Section A. General Information and Statutes
Section B. First Time Commercial Learner's Permit
Section C. Requirements and Procedures for Issuing Initial CDL
Section D. Renewal, Replacement or Upgrade of a CDL
Section E. Medical Certification and Waivers
Section F. Skill Test Requirements
Section G. Class E (Exemption) License
Section H. Commercial Driver Statement
Section I. Grandfathering
Section J. Out-of-State Commercial License
Section K. CDL Skills Test Examiners
Section L. Knowledge Tests
Section M. Frequently Asked Questions
Section A: Commercial Driver's License (CDL) - General Information and Statutes
Revised August 14, 2013
The federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was signed into law on October 27,1986. The act retained the state's right to issue a driver license, but established minimum national standards, which New Mexico must meet when licensing drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
It is illegal for a commercial license holder to possess more than one commercial license.
This program is audited and monitored by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) in Washington, DC. The New Mexico Office of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) audits our program every year to determine if we are complying with all of the federal mandates. For New Mexico to continue participating in the commercial driver license program, we must be able to demonstrate that we run every 1st time and renewal commercial applicant through CDLIS and PDPS.
Sec. 65-3-7 NMSA 1978, Qualifications of Drivers
A person shall not drive a motor vehicle unless he is qualified to drive a motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a person to drive a motor vehicle unless that person is qualified to drive a motor vehicle.
A person is qualified to drive a commercial motor carrier vehicle if he:
- is at least 21 years old,or
- is at least 18 years old and drives only within the boundaries of the state of New Mexico;
- is physically qualified to drive a motor vehicle;
- is not disqualified from driving a motor vehicle;
- has been issued a current valid motor vehicle operator's license or permit of the proper class for the vehicle he is driving;
- can, by reason of experience, training, or both, safely operate the type of motor vehicle he drives; and
- can, by reason of experience, training, or both, determine whether the cargo he transports is properly located, distributed and secured in or on the motor vehicle he drives.
Sec. 66-5-59 NMSA 1978, Commercial Driver License Required
A person may not drive a commercial motor vehicle unless the person holds and is in immediate possession of a commercial driver's license and applicable endorsements valid for the vehicle the person is driving, except when driving under a commercial driver's instruction permit and accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver's license valid for the vehicle being driven.
A person may not drive a commercial motor vehicle while the person's driving privilege is suspended, revoked or canceled or while subject to a disqualification or in violation of an out-of-service order.
A person who is a resident of this state for at least 30 days may not drive a commercial motor vehicle under the authority of a commercial driver's license issued by another jurisdiction.
A person may not drive a commercial motor vehicle in violation of an out-of-service order.
Note: An "out-of-service order" is a declaration by an authorized enforcement officer of a federal, state, Canadian, Mexican or local jurisdiction that a driver, a commercial motor vehicle or a motor carrier operation is temporarily prohibited from operating.
Sec. 66-5-60 NMSA 1978, CDL - Qualifications and Standards
The division may not issue a commercial driver license to a person unless that person is a resident of New Mexico and has passed a knowledge and skills test for driving a commercial motor vehicle and for related endorsements and has satisfied any other requirements of the New Mexico Commercial Driver License Act (66-5-52 to 66-5-70 NMSA 1978).
Sec. 66-5-61 NMSA 1978, CDL - Limitations on Issuance
A commercial driver's license may not be issued to a person while the person is subject to a disqualification from driving a commercial motor vehicle or while the person's driver's license is suspended, revoked or canceled in any state, nor may a commercial driver's license be issued to a person who has a CDL issued by any other state unless the person first surrenders all such licenses to the division.
MVD procedures require that, when a prior CDL is surrendered (whether in- or out-of-state and whether renewal or replacement), one hole is punched through the old license, and the hole-punched card is returned to the customer with his or her new license (PQU#60). If a driver is obtaining a CDL permit (i.e. new or for upgrade), do not invalidate his current license as this is needed in addition to the CDL permit.
Section B: First-Time Commercial Learner's Permit
Revised August 14, 2013
Sec. 66-5-62 NMSA 1978, Requirements for a New Mexico Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP)
The applicant for a New Mexico Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) must have a valid New Mexico drivers license.
Every applicant for a Commercial Learner's Permit must provide all of the following documents:
- Social Security card or valid proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
- Proof of identity and U.S. citizenship (or) lawful permanent residence in the U.S.
- DOT Medical Examination Certificate and/or Medical Exemption Waiver issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA); or, if medically exempt, proof of qualification such as a vehicle certification form for a government employee
- Two proofs of physical residency showing a New Mexico address
Additional information clarifying each of these requirements is provided in Chapter 6 Section C.
Applicant must have passed required knowledge tests with a score of 80 or better
Applicant may not be suspended, canceled, revoked, or disqualified in any state.
The Commercial Learner's Permit is issued for six months. Applicant may be issued one renewal or reissue within a two-year period.
FOR ANY RENEWAL, UPGRADE OR REPLACEMENT, CONTACT THE CDL UNIT TO MAKE SURE THE DRIVER IS ELIGIBLE.
A CLP cannot be issued with a Hazmat endorsement.
The only endorsements allowed for a CLP are:
- P - Passenger endorsement
- S - School Bus endorsement
- N - Tank vehicle
The applicant must carry his or her current valid CDL or non-CDL along with the Commercial Learner's Permit.
The CLP holder is not eligible to take the CDL skills test in the first 14 days after initial issuance of the CLP.
Section C: Requirements and Procedures for Issuing Initial CDL
Revised June 26, 2013
Requirements for the initial, first time New Mexico CDL
- Applicant must be a resident of New Mexico.
- Applicant must have at least a valid New Mexico driver's license and a current New Mexico instructional permit for the class of commercial driver's license requested.
- Applicant must be 21 or older to drive interstate.
- An applicant who is 18-20 years old may apply for a CDL with a "K" restriction, limiting the driver to intrastate commerce only. However, to transport hazardous materials that require a vehicle placard, the driver must be at least 21 whether driving in state or interstate.
- Applicant must not be subject to any suspension, cancellation, revocation or disqualification in any state.
- f. Applicant must have a current DOT Medical Examination Certification (Long Form) and/or Medical Waiver issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Governmental employees are exempt from providing proof that they are medically qualified, because they are considered medically qualified through their government agencies. Make sure they are entitled to the exception by either their employee ID card or paycheck from the governmental agency.
- If an applicant has a medical condition requiring a waiver, applicant must present the medical waiver (waiver must be from the Regional Director - Motor Carrier if it is a federal waiver or from the MVD Director if it is a New Mexico waiver). NOTE: An applicant, who has obtained a waiver from the New Mexico Director of the Motor Vehicle Division, will be limited to intrastate driving only.
- Must have a physical address, not just a Post Office Box number.
- Applicants from out-of-state with an existing commercial license, requesting a CDL with a hazmat endorsement must retake the written test and go through the background/fingerprint check. If the applicant is requesting a CDL with a school bus endorsement and his existing out of state license was issued before September 2005 than the driver must retake our written test.
- Applicants going from a New Mexico CDL permit to a CDL must surrender their driver license, their permit and their road skills test.
Note: If the driver is surrendering an out-of-state CDL, have him fill out the Driver License Surrender Form (MVD-10231) attesting that he is applying for a CDL in the state of New Mexico.
Procedures for issuing initial CDL
When issuing a first time or renewal CDL, you must enter the applicant's name as it appears on the official documents accepted for identification (birth certificate, passport, etc). Neither nicknames nor any other alternate names can be used.
If an applicant insists that he does not go by the name on his official documents, inform him that MVD can accept and use only the applicant's legal name in our records and on New Mexico licenses and IDs. We are required to do so by statute, specifically by Sections 66-5-9 and 66-5-15 NMSA 1978. Before we could accept and use a different name, the applicant would need to have his name changed legally and return to the field office with complete documentation (i.e. court order) of the change.
Every applicant for an initial CDL must provide the following documents:
- Proof of Social Security Number (SSN);
- Proof of identity and U.S. citizenship (or) lawful permanent residence in the U.S.;
- DOT Medical Examination Certification and/or Medical Waiver issued by FMCSA (or) NM Commercial Driver Green Waiver Card (or) if medically exempt, proof of qualification such as a vehicle certification form for a government employee; and
- Two (2) proofs of physical residency showing a New Mexico address.
Additional information clarifying each of these requirements is provided in Chapter 6 Section C.
The clerk must ensure that the name of applicant when entered on the system is correct anytime that a commercial license is being issued. Clerks are not allowed to enter made-up data. To do so may cause you to be subject to disciplinary action.
Query applicants driving record as follows:
- New Mexico driver record system
Clerk must wait for a valid status from all inquiries before process may be continued. If an invalid status is encountered through PDPS, provide applicant with a printout of the information so that applicant may contact state and clear up status. If information from inquiry does not match driver exactly proceed as follows:
- If name, date of birth and social security number match, this is considered "a match" - do not process license.
- If name and date of birth match, but not social security number, and the name is a very common name , the height and weight and eye color do not match, this is considered a "no match" - license may be processed.
- If name and date of birth match, but no social is presented in response information, the name is not a common name, height, weight and eye color match this is considered "a match" - do not process license.
- If name matches, but not date of birth or social security number, this is considered "no match" - license may be processed.
For more about the PDPS query responses and actions, please refer to Chapter 12: PDPS (Problem Driver Pointer System).
Note: Sometimes it is a judgment call. We need to be reasonable, yet we must comply with federal law and be careful not to license someone who is not eligible to be licensed.
If the driver is an existing CDL holder CDLIS should return a hit, showing at least his current license. If CDLIS comes up with 0 for an existing CDL holder, contact the CDL unit at (505) 827-1036 before issuing the license. The CDL unit can quickly check to see why the license is not coming up as a hit. This is a very important step to ensure that the driver is not holding a fraudulent license.
If the vehicle the driver will be driving has air brakes then he must take and pass the air brake written test and take the skills test in a vehicle with air brakes. If none of the vehicles he will drive are equipped with air brakes then the license will carry the "L" restriction. Also, if the applicant does not take his road skill test in a vehicle equipped with air brakes then the license will carry the "L" restriction. The "L" restriction can only be removed when the driver passes a road skill test, given by a CDL examiner, in a commercial vehicle equipped with air brakes. When the driver brings back a passed road skill test then the airbrake restriction can be removed. The applicant must pay the renewal fee when removing the "L" restriction.
All CDL knowledge tests are administered on the kiosk machine. The driver's scores can be accessed through the kiosk by any MVD office.
If an applicant fails any of the knowledge CDL tests, he must wait one week before retaking exam again. If the applicant fails any knowledge test 3 times he will need to wait one year before retaking the exam.
Provide the public list of examiners to all CDL applicant's requiring a skills test, other than school bus applicants or New Mexico Department of transportation (NMDOT) applicants.
All applicants must obtain a CDL learner's permit before a skills test can be administered. An applicant with a class A license who wants to add a passenger endorsement to his class A must receive a class B permit with a "P" endorsement before he can take the skills test in a passenger vehicle.
Section D: Renewal, Replacement or Upgrade of a CDL
Revised August 14, 2013
Requirements when renewing a CDL
- Applicant must surrender current New Mexico driver license.
- Applicant must present a current DOT Medical Examination Certificate (Long Form) and/or Medical Waiver issued by the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- If current license has a Hazardous Materials endorsement (“H” or “X”), the applicant must take and pass the hazmat written exam and fingerprint/background check before renewal will be issued. If applicant does not pass the exam, applicant can either be issued the renewal without the endorsement or return in a week to retake the exam. If applicant does not pass the written exam and chooses to have the license renewed without the endorsement or if applicant wants to simply drop the endorsement, the clerk should have the driver fill out a surrender form.
- Applicant must not be subject to any suspension, cancelation, revocation or disqualification in any state.
- Applicant must fill out commercial driver statement on application.
Requirements for Replacing a Lost or Stolen CDL
- Applicant must present proof of identification (Refer to Chapter 6).
- Applicant must present current DOT Medical Examination Certificate and/or Medical Waiver issued by the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration.
- Query applicants driving on the New Mexico driver record, CDLIS and PDPS systems.
- Applicant must not be currently subject to any suspension, cancelation, revocation or disqualification in any state.
- Applicant must fill out a Driver License Surrender Form (MVD-10231) attesting that his license was lost or stolen.
Requirements for commercial license upgrade
- Applicant must pass all required knowledge tests for upgrade.
- Applicant must pass the required skills test for upgrade.
- Applicant may not be suspended, canceled,revoked or disqualified in any state.
- Applicant must have current DOT Medical Examination Certificate and/or any medical waiver issued to him.
- If applicant has a hazmat endorsement on current commercial license, exam must be retaken anytime the hazmat endorsement period is renewed.
- Applicant must have at least a valid New Mexico driver’s license and a current New Mexico instructional permit for the class of commercial driver’s license requested.
Return prior license with 1-hole punch
When a prior CDL is surrendered (whether in- or out-of-state and whether renewal, replacement or upgrade), punch one hole through the old license. The hole should be carefully punched so as not to destroy or make illegible any information (including expiry date) or the customer's photo. Return the hole-punched card to the customer with his or her new license (PQU#60). If a driver is obtaining a CDL permit (i.e. new or for upgrade), do not invalidate his current license as this is needed in addition to the CDL permit.
Section E: CDL - Medical Certification and Waivers
Revised August 6, 2013
An applicant who does not pass the required hearing test on the DOT physical will not be able to obtain a New Mexico commercial license. New Mexico does not offer a medical waiver for hearing to commercial drivers.
An applicant who can not pass the required color blindness test on the DOT physical will not be able to obtain a New Mexico commercial license. New Mexico does not offer a medical waiver for color blindness to commercial drivers.
Medical Examiners Certification
Every commercial license applicant (except a government employee, who is medically qualified through his government agency) must provide evidence that he is medically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle. Applicant must present a current Medical Examiner Certification form (MVD-11144), which indicates that the applicant has passed a "DOT" physical. In order to be acceptable, the certificate must be filled out in each space. The Medical Examiner Certificate must have all of the following fields filled in:
- Printed name, address and signature of driver.
- Printed name, address, license/certificate number, telephone number, date of examination, expiration date and signature of medical examiner.
- Appropriate box must be checked by medical examiner.
Do not accept any certificate that has been altered or corrected.
Look over the CDL Medical Examiners Certification form. Be familiar with the information that is currently required.
As of Nov 2001 Medical personnel have the option to approve the medical certificate for a limited period of 3 months, 6 months or 1 year, with periodic evaluation.
- If a medical certificate is presented to you with approval limited to 3 months or 6 months you will issue a license for only 1 year. You will place a “Y” restriction on license, and you will provide the driver's information to the CDL unit in Santa Fe at (505) 827-1036. The CDL Unit will in turn notify driver that he must submit his long form. The short duration is associated with high blood pressure. The CDL unit will track and follow up with the driver.
- If you receive a certificate that is only approved for one year you will issue a one-year license and provide driver information to Santa Fe.
The CDL unit will place one of the following tracking codes on the action portion of the driver's record:
- MED1 HY3 DRIVER MEDICALLY QUALIFIED FOR ONLY 3 MONTHS
- MED1 HY6 DRIVER MEDICALLY QUALIFIED FOR ONLY 6 MONTHS
- MED1HY1 DRIVER MEDICALLY QUALIFIED FOR ONLY 1 YEAR
These medical tracking codes do not suspend, cancel or disqualify a driver. They just help us keep track of when driver must submit a new blood pressure reading or other medical update information.
New Mexico Medical Waivers
Why would New Mexico give a CDL driver a medical waiver?
- The applicant may have been unable to pass the required DOT physical.
- Applicant may have passed the required DOT physical but has one of the conditions for which New Mexico requires another look before giving a license.
- When an applicant indicates that he does have one of the conditions that are mentioned in question 4 of the “Driver License Application” and that that condition may impair his ability to drive, he is required to turn in MVD Form #11095 (Medical Report on Applicant Requesting Waiver to Drive Commercial Vehicle ). The medical reports should be completely filled out by the applicant's physician. Direct the applicant to submit the completed medical report to:
Motor Vehicle Division
Attention: CDL Unit/Medical Section
P.O. Box 1028
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1028
All Commercial license holders granted a New Mexico medical waiver will be issued a 1-year license. There is approximately a 2-3 week turn around for these requests. If the applicant is approved for a New Mexico waiver he will be mailed a medical waiver card from the MVD Medical Unit. They must carry the medical waiver along with their "DOT" medical examiners certificate, in order to drive.
Federal medical waivers/exemptions
- Vision waiver -The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently offering vision waivers to commercial license holders who have at least 20/40 vision in one eye. To qualify the driver must have been legally driving in his state under a state vision waiver for 3-5 years. This Federal waiver would allow the driver to travel interstate. To apply a driver must contact the FMCSA in Washington at (202) 366-2897 and request an application package. When a Federal vision waiver is granted MVD's CDL unit will place the following tracking code under the driver's action: MED1 VI2 DATE ISSUED. These Federal vision waivers are good for two years. Under the medical waiver screen in your license issuing program you have a selection of "S" OR "F". Select "F" when driver presents a Federal vision waiver.
- Loss of limb exemption - The New Mexico office of the FMCSA will take applications from drivers who are missing limbs but are wearing prosthetic devices. They provide a skills test and from that determine if an exemption certificate will be granted. This waiver will allow a commercial driver to drive out of state. The number the driver should call for an appointment is (505) 346-7858.
- Diabetes Exemption – FMCSA is currently offering diabetes waivers to commercial license holders who do not meet the minimum physical requirements of the FMSCRs.
Section F: CDL Skill Test Requirements
Revised August 14, 2013
Skill Tests are Required When:
- An applicant is applying for any first-time New Mexico Commercial Drivers License and is not presenting a valid CDL from another state.
- Applicant is adding a passenger endorsement to any first-time or existing commercial license, class A, B or C.
- Applicant has an existing commercial license with a “P” (passenger) endorsement, and a “T” restriction. Applicant must pass a road skill test in a truck in order for the “T” to be removed.
- Applicant is upgrading any commercial license: Class “C” to Class “B” or Class “B” to Class “A”.
- Applicant’s license has been revoked for any reason, and he or she wants to receive another commercial license.
- Applicant wishes to remove an “L” restriction (airbrakes) from an existing commercial license.
- Applicant's CDL has been expired more than 5 years.
Section G: Class E (CDL Exempt) License
Revised February 28, 2008
Federal regulation allows states to exempt three groups of drivers from the general rule that a CDL is required to drive vehicles over 26,000 pounds.
New Mexico Class E (CDL exempt) license
By rule (184.108.40.206 NMAC) drivers with a Class E license may operate certain vehicles that are over 26,000 pounds on the public roads and highways of New Mexico without a commercial driver's license. The Class E exempt license is available to drivers of:
Recreational Vehicles – vehicles that are registered and used as a recreational vehicles.
Farm and Ranch Vehicles – vehicles that are: • controlled and operated by a farmer or rancher or an employee of a farmer or rancher; • used to transport agricultural products, agricultural machinery or agricultural supplies to or from a farm or ranch; • used within 150 miles of the ranch or farm; and • not used in the operations of a motor carrier or otherwise used “for hire.”
Fire Fighting Vehicles – vehicles manufactured for and equipped to fight fires and equipped with audible and visual signals and operated by a person who is a member of a volunteer or paid fire organization.
Military Vehicles - all vehicles owned or operated by the department of defense and operated by non-civilian operators. [Note: Military drivers are, however, typically licensed by the military, so would not normally need a New Mexico Class E license.]
All applicants for a Class E license must provide a Vehicle Certification - MVD form #10414. THIS IS YOUR DOCUMENTATION FOR WHY YOU ISSUED THE EXEMPTION. MAKE SURE THAT THE APPLICANT IS QUALIFIED TO RECEIVE IT.
RV driver – may sign for himself, both first time and upon renewal.
Farm or Ranch – owner may sign for himself, both first time and upon renewal; however, the farmer/rancher must sign, both first time and upon renewal, for employee-applicant.
Fire Fighters – Fire Chief must sign, both first time and upon renewal.
Section H: Commercial Driver Statement (49CFR383.71)
Revised February 28, 2008
Commercial Driver Statement (49CFR383.71)
Every applicant for a new or renewal CDL must check boxes 1 and 2 or box 3 of the "Commercial Driver Statement" portion of the driver license application form. In accordance with federal regulations (49CFR383.71):
Any applicant who will be driving commercially out of state must check the statement, “I am subject to the driver qualification requirements of federal motor carrier requirements, Part 391.”
If item “1” above is checked, “I certify that I am in compliance with those regulations” must also be checked.
When the applicant is a New Mexico driver only, the statement, “I am not subject to the qualification requirements of federal motor carrier regulations, Part 391” must be checked.
The application must have this statement answered by the applicant. There are absolutely no exceptions. “Driver Qualification Requirements” refers to the age, physical, knowledge and skills test requirements of federal regulation 49CFR383.71.
Most all-commercial drivers will check “1” and “2”. This affects all drivers who will be crossing state lines. Those applicants who are “exempt” from having to comply with the federal medical requirements, or who could not pass the required “DOT” physical but have been issued a New Mexico only valid medical waiver will mark “3” only.
Those who are exempt by federal law are all government employees (County, City, State, and Federal). The government employees exemption only applies if the employee is driving a governmental vehicle. School bus drivers fall under this category. Buses that are owned by bus contractors and are under contract to the State Board of Education also qualify at this time.
NOTE: The following groups drive out of state, yet would mark “3” because the Federal Government exempts them from having to comply with interstate driver qualifications:
Farm custom harvesting
Apiarian (bees), controlled and operated by a bee keeper engaged in seasonal transportation
Farm vehicles, except articulated vehicles
Section I: CDL Skills Test "Grandfathering"
Revised March 7, 2008
“Grandfathering” was the practice of waiving a required skills test for a commercial license because the applicant has been legally driving the same class for the past 24 months.
Grandfathering no longer takes place.
Military personnel who no longer drive for the military need to test as first time CDL drivers if they wish to have a New Mexico CDL license.
Section J: Out-of-State Commercial Driver's License
March 25, 2013
As part of a longstanding agreement between the states, New Mexico will accept a valid commercial driver's license from any of the other 49 states or Washington, DC (straight across without testing), but only if the original license is still valid. This does NOT include any foreign license or a license from a U.S. Territory.
Example: A Texas class “B” commercial license comes in with “P” and “S” (school bus) endorsements. We will trade the class ”B” and the “P” endorsement. The “S” will not be transferred unless they pass our written exam for school buses or if the endorsement was issued after September 2005.
- Applicant must surrender any other license.
- Applicant must fill out the Commercial Driver Statement on the driver's license application form (MVD-10229).
- Applicant must produce a current DOT Medical Examination Certification (Long Form) and any waivers.
- Applicant must not be suspended, cancelled, revoked or disqualified in any state.
- If applicant is coming in with hazmat endorsement, the current driver license and social security should be checked in the “CDL Hazmat – Pending Time Check” screen to verify remaining days left on hazmat endorsement.
- Applicant must provide birth certificate, social security card and two verifiable proofs of residence.
- Applicant must fill out a Driver License Surrender Form (MVD-10231).
When making an out-of-state commercial license invalid, punch 1 hole in the license. The hole should be carefully punched so as not to destroy or make illegible any information (including expiry date) or the customer's photo. Return the hole-punched CDL to the customer with his or her new temporary license. (PQU#60)
Section K: CDL Skills Test Examiners
Revised June 26, 2013
Approved Third-Party CDL Examiners
CDL skills tests are given by four distinct groups of approved third-party examiners. The number assigned to any examiner can be used by MVD agents to identify what group the examiner belongs to and what testing the examiner is authorized to do.
Note: It is the responsibility of MVD field office agents, based on the instructions below, to recognize the examiners' numbers and to know what drivers they are authorized to test.
Click here or on the heading above for a complete current listing of New Mexico third-party CDL examiners, in Adobe Acrobat pdf format. You can print and give this listing to any customer who requests a list of CDL examiners. It is also posted and available to the public on the MVD Internet web site.
CD-xxx - Public Third-Party CDL Examiners:
Most CDL examiners with the numbers CDxxx (where xxx represent numerical digits) are public third-party examiners associated with one of six New Mexico public colleges and universities. They are authorized to administer the CDL skills test to the general public, including all CDL applicants except school bus drivers and state employees. They can be contacted by anyone who requires a skills test for the issuance of a commercial driver's license.
CD-7xx - Operating Engineers Local #953
Local #953 of the Operating Engineers, a heavy equipment union, trains union members to operate heavy equipment, including commercial vehicles. Operating Engineers examiners are authorized only to administer the CDL skills test to their own members.
SB-xxx - PED School Bus Transportation Division
The School Bus Transportation Division of the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) tests all school bus drivers. These examiners have assigned numbers that begin with "SB." PED's school bus examiners are not authorized to test any truck drivers or coach bus drivers. They may only examine yellow school bus drivers.
SD-1xx - New Mexico Department of Transportation
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) tests all state employees. These examiners have numbers assigned that begin with "SD-1." NMDOT's examiners are not authorized to test anyone who is not a New Mexico state employee.
The license issued to a state employee will normally carry an “S” restriction indicating that the driver was not required to show proof of being medically qualified.
Section L: CDL Knowledge Tests
Revised August 14, 2013
In order to continue to participate in the issuing of commercial driver licenses, New Mexico must be very vigilant about the integrity of the written exams.
The CDL knowledge tests are NOT open book tests.
We provide study material that allows the driver to see what material the Federal Government requires him or her to know before we can issue a license. Knowledge testing is how we determine that an applicant has read the material and has understood it.
During the test, the applicant is not allowed to use any aids. There is to be no talking between applicants. Any applicant caught cheating is to be requested to leave. Please notify the CDL section as soon as possible by e-mail with a detailed description of what happened. Any applicant caught cheating will be disqualified from testing for one year.
The disqualification will show on the driver’s record for one year. It is located on the MVR under actions (PF10) as a C72 Dis1. Once the year is over the CDL unit can update the disqualification and the driver can test again.
Under no condition are the answers to be given out.
If a driver wants to know which areas to study if he or she failed the knowledge test, a printout of Topics from the “Study Guide” can be done for them. This will give them a general idea of topics they should study in the Commercial Driver Manual. Written exam scores stay viable for one year.
The kiosk will hold the test scores for longer than that so they can be looked up by any office to see the dates.
An applicant must score at least 80% to pass each exam. An applicant must wait one week before retesting after failing any knowledge exam.
An applicant who fails any one knowledge test three times must wait one full year before retesting.
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.