDL self-certification process. During the process, you must indicate which driving category best describes your job. Driving categories include:
- Non-excepted interstate (NI).
- Excepted interstate (EI).
- Non-excepted intrastate (NA).
- Excepted intrastate (EA).
If you are an excepted or non-excepted intrastate driver, you unfortunately may not self-certify online. If you are a non-excepted interstate driver, you must submit a medical examiner’s certificate to the SOS at the time of your commercial license renewal.
If you successfully complete the medical and self-certification processes, apply for a renewal at an SOS office. You may only renew your CDL in person in Michigan. At this time, you may take additional tests, such as the vision screening or endorsement exams. If you operate a hazmat vehicle, you must complete further testing.
Michigan CDL Permit Renewal Requirements
You may be asking, “How long is a CDL permit good for in MI?” In general, it lasts 180 days. If you need more time to complete the skills test, you may renew your commercial learner’s permit (CLP) for a certain length of time. However, the final CDL permit expiration occurs, you must undergo the CLP application process again.
This means you must retake the knowledge test, applicable endorsement tests and repay the application fee.
Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Michigan
Hazmat endorsement requirements for renewals in Michigan include a threat assessment, administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and a hazmat examination. If possible, TSA recommends beginning this process 45 to 60 days in advance, even though you should receive a response within 30 days.
To complete the threat assessment for a HAZMAT endorsement renewal, you may pre-register with TSA online, and then schedule an appointment at a TSA-approved fingerprint office. TSA recommends pre-registering online to save time in person. In general, you will receive the results of this assessment within two weeks of fingerprinting. If you do not receive results within this timeframe, call 855-347-8471.
If you do not pay the fee online in preregistration, you may pay it at the appointment with a money order, company check, cashier’s check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit card.
Note: You may not use cash or a personal check. If you pay with an approved check or money order, make it out to MorphoTrust U.S.A.
The TSA hazmat approval lasts for five years, because it must last as long as your MI commercial drivers license.
The hazmat renewal exam is the same as the hazmat application exam. This exam tests your knowledge of hazardous materials, safety procedures and more. Make sure you visit an SOS office early in the day to have more test-taking time.
CDL Renewal Fees in Michigan
The overall CDL renewal fee in MI varies from applicant to applicant, as some are late to renew, and others need endorsements. Below is a comprehensive list of associated CDL fees:
- Renewal: $18
- Late renewal fee: $7
- Group designation: $25
- Group endorsement: $5 each
- Hazmat threat assessment: $67 to $86.50