CDL License Requirements & Training in New York ::

CDL Requirements in New York

Starting on the path to becoming a commercial driver in New York can be exciting and a little overwhelming at the same time – that’s why we’ve taken the time to help new drivers find their way through the process. Meeting all of the CDL requirements in New York won’t happen overnight, but the sooner you start, the closer you’ll be to a career in commercial driving.

Firstly, you will need to be at least 18 years old, pass a vision test, provide a current physical examination, and have a valid driver’s license for personal use already. Since the U.S. Department of Transportation has established the guidelines for transporting cargo across state lines, you’ll need to be 21 years old to work as an interstate commercial driver.

Earning your CDL in New York means you’ll be required to pass a general knowledge exam, a skills test pertaining to your class of vehicle, as well as an official road test during which you’ll prove you’ve got what it takes to be a New York commercial driver. Notably, the vehicle used for your test will determine the class of license you’ll receive – either a CDL class A, B, or C. You can also receive additional endorsements on your license to indicate you have specialized knowledge in transporting specific cargo types or the ability to transport passengers.

Find CDL Schools in New York

Finding a formal training program to earn your CDL is a great way to ensure you haven’t overlooked any of the necessary information pertaining to starting your career as a commercial driver. Considering that the current driver shortage is characterized as an issue of the quality of candidates rather than quantity, setting yourself apart with a solid education can show employers you’re serious about becoming a leading professional in the trucking industry. 

Whether you take courses through a public, private, or community college, you’ll be sure to gain all of the necessary skill sets – everything from how to properly inspect your vehicle to the fine details of life on the road and operating your vehicle with precision. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn from instructors who are very familiar with the ins and outs of commercial driving having spent years on the road. Search for CDL schools in New York and start your road to education today!

CDL Training Costs in New York

The costs of New York CDL training programs can be on the expensive side with some training programs costing as much as $16,500! Yet these prices will also vary depending on the type of school and programs available in your area. Nationally, CDL training can cost anywhere from $2,000-$8,300 so it could be best to shop around for the best value and schedule that works for you. 

These average costs cover all of the materials you need for class, any additional endorsement courses you’ll be taking, as well as your main experience in the classroom and behind the wheel. As with most college programs, students looking to become commercial drivers can apply for FAFSA student aid to make covering the costs of tuition a little easier. Other financial options can include loans or a federal Pell Grant, which can be awarded through participating institutions. 

Attending a company-sponsored training program is another very viable option for new commercial drivers. In this scenario, trucking companies will actually pay for you to go through CDL training in New York, allowing you to reimburse them during a period following your hiring. This allows a smooth transition into earning a regular salary and provides the peace of mind that a job is already lined up as soon as you graduate from your New York CDL program. It is important to stress that this is a strict financial agreement, so as long as you’re absolutely committed to becoming a commercial driver, this is a great option that will open up a lot of opportunities for you and your career.

CDL Prep in New York

Once you’ve logged the time required to gain all the right knowledge for the job, spent time behind the wheel and taken the necessary courses, what else is there to do? Studying hard and reviewing your materials will never hurt, but when it comes to taking your official written test you won’t want to be caught off-guard. Get an idea of what you can expect with our practice CDL test available here on for free use! This test can be taken as many times as is necessary to feel confident for when it’s finally time for the real deal! 

Beyond written exams, it’s highly recommended that you practice your road test with the exact same vehicle (or at least the same class of vehicle) that you’ll use for the final driving portion of your New York CDL requirements. Many students utilize rental trucks if the program doesn’t already provide a test vehicle, however, it is increasingly common that institutions have vehicles available. With these considerations and CDL prep tips in mind, be sure to ask around to learn what others have experienced during the process to really succeed – it’s good to learn from others’ mistakes if possible!

New York CDL Endorsement & Waivers

In New York and the rest of the United States, special endorsements are required to haul certain types of cargo or to operate a specific class of vehicle effectively. Beyond earning your basic class A, B, or C CDL in New York, common endorsements include:

  • School Bus - S
  • Passenger - P
  • Tank Vehicles - N
  • Double/Triple - T
  • Hazardous Materials - H
  • Combination Tank / Hazardous Materials - X

Waivers are also referred to as restrictions and are used to designate certain limitations to what a CDL holder can and cannot do. Using a similar coding system to the way endorsements are displayed on a commercial driver’s license, restrictions allow employers and road officials to quickly and accurately determine a driver’s ability to be operating certain vehicles or hauling specific loads. These can include medical exemptions, as well as indicators as to the extent of your ability to use specific braking systems or even certain types of equipment like a pintle hook.

CDL Tests in New York

Once the time finally comes and you’re ready to schedule your final written and road tests, you’ll want to know what to expect. After spending many hours behind the wheel and hitting the books, you’ll soon be able to prove what you’ve learned. But as with any test, it’s important to be aware of the overall procedures. Below is a preview of most of what you’ll encounter before the final steps to becoming a New York commercial driver are completed!

CDL Knowledge Tests in New York

Similar to a personal driver’s license test, you’ll answer a standard 50 questions that cover a wide range of commercial driving information. This includes vehicle regulations, road safety, and rules, how to handle equipment, proper loading and unloading procedures, and other basic knowledge required for all commercial drivers. Earning an 80% or above is a passing grade, allowing you to move on to your skills and road tests where you’ll really display your newly learned abilities as a budding commercial driver.

CDL Skills Test in New York

The New York CDL skills test ensures that you have the proper abilities and knowledge required to operate a commercial vehicle in the state and across the United States. The process of earning your CDL will be broken down into three main sections, each designed to cover all of the aspects of commercial driving. 

Separate from the written knowledge test, instructors will test your familiarity with the class of vehicle you’re using for your test, as well as how well you know the proper procedures for handling cargo, utilizing your breaking system, and other important mechanical processes involved before, during, and after transport. This also includes going over your pre-trip inspection tests and being able to determine whether your vehicle is safe to operate. 

Finally, for your road test, you will need to perform various maneuvers like turning, backing up, and merging lanes that will be a common occurrence on the road. This is one of the most important aspects of your entire CDL training in New York, so be sure to practice as much as possible to really nail it on the first time around! Here you can display just how confident you are behind the wheel – something that company-sponsored programs really like to see!

Job Outlook in New York

The issue is really one of quality rather than quantity, so setting yourself apart with an education means you’ll have a great shot at earning a consistent salary and moving on to better, higher paying positions quickly. With thousands of new drivers needed each year in order to remedy the current driver shortage, getting your New York CDL is a sure-fire way to enter onto a career path where talented employees are in high demand! 

According to recent projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the commercial driving jobs are expected to increase 5% from now until 2024, so earning a CDL in New York is something that will really allow you to earn a solid salary for years come.

New York Truck Driver Salary

Based on the most recent data, the average annual salary for a trucking job in New York is currently $48,390. Although pay rates can vary across the state, gaining more experience on the road will make you a much more valuable hire as you continue your career as a commercial driver. The longer you drive, the more you’ll eventually earn! Start looking for New York Commercial Driving jobs today and keep your future moving forward with!