Over the road trucking jobs take you from state to state every single day. You could go through four states in the frame of a day, in the Northeast, and not even be tired. If you drive for a company like Baggett Transportation, Boyd Brothers or Bulkmatic you are visiting new states on the regular. You do not need to get your CDL transferred when driving from state to state, even if you are spending more time in another state working than the one you live in. However, if you move to another state that’s another story. Find out what you need to know about transferring your Class A CDL to another state.
Tick, Tock on Transfers
The first thing to do even before you make your move to another state is to go to the new state’s DOT webpage. Every state has one, and as every state has its own requirements for CDL holders, you must check out that state’s site. For example, when you move to Arizona you have 30 days to change your CDL once you become an official resident. Georgia truck drivers have to bring a copy of their MVR from the last 30 days when they transfer an out of state commercial driver’s license.
Moving to Washington state? You have to fill out a self-certification form, as of January 2014, in order to be eligible for transferring your CDL. It takes up to 10 days after the Washington State Department of Licensing receives this for you to be eligible for the CDL transfer. Note that the state of Indiana also requires you to self-certify your driving type prior to getting a CDL transferred.
As you can see every state is different in their requirements and processes for transferring your CDL. Start the process as soon as possible so you have your CDL in place to start a new truck driving job in your new home state.
Documentation for CDL Holders
While each state has its own requirements for documents you must bring when getting your CDL transferred there are some general items you will likely need. These include:
- Your out of state CDL
- Proof of residency in your new state
- Your social security card and/or number
- US birth certificate or proof of residency
- Medical examiner certificate for annual DOT physical exam
You will also need to pay a fee for the transfer of your Class A CDL. Typically this is less than $100, unless you have CDL endorsements, such as a tanker endorsement or combo endorsement. Then you will have to pay to transfer each endorsement, but this is typically less than $40 each.
Another item you will need to take care of during the transfer is the vision test. You are required to pass a vision exam prior to getting your new CDL. If you have received an exemption for vision by the DOT you will need to bring the paperwork showing your exemption status.
Retaking the CDL Tests
Do you have to retake your CDL exams, either the written test or the skills/road test, to get a CDL in another state? No this is not the case. You should not have to take these exams over again once you have received your CDL. However, if you decide to upgrade your CDL to include an endorsement, i.e. H endorsement, T endorsement or X combo endorsement, you will have to take specific exams for these.
If you do not have a copy of your old CDL, i.e. it got lost in the move, most states will search the DOT database to verify you have a CDL. However it is a good idea to take along any documentation you have pertaining to being a commercial truck driver. This will help your case in the instance they don’t offer to search the DOT database. If you have lost your DOT medical exam certificate you can simply contact the certified medical examiner, i.e. the doctor, chiropractor or nurse practitioner, who gave you the most recent physical. They have copies of their physical certifications on file and can send you a new one.