New York CDL License Requirements – 2022 Guide

| Last Updated: October 8, 2021

If you love adventure and life on the road, New York can be one of the best states to get your commercial driver’s license once you fulfill all the New York CDL license requirements.

In this article, we discuss the various CDL requirements for the state and top this up with an overview of the state’s trucking driving employability outlook.

How To Get a CDL in New York

The process of getting a New York CDL is an easy one once you know and fulfill all the requirements. As with any other state, the requirements can be overwhelming at first, but you’ll be glad you went through with the process. Here’s what you need to fulfill.

New York CDL Requirements

You won’t be able to obtain your New York CDL license if you do not fulfill the following requirements:

  • Age Requirements: You must be at least 18 years old to get a New York Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) and commercial driver’s license (CDL) and to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) within the state.

For an interstate CDL and transporting hazardous materials and passengers, you must be at least 21 years old.

  • Existing License and Prior Driving Experience: You are required to have a valid New York State driver’s license. This could be a Class D, Class E, or a Non-CDL Class C license. 

A valid CDL from any other state is also acceptable. All these have to be in good standing, and you aren’t allowed to have more than one license. 

You must also disclose any other states where you might have been issued a driver’s license in the preceding ten years. 

  • Residence and Identity Proof: You must show at least six original documents to prove that you are a resident of New York state, as well as lawful US residence. 

Some acceptable documents to prove this include your birth certificate, Green Card, and Social Security Card.

  • Commercial Learner’s Permit: You can’t start CDL training without obtaining a CLP first.
  • Medical Requirements: Self-certification is mandatory for every CDL applicant as per Federal regulations. You must say what type of commerce you intend to practice between interstate and intrastate commerce. 

You must also tell whether you are required to have a medical certificate, such as the Department of Transport (DOT) Medical Examiner’s Certificate.

  • English Comprehension: This is required for ease of communication in activities such as conversing with other people, understanding traffic signals and road signs, taking the skills test, answering questions from officials, and making reports or record entries.
  • CLP and CDL Tests: Obtaining a CLP requires you to take and pass a general knowledge CLP test. You must also pass CDL-related tests such as endorsement tests and the final skills test.

The skills test is taken at least 14 days after you get your CLP. The three parts of the skills test include the Pre-trip Inspection, Basic Controls Test, and the Road Skills Test.

How Much Does It Cost To Get a CDL in New York?

Getting your New York CDL will set you back $10 for the CLP, $5 for each CDL endorsement, $164 for the CDL fee, and $40 for the road test.

How Long Does It Take To Get a CDL in New York?

It will take you about seven weeks on a full-time truck driving training program to get your CDL. The period can range from three to eight weeks or up to six months, based on your availability for classes.

Commercial License Types & Classes in New York

The State of New York classifies commercial licenses into three classes based on the vehicle’s weight.

Class A CDL

A Class A New York CDL is required of a driver operating any combination vehicle whose gross combination weight rating (GCWR) exceeds 26,000 pounds, provided the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the towed vehicle/vehicles exceeds 10,000 pounds.

A Class A CDL allows you to drive combination vehicles such as truck-trailers and tractor-trailers.

Class B CDL

A Class B CDL in New York is required of drivers operating any single vehicle whose GVWR exceeds 26,000 pounds. You can also operate a combined vehicle, provided the GCWR does not exceed 26,000 pounds when the towed vehicle has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less.

If the vehicle being towed has a GVWR exceeding 10,000 pounds, the GCWR must not exceed 26,000 pounds.

Photo credit: advanced.edu

Class C CDL

A New York Class C CDL is required for operating any CMV whose GVWR is 26,000 pounds or less and that fits the following designations:

  • Transports hazardous materials
  • Carries 15 passengers or more
  • Is a stretch limousine

You can also drive a vehicle towing another whose GVWR is 10,000 pounds or less, or towed vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds, provided the GCWR doesn’t exceed 26,000 pounds.

New York CDL Endorsements

CDL endorsements that you may take in New York State include:

  • School Bus (S)
  • Passenger (P)
  • Tank vehicles (N)
  • Hazardous materials (H)
  • Recreational Vehicles with a GVWR exceeding 26,000 pounds (R)
  • Tank Vehicle/Hazardous Materials (X)
  • Farm Class A Vehicles (F)
  • Metal Coil (M)
  • Farm Class B Vehicles (G)
  • Tow Truck (W)
  • Doubles/Triples (T)
  • What Makes New York a Great Place to Start a Truck Driving Career? 

    New York State is a great place to start your truck driving career for several reasons as outlined below:

    Job Security

    While most jobs are unstable, truck driving careers are always in high demand against a backdrop of a glaring shortage of truck drivers at a national level. New York State had 37,590 trucking companies in 2019, most of them owned by small local businesses.

    Job Benefits

    New York commercial drivers enjoy various benefits such as paid vacations, dental insurance, vision insurance, and health insurance.

    Geographical Location and Attractions

    As a professional driver spending most of your time on the road, you can enjoy excellent travels while exploring various New York attractions such as Niagara Falls, Statue of Liberty, Long Island, and the Hudson River Valley. 

    Job Outlook and Salary For Truck Driving in New York

    The New York Trucking industry offers over 280,000 jobs out of the 37,590 trucking companies operating in the state as of 2019. 

    The high number of trucking jobs owes to the fact that over 89 percent of the communities in New York State rely exclusively on trucks for the movement of goods totaling more than 530,000 tons per day. 

    Photo credit: nytimes.com

    What is the Demand For Truck Drivers in New York?

    There is a high demand for truck drivers because of the hike in online orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some trucking companies acknowledge that they can comfortably hire 500 to 1000 extra truck drivers to meet the growing demand. 

    Most trucking companies have resorted to increasing truck driver salaries because they want to retain as many truckers as possible at a time when the high demand is forcing CDL drivers to run off to companies paying higher than their current employers. 

    Some top New York trucking companies you can find work with include RDU Inc, Bossong’s Commercial Delivery Inc, Escro Transport, Shea Trucking, ATC Trucking, Norman’s Air Freight, and Burkins & Foley Trucking and Storage Inc. 

    How Much Do CDL Drivers Make in New York?

    According to Indeed.com, the average annual salary for a truck driver in New York State is $94,599, 39 percent more than the national average as of September 2022. 

    Truck drivers with less than one year of trucking experience earn about $88,824, $101,002 with 6-9 years of experience, and up to $106,816 with over ten years of truck driving experience. 

    Conclusion

    Fulfilling New York CDL license requirements and finally obtaining your commercial driver’s license will set you on the path to securing employment with top companies in the state and make as much as $88,824 even in your first year, a pretty good sum above the national average. 

    People Also Ask

    Are you still feeling overwhelmed and undecided because of the many requirements to obtain your CDL in New York State? Here are some questions about the state’s CDL requirements that will come in handy as you decide on the way forward. 

    When is CDL Required in NY?

    A CDL is required of you in New York State if you are a commercial driver operating a CMV that fits any of the following descriptions:

    • Any single vehicle whose GVWR exceeds 26,000 pounds
    • Any combination vehicle whose GVWR exceeds 26,000 pounds towing another whose GVWR exceeds 10,000 pounds

    • Any passenger vehicle designed to transport 15 passengers or more, with the driver included
    • A vehicle of any size requires a HazMat placard for transporting hazardous materials or waste

    What Disqualifies You From Getting a CDL NY?

    You will be disqualified from getting a NY CDL due to reasons such as:

    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
    • Running away from an accident scene
    • Committing a felony using a vehicle
    • Making improper traffic lane changes

    Where Can You Find the CDL Practice Test For New York CDL?

    Hundreds of sites on the web offer you the NY CDL practice test for free when you search online for it. Others may charge you a fee. The secret is to dig around to ensure you are getting the test from a credible source and not someone who has failed their CDL tests. 



    After spending years on the road, I had a lot of time to think about the hardships that came with the trucking industry. I realized there was an opportunity to lend a hand a create a resource for truckers by truckers. With the help of my tech-savvy son, I built Trucker Geek as a way to show people that becoming a driver doesn’t need to be a stressful headache.