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Driver Licensing > Commercial Driver License

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires every state to meet the same minimum standards for commercial driver licensing. The standards require drivers to get a Commercial Driver License (CDL) to operate any of the following commercial motor vehicles:

  • A vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) in excess of 26,000 pounds.
  • A combination of trailer and towing unit which exceeds 26,000 pounds GVWR with the trailer in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
  • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
  • Any size vehicle which transports hazardous materials which requires a Hazmat placard.

Drivers are required to pass different knowledge and road tests depending on the Classifications and Endorsements they apply for and the type of license they currently hold. Before applying for a CDL license, drivers should thoroughly review the Commercial Driver ManualAdobe Acrobat Reader Symbol, which can be downloaded or is available at any DMV office.

Medical Card Requirement

Effective January 30, 2012, all commercial licensed drivers (CDL) and those applying for a commercial license must keep a current and valid medical card on file with the DMV. This requirement applies regardless of the CDL driver’s employment status or intent to operate a commercial vehicle. Any non-exempt CDL driver must keep a current medical card on file if they wish to maintain a commercial license.

CDL drivers who do not have an updated card on file should submit a copy of their current medical card along with a CDL Medical Card and Certification FormAdobe Acrobat Reader Symbolto the DMV. Drivers who fail to keep a current medical card on file will risk losing their CDL privileges.

You will be given four choices. You may only check "yes" to one of the statements on the back of the CDL Medical Card and Certification FormAdobe Acrobat Reader Symbol. Here is an explanation of the terms used on the form:

Interstate: You use your commercial driver license to drive out of state, in Canada, and/or Mexico.

Intrastate: This means you use your commercial driver license within New Hampshire only (you are under the age of 21, or you are restricted to NH only because you hold a Waiver of Physical Deficiency.

Non-excepted: This means you do not work for a government agency or a municipality; you must have a medical card on file whether you are currently using your commercial driver license or not.

Excepted: This means you work for a government agency or a municipality (e.g. firefighter, EMT, rescue vehicles, federal, state, or local government employee) and this is the only commercial driving you do, then you are not required to have a medical card and you are considered "excepted."

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