CDL Military Skills Test Waiver
Changes to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles now allow an applicant for a NYS commercial driver license (CDL) with military experience driving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to apply for a waiver of the NYS CDL skills (road) test.
To meet the requirements for this waiver, the applicant must:
- Currently hold a valid New York State driver license or have a valid out of state driver license to be exchanged for a NYS driver license, and
- Meet all other requirements to qualify for a NYS CDL, and
- Be currently regularly employed (or regularly employed within the last 90 days) in a military position (active duty or New York National Guard) that requires operation of a CMV, and
- Operated a CMV of the type that the driver operates or expects to operate for at least two years immediately before:
- the application date if in active service, or
- the date of being discharged from the military.
- At a DMV office present:
- Pass all applicable written tests and pay the written test fee, permit fee and license fee. There is no skills test fee.
If all requirements are met, the DMV office will issue your CDL. The class, endorsements and restrictions on your CDL will depend upon the type of CMV you operated in the military. For more information, see form CDL-101 (Explanation of License Classes, Endorsements and Restrictions).
CDL Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Endorsements
Federal and NYS laws require background checks for a driver with a NYS commercial driver license (CDL) to get or renew a hazardous materials (HazMat) endorsement. A driver with a NYS CDL must have an "H" or an "X" HazMat endorsement to operate commercial motor vehicles that carry hazardous materials.
To get or to renew a HazMat endorsement, a driver who has a CDL must provide fingerprints for federal and NYS background checks for criminal violations. To renew a CDL with a HazMat endorsement, a commercial driver also must pass a HazMat endorsement written test at a DMV office.
If a driver is disqualified after the background checks or does not pass the written test, the driver cannot get or renew a HazMat endorsement.
To keep the HazMat endorsement, the driver must provide fingerprints and pass the background checks every five years. The CDL and the HazMat endorsement will normally be renewed at different times, and the DMV will mail separate renewal notices.
It is important that a driver whose address has changed promptly file a change of address with the NYS DMV.
Instructions to Get or to Renew a HazMat Endorsement
If you do not have a HazMat endorsement, you must apply for the endorsement at a DMV office. You must first have a CDL to apply for the HazMat endorsement. Read the CDL Manual (CDL-10) and the forms MV-500C (Driver License Class Descriptions) and CDL-101 (Explanation of License Classes, Endorsements and Restrictions).
Pass the Written Test
To renew your CDL with a HazMat endorsement if you did not pass the HazMat written test within the last two years, you must visit a DMV office to pay the $5 written test fee and take the test. You must pass the written test before the DMV can renew your CDL with a HazMat endorsement. You must answer 80% or more of the questions correctly to pass the test. You can take the test as many times as necessary until you pass the test, but you must pay a $5 fee for each test you take.
The test result is valid until your CDL expires. To keep your HazMat endorsement, you must pass the test again within two years before your CDL expires. You can take the test when you apply to renew your CDL, or you can take the test up to two years before the expiration date of your CDL.
If you do not meet the requirement for the written test, the fingerprinting, and the background checks, you can only renew your CDL without the HazMat endorsement.
You can study the hazardous materials section of the NYS Commercial Driver License Manual (CDL-10), or study the Hazardous Materials Manual (CDL-11).
Apply for the HazMat Endorsement
To apply for the HazMat endorsement, complete form HAZ-44 (Application for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement) and make a copy of one or more of the legal status documents that are listed on the form. Mail the completed form and a copy of your legal status document(s) to:
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228
Provide Your Fingerprints for Background Checks
As of June 21, 2010, you will no longer be fingerprinted at one of DMV's New York City offices or at a New York State Police site. Instead, New York State has contracted with L-1 Enrollment Services Division (L-1) to provide fingerprint services. L-1 has many enrollment centers located throughout the state. You must go to an L-1 enrollment center to pay the required fees and to be fingerprinted. The fees are $140.75 for the background checks and a fee for L-1 to perform the fingerprint service. By contract, the L-1 service fee is subject to change every six months, but the L-1 fee cannot exceed $11.75. The fees are separate from and in addition to the fees to get or to renew your CDL.
You must schedule an appointment with L-1 to be fingerprinted. Visit the L-1 Enrollment Web page or call 1-877-472-6915 to get information about enrollment locations and hours, fees and payment methods, and to schedule an appointment. You can pay the required fees when you schedule your appointment or when you visit the L-1 site to be fingerprinted.
Complete form HAZ-600 (Request for NYS Fingerprinting Services - Information Form) and bring it to your appointment along with your NYS CDL and one of the second proofs of ID that are listed on form HAZ-600. If you did not pay the fees when you scheduled your appointment, you must pay the fees at the time you are fingerprinted.
The federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will notify you by mail of the results of the background check based on federal standards only. The TSA Web site has information about the federal background checks for the HazMat endorsements.
The DMV will notify you by mail about the results of the background check for NYS and federal offenses that disqualify you. You can read the list of federal and NYS offenses that disqualify you. The list is available in the English language only.
If you are not disqualified based on federal or NYS offenses, the DMV will send you a photo CDL with your HazMat endorsement. Your CDL displays the expiration date of your CDL and the expiration date of your HazMat endorsement. The endorsement is valid for five years.
Do not request the results of background checks from the DMV, L-1, or the TSA. Wait to receive the notifications in the mail.
Renew Your Endorsement
The DMV will normally mail you a renewal notice for your HazMat endorsement, which is separate from the notice to renew your CDL. Follow the instructions in the HazMat endorsement renewal notice to apply for the background checks.
Schedule your fingerprint appointment promptly with L-1. Background checks can take 30 days or more to complete. If your endorsement expires, it will not be restored until the criminal history background checks are completed and you have been re-qualified by both the TSA and the DMV.
Removal of Your CDL HazMat Endorsement
If you do not pass the written test and the background checks, the DMV will issue a CDL that does not have a HazMat endorsement.
If you do not need a HazMat endorsement, do not take the written test and do not apply for the background checks. When it is time to renew your CDL, follow the instructions provided with your CDL renewal notice and pay the CDL renewal fee. The DMV will issue a CDL that does not have a HazMat endorsement.
Frequently Asked Questions About the CDL HazMat Endorsement
I provided fingerprints for another application, for example for a pistol permit or employment as a security guard. Do I have to provide fingerprints again for the CDL HazMat endorsement?
What is included in the background checks?
The background checks include a check of criminal history data from the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). There is also a background check by the federal Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).
I have a conviction for a felony. Can I qualify for a HazMat endorsement?
You can apply for a HazMat endorsement, but you cannot receive the endorsement if the background checks determine that you were convicted of a felony that disqualifies you.
How long does it take to complete the required background check?
It normally takes at least 30 days from the date you submit your fingerprints to complete the background check. The time period can be longer than 30 days.
Can I receive a temporary HazMat endorsement while the background check is completed?
No. The DMV cannot issue the HazMat endorsement until the background checks are completed and approved. Instead, the DMV will provide by mail a CDL with the HazMat endorsement that is valid for 90 days if:
- you applied to renew a current NYS CDL with a HazMat endorsement, and
- the background checks are not completed and approved before the endorsement expires.
Must I provide fingerprints again when I apply to renew my HazMat endorsement?
Yes. You must provide your fingerprints each time you apply to renew your HazMat endorsement. New background checks will be performed.
Must I provide fingerprints for the Farm HazMat (Z) endorsement ?
No. You must provide fingerprints for an H endorsement or an X endorsement on your CDL.
How often must I take the written test for a HazMat endorsement?
To keep your HazMat endorsement, you must pass the HazMat endorsement written test at a DMV office within two years before the renewal of your NYS CDL.
At which DMV offices can take the written test for a HazMat endorsement?
You can take the HazMat endorsement test at most DMV offices. See the list of all DMV offices for information about offices that do not provide written tests.
Where can I get more information about the NYS CDL HazMat endorsements?
You can contact the NYS HazMat Certification Unit at 518-408-2997 or by e-mail at HazMatUnit@dmv.ny.gov. Use the phone number and e-mail address only for questions about the CDL HazMat endorsement requirements in NYS.
Certified Escort Vehicle Drivers
Note: You must have a version number of 7.0 or later of Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed on your computer to use the online manual. The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader® is free at the Adobe web site.
Escort vehicle - A marked vehicle with warning signs and lights that operates in front of or behind a large vehicle that exceeds normal vehicle dimensions in height, length, width and/or overhang. The escort vehicle protects the escorted vehicle and warns and protects other highway users.
Escorted vehicle - A large vehicle that, with its load included, exceeds the normal vehicle dimensions in height, length, width and/or overhang. An example of an escorted vehicle is a tractor-trailer combination that tows a manufactured home (a mobile home) or a large construction vehicle.
Overhang - the portion of the load carried by a vehicle that extends past the main body of the vehicle in the front, to the rear, or to any side.
Vehicles required to have an Escort Vehicle
A vehicle is required to have an escort vehicle if the escorted vehicle:
- With its load included, has a width of 12 feet or more, or
- With its load included, has a length of 80 feet or more, or
- With its load included, has a height of 14 feet or more, or
- Has a load that extends past the main body of the vehicle (an overhang) of more than 10 feet.
Correct escort vehicle operation has many benefits. The NYS Certified Escort Vehicle Driver Program to test and certify escort vehicle drivers helps to:
- Make highways safer for the drivers of the escorted vehicles and other highway users
- Prevent damage to the highway system
- Prevent damage to the loads that are transported on escorted vehicles
- Reduce delays in the normal flow of traffic
- Minimize increases in insurance costs through the prevention of crashes
- Standardize escort vehicle operations
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a Certified Vehicle Escort Driver in NYS?
To qualify as a certified escort driver, you must:
- Be 21 years or age or older.
- Have a valid driver license issued in NYS or in your state of residence. If you do not have a valid driver license, you cannot become a certified escort vehicle driver.
- Apply for certification and take the required written knowledge test for escort drivers. You must apply at a DMV office that offers escort driver certification tests, and not all DMV offices offer the test. If an office offers the certification test, it will be indicated in the "Hours" column on the list of local DMV offices. There is a fee of $40.00 for the test.
To apply for certification:
- Study the Certified Escort Manual available from the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- Complete form MV-65 (Vehicle Escort Driver Application).
Submit the completed form MV-65 and the $40.00 test fee, and show acceptable proof of identity at a DMV office that offers escort driver certification tests. If an office offers the certification test, it will be indicated in the "Hours" column on the list of local DMV offices. You can pay the fee by cash, credit card and/or by check or money order payable to Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
If I fail the written test, can I take the test again?
You can take the test again, but you must pay a $40 fee for each test you take.
Does NYS recognize escort vehicle driver certifications issued in other states?
No, NYS does not recognize escort vehicle driver certifications issued in other states. To legally operate an escort vehicle in NYS, you must have a valid NYS Certified Vehicle Escort Card (form MV-64). You must carry the MV-64 card with your driver license when you drive an escort vehicle in NYS.
I have the "Interim Escort Vehicle Certificate" I received when I passed the knowledge written test. I did not yet receive my permanent MV-64 card. What can I do?
Contact the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Bus Driver Unit at (518) 473-9455. Be prepared to fax or mail a copy of your interim certificate. The Fax number is (518) 474-0593 and the address is:
NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
Bus Driver Unit
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 311
Albany, NY 12228
I lost my Escort Vehicle Driver Certification card. How do I replace my card?
To apply for a replacement (a duplicate) card:
NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
- Complete form MV-65 (Vehicle Escort Driver Application) and check the box that displays the words, "Replace Certificate."
- Send the completed form MV-65, and a check or money order payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for $5.00, to:
Bus Driver Unit
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 311
Albany, NY 12228
Where can I get more information about an Escort Driver Certification?
Call the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Bus Driver Unit at (518) 473-9455 between 9:00 am and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays that are not State holidays.
Forms Related to Commercial Drivers
Below is a list of forms used by or related to commercial motor vehicle drivers. You must have a version number of 7.0 or later of Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed on your computer to use the online manual. The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader® is free at the Adobe web site.
The forms are listed in order by the number of the form.
If you see this icon (), you can use your computer to complete the form and then print the completed form.
|Explanation of License Classes, Endorsements and Restrictions
|See also form MV-500C, Driver License Class Descriptions.
|CDL Certification for Military Waiver of Skills Test
|Used to apply for a waiver from a CDL Skills Test when the applicant has qualifying military experience. The applicant must meet all other CDL requirements.
|Important Information about the Hazardous Materials Endorsement.
|Instructions and requirements for the NYS CDL HazMat endorsement and a list of Federal and NYS violations that can disqualify a CDL driver. See also form HAZ-44.
|Application for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement
|Application to get or to renew a CDL HazMat (H or X) endorsement), and a list of offenses that result in an interim disqualification or a permanent disqualification. See also form HAZ-11.
|Request for Fingerprinting Services Information Form
|Completed by a commercial driver with a HazMat endorsement and brought to the appointment for fingerprint services with L-1 Identity Solutions. Includes instructions and requirements.
|New Federal Medical and Self-Certification Requirements for Commercial Drivers - MC-31
||Describes the certification requirements that begin in 2013 for commercial drivers to certify the type of driving they perform.
|Requirements for Commercial Drivers
|Required for all commercial driver license (CDL) renewals.
|Federal Requirements for Commercial Driver License (CDL) Applicants
|Information for applicants for original or renewal NYS commercial driver licenses. You can also read the DMV web site page about the Federal requirements.
|Vehicle Escort Driver Application
Solicitud Para Los Conductores Accompañates de Vehículos
|Application for certificate to operate as an escort driver for oversize vehicles. Applicants must pass a written test based on the NYS Certified Escort Manual available from DMV Offices or Call Centers.
|Driver's Manual for the Safe Securement of Metal Coils and Other Cargo
|Manual to study for the written test required for the metal coil (M) endorsement requirement for certain commercial driver licenses (CDLs).
TIP -- Large file, recommend save to local disk.
|Driver License Class Descriptions
|See also form CDL-101, Explanation of License Classes, Endorsements and Restrictions
|Forms For Article 19A Carriers
||Listing of all internet-available forms for motor carriers employing bus drivers.