A valid New Hampshire CDL must be held by all drivers operating any commercial vehicle in the state. Depending on the weight and function of the vehicle, you may be required to apply for a Class A, B or C license. If mandated, CDL license health certificates must be provided alongside the permit application.

In addition, all applicable commercial drivers license tests must be completed before a license can be issued; exemptions apply. Drivers must hold their permits before applying for the full commercial license. Permits are used to help drivers practice operating their vehicles before taking the skills test.

CDL Requirements in New Hampshire

All of the state’s CDL license requirements must be met before a commercial application can be submitted. Depending on your age and the type of vehicle you drive, the following CDL requirements may affect your application:

  • Drivers must be at least 18 years old to apply for a license
  • Drivers must be at least 21 years old to hold an interstate license and haul hazardous materials
  • Drivers must hold a valid driver’s license
  • Drivers must hold a permit before applying for a full license
  • Drivers must hold a medical card if they certify as non-excepted
  • Drivers must take and pass all knowledge tests
  • Drivers cannot hold more than one license in multiple jurisdictions

How to Apply for a CDL Permit in New Hampshire

A CDL permit must be applied for in person, at a DMV office, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Bring the following items with you when you go:

  • A completed CDL learners permit application form
  • A medical card, if applicable
  • A valid NH drivers license
  • Payment for the permit

CDL permit rules state that all drivers must complete the general knowledge test and the vision test at the DMV. You may be required to take additional written tests depending on the endorsements being added to your license. For example, if your vehicle has air brakes, you must take the air brakes written test to receive that endorsement.

A CDL permit must be held for at least 14 days before a skills tests can be scheduled. Drivers can practice operating their vehicles on a permit if a licensed adult accompanies them.

CDL Written Test in New Hampshire

The general CDL written test must be taken by all applicants, regardless of the class of license being purchased, or the type of endorsement being added. In addition, you must take all additional written tests that apply to any relevant endorsements. One or more of the following tests may be required to obtain a permit:

  • CDL General Knowledge Test (required)
  • Passenger Transport Test
  • Hazardous Material Test
  • Tanker Test
  • Doubles and Triples Test
  • School Bus Endorsement Test
  • Air Brakes Test

New Hampshire CDL Training Schools & Practice Tests

CDL practice test questions can be found in the state’s commercial driving handbook. While the CDL handbook is a useful tool for CDL prep, it should not be used as a substitute for official training courses.

Standard CDL training is not mandatory. However, drivers applying for the hazardous materials endorsement are required, by law, to attend specific courses. Employers are responsible for supplying these courses.

How to Get a CDL License in New Hampshire

To apply for CDL credentials, drivers must pass all written knowledge tests and hold their permits for at least 14 days. After which, drivers must contact the DMV at 603-227-4000 and schedule a skills test. The skills test is the final stage in the CDL application. Drivers must bring:

  • An appointment slip.
  • A valid CDL permit.
  • A valid NH driver’s license.
  • A licensed sponsor.
  • A valid car registration for the vehicle.

You will get your CDL after completing and passing all three sections of the skills test and paying the CDL license fee. A full CDL is valid for five years.

CDL Driving Test in New Hampshire

The CDL test for driving must be taken at an approved testing center. Commercial driver testing locations are available in Concord, Durham, Lebanon, Nashua and Twin Mountain counties. Applicants must bring a fully registered vehicle in the same class as the license for which they are applying. Furthermore, they must be accompanied by a sponsor who is licensed to drive the same class of vehicle. There are three stages to the CDL skills test:

  1. The pre-trip inspection test
  2. The off-road skills test
  3. The on-road skills test

Drivers must pass each stage of the CDL driving test before advancing to the next. If you fail the driving test, you must visit the DMV in person to schedule another. A $20 rescheduling fee will be applied.

How to Get a CDL as a Military Member in New Hampshire

A military CDL skills test waiver is available to qualified New Hampshire applicants. The waiver allows eligible drivers to apply for their full CDL licenses without taking the skills test. However, drivers must currently operate – or have operated – an equivalent commercial vehicle in the military. To qualify for a waiver, drivers must:

  • Be on active duty in the military or discharged within the last 12 months. A CDL for veterans is available if proof of a recent discharge is provided.
  • Be residents of the state.
  • Provide a certificate from a commanding officer stating the their driving experience.
  • Pass all applicable knowledge tests.

Applicants must complete the military CDL skills test waiver form and submit it alongside their CDL applications.

CDL Medical Exams in New Hampshire

New DOT physical requirements must be met by all commercial drivers. A vision test is required to obtain a permit. If you fail the vision test, you must have an eye doctor complete the eye examination form and return it to the DMV.

A CDL physical is required to operate most commercial vehicles. If you certify as Non-Exempted, you must complete a CDL medical exam and submit the certificate to the DMV. All exams must be completed by a DOT medical examiner. In all cases, drivers must keep a medical card on file at the DMV.

Types of CDL Classes in New Hampshire

A Class A license requires separate testing to a Class C license. New Hampshire issue three classes of commercial licenses to eligible applicants. The weight and function of the vehicle determines the vehicle’s class. The tests required for each class are listed below:

  • Class A CDL:
    • General Knowledge Test
    • Combinations Knowledge Test
    • Air Brakes Test
    • Road Skills Test
  • Class B CDL
    • General Knowledge Test
    • Air Brakes Test
    • Road Skills Test
  • Class C CDL
    • General Knowledge Test
    • Hazmat Endorsement Test
    • Passenger Endorsement Test

Types of CDL Endorsements in New Hampshire

CDL endorsements are added to a license if the vehicle requires specific skills. The following endorsements are available in New Hampshire:

  • Hazmat Endorsement (H): A background check is required to apply for this endorsement
  • School Bus Endorsement (S): A school bus certificate is required for this endorsement.
  • Passenger Endorsement (P)
  • Double/Triple Trailers Endorsement (T)
  • Tanker Endorsement (N)

Interstate vs. Intrastate Commercial Drivers Licenses in New Hampshire

An intrastate CDL is used to operate commercial vehicles within New Hampshire. Applicants under the age of 21 are only permitted to hold intrastate licenses. Drivers with a Waiver of Physical Deficiency are also restricted to this license. An interstate CDL is used to operate commercial vehicles across all 50 states, and into Canada or Mexico.

Commercial Driving License Fees in New Hampshire

The state’s CDL license cost figures are made up of permit, licensing and endorsement fees. See below for a breakdown of New Hampshire’s CDL fees:

  • Class A CDL: $60
  • Class B CDL: $60
  • Class C CDL: $60
  • CDL permit: $20
  • CDL endorsement: $10

Note that the CDL permit cost is added to the license fee. The NH DMV accepts cash, credit cards, personal checks, money orders and traveler’s checks.

Last updated on Thursday, March 5 2020.