Chapter 5, Section M:
CDL Frequently Asked Questions


Revised August 14, 2013


Q: Do we trade an expired out-of-state CDL license?
A: No, we only trade current valid out-of-state CDL licenses.

Q: An out of state CDL license is presented and has a “school bus” endorsement. Do we give them credit for it, as we do for passenger, tanker etc.?
A: If the school bus endorsement was issued after September 2005, yes we do. If, however, it was issued before September 2005, the driver must take the written test to keep the endorsement.

Q: An applicant comes in with a CDL permit from another state. Do we accept it and issue a CDL license?
A: No. Not all states require that written exams be taken before issuing a permit.

Q: An applicant has received a “temporary” commercial license from another state and wishes to trade it for a New Mexico commercial license do we do this?
A: No. States in which a temporary license is issued at the counter do all of their verification of the applicant’s status in other states behind the scenes. Therefore, we only trade a valid commercial license. Some of the states that use the temporary issue method are California, Texas and Minnesota. Be very observant when looking at an out of state “license.”

Q: How many skills tests need to be turned in for a first time Class “A” with “H”, “P”, “T”, and “N”?
A. Two - one in a tractor trailer, and one in a Class “B” passenger vehicle. This license should also carry an "M" restriction.

Q: How many skills test need to be turned in for a first time Class “B” application with “H”, “P”, and “N” endorsements?
A. Two: one in a straight truck and one in a Class “B” passenger vehicle. If the passenger skills test is not turned in, the license will be issued with an “N” restriction. You may also issue a permit for the passenger endorsement if the driver expects to take the additional skills test within the 6 months the permit is good for.

Q: An existing Class “C” license, with “P” Endorsement moves up to a class “B”. What skills test needs to be turned in?
A. Two: one in a Class “B” truck AND one in a Class “B” passenger vehicle. If the applicant does not turn in a class “B” passenger skills test, then the license will carry the restriction “N”.

Q: An existing Class “B” with “P” Endorsement moves up to a Class “A”, how many skills tests are needed?
A. One, in a tractor-trailer. New Mexico does not have any Class “A” passenger vehicles. So these licenses must always carry the “M” restriction. If the applicant does not test in a tractor-trailer, but tests in a truck-trailer combination, then the license will carry the “O” restriction as well. You will pick this up from the skills test score sheet.

Q: A commercial license holder has his license revoked for a DWI in his personal car. Can he have his commercial license back?
A. He does not just get it back. The definition for revoked under 66-1-4.15 states: “Revocation” means that the driver license and privileges to drive a motor vehicle on the public highways are terminated and shall not be renewed or restored except that an application for a new license may be presented and acted upon by the division after the expiration of at least one year after date of revocation. Therefore, once a commercial license is revoked for any reason, the license holder must wait the required revocation time and pay a reinstatement fee before he can apply for a new commercial license. The driver must start over with an operator’s license and then take and pass the required written tests and pass the required skills test. If the DWI was in a commercial motor vehicle, the driver will be disqualified as well as his license being revoked. There can only be one conviction in a commercial motor vehicle. Upon the second, the driver is disqualified for life. New Mexico law does provide a way for the driver to present evidence of rehabilitation to the secretary of the division after 10 years has passed.

Q: If a New Mexico commercial license holder turns in an expired license to renew must he retest?
A. No, as long as he has presented the license for renewal within 12 months of the expiration date.

Q: If a New Mexico commercial license holder leaves the state, obtains a non-commercial license in another state, and then returns here, can he have his commercial license back?
A. Yes, but only if neither the New Mexico nor the out of state license has been revoked and as long as it has not been more than a year since the expiration date of the New Mexico license record. You will need to determine this by checking the driver’s record. The driver will need to have a current medical card and will need to take the Hazardous Materials exam if appropriate.