A CDL renewal in Texas differs from renewing a standard Texas driver’s license in several ways, including the cost, the forms that you must complete to renew a commercial driver’s license and the methods that you may use for your renewal. Furthermore, the CDL expiration grace period is different, so it is important to review when you may be required to retest for your renewal.

If you are wondering, “What do you need to renew your CDL license?” it is important to review documentation and testing requirements as well as additional requirements that you will face if you have a hazardous material endorsement that you would like to renew. To learn more about commercial drivers license renewals, including how you can renew you license in the state of Texas, review the information that can be found within the sections below.

When to Renew Your CDL License in Texas

By reviewing CDL renewal requirements in Texas, you will be better prepared for your renewal application as well as know what to expect in terms of when and how you can renew your license. In Texas, you must renew a commercial drivers license generally once every five years.

However, if you are 85 years of age or older, you will be required to complete a renewal for you CDL license once every two years. Generally, you can expect to receive a renewal notice by mail within a few months from the date of expiration listed on your current CDL.

The CDL expiration grace period in Texas is two years beginning on the expiration date listed on your CDL license. If your license expires, you will be unable to operate a commercial vehicle until you have a valid license. However, if you renew your license within that two year period following expiration, you will not be required to retake knowledge or diving exams.

CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Texas

When performing a CDL renewal in Texas, it is important to know that you will be required to pass a vision test during your visit to the DMV. However, if your commercial driver’s license has been expired for more than two years, you will be required to retake knowledge and driving exams plus any additional exams required for the endorsements that you need.

If you would like to add an additional endorsement onto your CDL as part of your renewal, you will still be required to take any knowledge or driving exam related to applying for that endorsement.

What do you need to renew your CDL license in Texas?

When asking, “What do you need to renew your CDL license in Texas?” it is worth knowing that there are a variety of documents that you will be required to provide both when applying for your initial CDL and when it comes time for a renewal. To complete your CDL renewal, you will need to provide:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship. Proof of U.S. citizenship will only be required if you have never presented evidence of citizenship to the DMV before. Proof of citizenship can be provided in a number of ways, such as with a United States passport book or passport card, a U.S. certificate of citizenship or certificate of naturalization or a U.S. citizen ID card.
  • Proof of lawful presence. If you are not a United States citizen, you must provide proof of lawful presence within the U.S. This requirement can be satisfied with documents such as a permanent resident card, refugee travel documents or a passport or I-94 form that is stamped with approved I-551 or processed for I-551.
  • One proof of identity document. Proof of identity can be provided with your current CDL that has not been expired for more than two years. Alternatively, you can also provide an unexpired passport book or card, your Social Security card or W-2 or 1099 form.
  • Intrastate or interstate driver medical certification. You must provide a completed application for one of three forms, depending on whether or not you are certifying to be an interstate or intrastate driver.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Proof of address. Proof of address is only required if your address has changed since your last CDL issuance.

When performing a CDL renewal, you can also save time by providing a completed CDL application for renewal. However, if you do not complete this document ahead of time, this form can also be completed when visiting the DMV.

CDL Renewal Process in Texas

If you need to perform a CDL renewal in Texas, it is important to review the process of doing so in order to be better prepared for your renewal. In Texas, a renewal for a commercial driver’s license can only be completed by visiting a DMV office location in person.

However, you can shorten your expected wait time by participating in Get in Line, Online at participating DMV locations. Get in Line, Online, allows you to put yourself in line at the DMV so that, by the time you arrive, you may experience a shorter wait time.

When you renew a commercial drivers license in person, you will be required to provide all of your documentation and fees at the time of submitting your application for renewal. Additionally, you will be required to successfully pass a vision exam, provide your thumbprint and have a new picture taken for your new CDL license.

Texas CDL Permit Renewal Requirements

If you are asking, “How long is a CDL permit good for in Texas?” it is important to know that your CDL permit, also referred to as commercial license permit (CLP), will remain valid for 180 days or when your Texas driver’s license expires, whichever is earliest.

Furthermore, you must hold your CLP for a minimum of 14 days before you can attempt to take skills exams and apply for a commercial driver’s license. Your CLP does not replace your Texas driver’s license and can only be used with your license.

A CDL permit renewal can be performed only once in Texas. You may renew up to 30 days prior to the date of expiration for the commercial learners permit. If you would like to renew after your CLP has already expired, you must start again from the beginning and apply for a new CLP.

Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Texas

If performing a Texas CDL renewal for a commercial driver’s license that has a hazardous material endorsement (HME), you will need to meet additional requirements in order to complete your renewal. When visiting the DMV, you will be provided with contact information for a fingerprinting location that will allow you to begin your security threat assessment.

This is a process that not only needs to be completed and paid for when you initially obtain the HME endorsement, but with each renewal. A temporary CDL will be issued, however, you will not permitted to operate hazardous material vehicles until your threat assessment has been completed.

Before your CDL renewal can be completed, you must schedule an appointment with the location provided in order to complete your fingerprinting. When visiting the office you will need to provide the location with your Texas CDL license as well as take a digital photograph and fingerprints during your visit.

Your photo and fingerprints will then be forwarded to the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will assess your security threat and determine whether or not your application should be approved. If approved, you will receive a new CDL by mail. If denied, you will receive a notice by mail with additional information on how you can appeal the decision made by the TSA, should you wish to do so.

CDL Renewal Fees in Texas

When you renew a commercial driver’s license in Texas, you will need to pay the fees for the renewal at the time of your renewal application. However, it is important to know that, in many cases, your employer may pay for the expenses of your commercial driver’s license renewal if you need the license to perform your job duties.

A CDL renewal costs $61 for a five year validity period. However, if you are a senior citizen who is 85 years of age or older, you can expect to pay $26 for a two year license. Each endorsement that you are renewing or adding onto your license will cost an additional $11, except when it comes to a hazardous materials endorsement. For an HME, you will be required to pay the $11 fee to the DMV as well as a $86.50 fee to the Transportation Security Administration.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.