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Commercial driver's license - CDL
What do I need to add a CDL endorsement to my license? (Choose tab)
License and certification
Beginning February 7, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established new minimum training standards for individuals applying for:
- Class A or B Commercial Driver License (CDL) for the first time
- An upgrade of an existing CDL (e.g., Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL)
- A Hazardous Materials (H), Passenger (P), or School Bus (S) endorsement on a CDL for the first time
These new minimum training standards are referred to as Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT). Drivers must complete the required ELDT from a training provider registered with FMCSA before being scheduled for CDL skills or knowledge tests to obtain one of the licenses or endorsements listed above. Once implemented, the FMCSA Training Provider Registry (TPR) will retain a record of which CDL applicants have completed the new training and certification process outlined in the ELDT regulations. A CLP may be issued prior to ELDT being completed. First-time hazardous applicants including those applying for a Class A, B, or C CDL must complete the hazardous portion of ELDT prior to a written knowledge test being administered at a branch office. Customers who received their Class A or B CLP prior Feb. 7, 2022, are exempt from these regulations until the CLP is expired.
To apply for a CDL endorsement, visit a Secretary of State office to provide your:
- Valid, unexpired driver’s license
- Completed and signed Commercial Driver’s License Certification form
Additional documents are required for hazardous materials (hazmat), passenger, and school bus endorsements.
If you are applying for a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement, visit a Secretary of State office and provide the following in addition to your valid, unexpired license and CDL Certification form:
- A document proving your legal presence in the United States
- A background check completed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
More information on background check requirements is available on the TSA website.
What do I need to renew my CDL? (Choose tab)
To renew your commercial driver’s license online, you will need:
- Your driver’s license or renewal notice
- An updated valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (also known as a DOT Medical Card) to upload, if you have certified to non-excepted interstate driving
- Payment with credit or debit card (additional fees apply) or e-check/bank account number. Fees: See details in FAQs below.
Note: If you have a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement, you can’t renew online.
This transaction isn’t available by mail.
This transaction isn’t available at self-service stations.
To renew your CDL at a Secretary of State office, you will need your:
- Michigan driver’s license
- Completed and signed Commercial Driver's License Certification form
If you self-certify as a non-excepted interstate driver, you must also present a completed and signed Medical Examiner's Certificate (DOT Medical Card).
You will be required to take and pass a vision test to renew your CDL endorsement(s).
If you are renewing a hazardous materials (hazmat [H]) endorsement, visit a Secretary of State office to provide the above documents as well as:
- Proof of legal presence in the United States
- A background record check completed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
You will be required to pass a written knowledge test for the renewal of your H endorsement, in addition to the vision test.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What CDL endorsements are available?
In addition to the appropriate CDL group designation, endorsements are required for the following:
- T – Double or Triple Trailers – (Triple trailer combinations aren’t permitted in Michigan.)
- P – Passenger – For vehicles designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver)
- N – Tank Vehicles – For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more
- H – Hazardous Materials – To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards
- X – Appears on the license instead of the H and N codes when an applicant receives both the tank and hazardous materials endorsements
- S – School Bus – For commercial motor vehicles used to transport pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students from home to school, school to home, or to and from school-sponsored events
What does it cost to add CDL endorsements?
- $18 for a for a new photo license ($33 if you have an enhanced license)
- $5 for each endorsement
All Secretary of State offices can accept payment by cash, credit or debit card (additional fees apply), or money order or check made payable to the State of Michigan.
How can I prepare for any knowledge exams I'll need to take?
You will need to pass knowledge exams about any CDL endorsements for which you are applying. To help you prepare the exams, the Michigan Commercial Driver's License Manual is available on our website.
What documents can be used as proof or citizenship or proof of legal presence?
If you are applying for a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement, you will need proof of U.S. citizenship (certified birth certificate, U.S. passport, etc.) or proof of your immigration status. Immigration documents must be verified through the federal government’s SAVE application. Verification may take more than one day.
What is Entry-Level Driving Training (ELDT)?
Beginning February 7, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires customers applying for a first-time CDL or upgrading a CDL to complete Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) through an approved driver education provider. Information about finding a provider can be found on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry.
ELDT must be completed before you can take a hazardous materials endorsement knowledge test. For other CDL classes and endorsements, you may take knowledge tests and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) but you must complete ELDT before scheduling a CDL skills test through a driver testing business.
Proof of completion of ELDT will show up in our system automatically through the federal government’s Commercial Skills Test Information Management System.
How many training hours are required for entry-level driver training classes?
There are no minimum training hours for completing entry-level driver training. For more information about specific classes, contact an approved provider listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry.
How do I complete the background check required for the hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires customers to complete a background record check through the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to add or renew a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement.
Note: The TSA fingerprint and background check takes 30 to 60 days to process.
If I already have a CDL and I only need a hazardous materials endorsement, do I need to complete entry-level driver training?
Yes. Entry-level driver training is required by the federal government to add an original hazardous materials endorsement to your CDL.
Entry-level driver training isn’t required if you’re renewing a CDL that already has a hazardous materials endorsement.
Do all CDL endorsements require entry-level driver training?
If you already have a CDL, you don’t need to complete entry-level driver training to add a tanker (N) endorsement, or double / triple trailer (T) endorsement.
For passenger and school bus endorsements, you can take the required knowledge exams and apply for a commercial learner’s permit. You must then complete entry-level driver training before scheduling a CDL skills test through a driver testing business.
For hazardous materials endorsements, entry-level driver training must be completed before you take a knowledge exam to apply for an original endorsement.
If I recently renewed my CDL and dropped one of my endorsements, do I need to take the knowledge exam to reapply for the endorsement?
If you dropped the endorsement within the last two years, you can reapply for the endorsement without taking a CDL knowledge exam.
What if I want to add an endorsement to my commercial driver's license but have misplaced my license?
If your license is misplaced, you will need to provide multiple documents to prove your identity (U.S. passport, birth certificate, etc.) and your citizenship.
If I have equivalent military experience, do I need to take the CDL tests?The commercial driver’s license (CDL) knowledge skills test and on-road driving skills test requirements are waived for military service members who are trained and have been employed in the past year to operate the military equivalent to a commercial vehicle. Eligible veterans and service members may apply to convert their Michigan license to a CDL Class A or B at any Secretary of State office by completing the Application for Military Waiver Even Exchange.