The process of CDL renewal in Pennsylvania is an important step in maintaining a commercial license. This procedure requires commercial motorists to update their driving records and information with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). CDL renewal requirements differ from the requirements in a standard driver’s license renewal process, as commercial drivers are given expanded driving privileges to operate various modes of large or heavy machinery. Additionally, commercial motorists may add endorsements to their credentials, which further expand their driving abilities. The renewal process depends on the type of license, and the number of endorsements attached to the credential.

Pennsylvania drivers must renew commercial drivers license documents often to provide the DMV with the latest information in their records. Likewise, the renewal process ensures that commercial motorists stay up-to-date with the latest operations procedures, safety regulations and transportation rules. During the renewal process, some drivers may be required to take additional knowledge exams and medical evaluations to renew their CDLs. For more information about the renewal process in Pennsylvania, continue reading the topics below.

When to Renew Your CDL License in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania CDLs are valid for four years, or two years for drivers 65 years of age or older. Drivers must complete their CDL renewal before the date of expiration on the credential. The Pennsylvania DMV notifies all drivers three months in advance when their CDLs are about to expire, or seven months in advance for drivers with hazardous materials endorsements.

The CDL expiration grace period allows motorists to renew their credentials without retaking the skills or knowledge tests. As long as the driver does not have endorsements, or the need to add or remove any endorsements, he or she may renew without taking exams.

CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Pennsylvania

The CDL renewal requirements are not standard across the country. In Pennsylvania, the testing requirements are only enforced during the initial application process. Whereas other states may require motorists to take knowledge or skills tests during each renewal, Pennsylvania CDL holders are not required to retake any exams during renewals.

However, motorists who have the hazardous material endorsement must pass the hazmat recertification knowledge exam. Also, motorists who wish to add any new endorsement(s) must take the knowledge test for that specific addition (if testing applies).

What do you need to renew your CDL in Pennsylvania?

If you are asking, “What do you need to renew your CDL license?” there is a handful of documents you must provide, depending on the type of renewal you are completing. All motorists must fill out an application for renewal, which is available online, as well as at any Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) Vehicle Service Center.

Additionally, motorists must provide one of the following documents of original identity:

  • A birth certificate with a raised seal (U.S.-issued by an authorized government agency, including U.S. territories or Puerto Rico)
  • A valid passport
  • Naturalization documents or a current immigration document

Drivers must also provide documentation that shows their residency status. This includes one of the following:

  • Tax records
  • Lease agreements or mortgage documents
  • A W-2 form
  • A current weapons permit
  • Current utility bills, including water, gas, electric or cable
  • The Pennsylvania DMV renewal notice
  • A current driver’s license

Some drivers completing a CDL renewal will be asked to complete a new medical evaluation or certificate. This depends on the type of credential a driver wishes to renew, as well as the type and amount of endorsements attached to the license.

CDL Renewal Process in Pennsylvania

CDL holders in Pennsylvania must renew commercial drivers license documents in person, at a Pennsylvania DMV location. This new law took effect in 2015; motorists are no longer permitted to perform mail-in renewals. Unlike standard driver license renewals, motorists are also not permitted to renew online.

Drivers are recommended to gather the CDL renewal requirements, and begin the process as soon as they receive notice from the Pennsylvania DMV. This notice serves as a reminder to the date of expiration listed on the license. It can be used as proof of address during the appointment, as well.

Pennsylvania CDL Permit Renewal Requirements

Pennsylvania requires drivers to hold a CDL permit before they can receive a license. Drivers may complete a CDL permit renewal once after the initial date of expiration. A commercial learner’s permit, sometimes called a CLP, may only be valid for a certain timeframe.

Drivers may test for the CDL after 15 days of holding a permit, but before the validity period expires. After the period expires, drivers must test for a CDL, or begin the permit process all over again.

For those asking, “How long is a CDL permit good for?” a CDL permit in Pennsylvania is valid for a period of 180 days. This probationary period restricts drivers’ activities. For example, they may only drive on public roads, and must drive while accompanied by a CDL holder.

If you are wondering, “Can I renew my CDL permit after it expires?” note that after the CDL permit expiration date passes, drivers must renew the permit, apply for a CDL or begin the permit process again. After the permit is renewed once, and needs to be renewed again, all knowledge tests must be retaken.

Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Pennsylvania

The CDL license renewal process is a bit different for drivers who hold a hazardous material endorsement, or wish to add it to their credentials. A hazmat endorsement allows drivers to operate vehicles carrying various types of hazardous materials. To renew a CDL with this endorsement, drivers must:

  • Pass the hazmat recertification knowledge exam.
  • Provide proof of U.S. citizenship with a U.S. passport, a valid birth certificate, a naturalization or U.S. citizenship certificate, legal immigration status documentation with a permanent resident card, a Temporary I-551 stamp on foreign passport or a reentry permit.
  • Complete an Application for Security Threat Assessment (included in renewal notice from the DMV).
  • Submit fingerprints.
  • Pay for a background check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

CDL Renewal Fees in Pennsylvania

The CDL renewal price in Pennsylvania depends on the type of commercial license, and whether the driver is adding any new endorsements. The CDL renewal cost figures include the following:

  • CDL: $94.50, $52 for drivers 65 years of age or older
  • CDL with hazmat endorsement: $110.50, $68 for drivers 65 years of age or older
  • CDL with Class M: $114.50, $62 for drivers 65 years of age or older
  • CDL with Class M and hazmat endorsement: $130.50, $78 for drivers 65 years of age or older

Please note that all drivers requesting the hazardous materials endorsement must pay an additional $60 federal fee for the background check and other required services.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.