Commercial Driver License

The commercial driver license (CDL) program is a nationwide effort to ensure that only qualified commercial drivers receive and maintain CDLs and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from our highways. AAMVA partners with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is the lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).  FMCSA has created standardized knowledge and testing requirements to help ensure commercial drivers have met the minimum standards to operate a CMV safely.

FMCSA's National CDL Program Training is an online training resource that provides interactive, on-demand training materials to help state driver licensing agencies better understand and achieve compliance with 49 CFR Parts 383 and 384.

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act

The MAP-21 Act (P.L.112-141) was introduced into law in 2012 and includes important provisions intended to help assist FMCSA in reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The core principals under MAP-21 are:

  • Raise the bar to enter the industry and operate on our roads 

  • Hold motor carriers and drivers to the highest safety standards to continue operations

  • Remove the highest risk drivers, vehicles, and carriers from our roads and prevent them from operating

Medical Certification Requirements

Under MAP-21 the FMCSA Medical Certification Requirements requires all CDL holders to provide a copy of their medical examiner's (ME) certificate to state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs), where it is added to the record of the CDL holder. CDL drivers who are found driving in a category other than the one to which they self-certified are subject to suspension or revocation of their CDL privileges. CDL drivers who do not update the expiration date of their ME certificate with their SDLA will have their commercial privileges downgraded and will not be eligible to drive a commercial motor vehicle. You can find additional information on medical certification requirements here.

Military Waiver Program

Under MAP-21, SDLAs are given the authority to substitute two years of experience safely operating trucks or buses equivalent to civilian commercial vehicles for the skills test portion of the CDL test. Military drivers must apply within one year of leaving a military position requiring operation of a commercial vehicle. For additional information visit the Military Skills Test Waiver Program.

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