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Chapter 5: Commercial Driver License

01/10/2009
4:29 PM

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.  Driver Self-Certification for Issuance of a CLP or CDL
Section I.  Military Skills Test Waiver
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 December 8, 2017
 

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 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in Washington, DC 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's license program, we must be able to demonstrate that we run every first-time and renewal commercial applicant through CDLIS and PDPS.
 

Qualifications of Drivers (§65-3-7)

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.
     

Commercial Driver’s License Required (§65-5-59)

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.
 

CDL - Qualifications and Standards (§65-5-60)

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's License Act (§§ 66-5-52 to 66-5-70).
 

CDL - Limitations on Issuance (§65-5-61)

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), VOID is punched through the old license, and the VOID-punched card is returned to the customer with their new license. If a driver is obtaining a CDL permit (for a new or upgraded CDL), do not invalidate his current base license, as the current license is needed in addition to the CDL permit.

 

Section B: First-Time Commercial Learner's Permit

Revised December 8, 2017
 

Requirements for a New Mexico Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) (§66-5-62)

The applicant for a New Mexico Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) must have a valid New Mexico driver's 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 Examiner's 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 paycheck or employee ID 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 180 days. Applicant may be issued one renewal or reissue within a two-year period.

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 restriction(s) placed on the CLP, if any, are indicated as follows:

  • B for Corrective lenses must be worn while driving.
  • K for Instrastate only;
  • L for No Air brake equipped CMV;
  • M for No Class A passenger vehicle;
  • N for No Class A and B passenger vehicle;
  • P for No passengers in CMV bus;
  • V for Medical variance;
  • X for No cargo in CMV tank vehicle;

The applicant must carry his or her current valid CDL or non-commercial driver’s license 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 December 8, 2017
 

Requirements for the initial, first time New Mexico CDL

  1. Applicant must be a resident of New Mexico.
  2. Applicant must have at least a valid New Mexico driver's license and a current New Mexico commercial learner’s permit for the class of commercial driver's license requested.
  3. Applicant must be 21 or older to drive interstate.
  4. 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 intrastate or interstate.
  5. Applicant must not be subject to any suspension, cancellation, revocation or disqualification in any state.
  6. Applicant must have a current DOT Medical Examiner's Certificate and/or Medical Waiver issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If the applicant has a medical condition requiring a waiver, the applicant must present the medical waiver along with the Medical Examiner's Certificate.
  7. 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 exemption by either their employee ID card or paycheck from the governmental agency. 
  8. Applicant must have a physical address in New Mexico, not just a Post Office Box number.
  9. Applicants from out-of-state with an existing commercial license, please check with the CDL unit on remaining time for the Hazardous Materials Endorsement if Tapestry does not return a response.
  10. Applicants going from a New Mexico CDL permit to an initial CDL must surrender their driver's license and permit and must have their skills test scores verified in CSTIMS.
     

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 §§ 66-5-9 and 66-5-15. 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 Examiner's Certificate and/or Medical Waiver issued by FMCSA; or, if medically exempt, proof of qualification such as their employee ID card or paycheck stub from a government agency; 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. Doing so may cause you to be subject to disciplinary action.

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:

  1. If name, date of birth and social security number match, this is considered "a match" - do not process license.
  2. If name and date of birth match, but not social security number, and the name is a very common name, and the height, weight and eye color do not match, this is considered a "no match" - license may be processed.
  3. If name and date of birth match, but no social is presented in response information, the name is not a common name, and height, weight and eye color match this is considered "a match" - do not process license.
  4. 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: Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS).

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, and has an invalid status, the CDLIS response should return as Failed CDL Check, showing at least his current license. Select “Send to CDL Unit for Override.” Call the CDL Unit at (505) 827-1036 and provide the driver’s license number for review of the failed CDLIS response. The CDL unit can quickly review to see why the license failed the CDLIS check. 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 the applicant does not take his road skills test in a vehicle equipped with full air brakes then the license will carry the “L” restriction. The “L” restriction can only be removed when the driver passes a road skills test, given by a CDL examiner, in a commercial vehicle equipped with air brakes. The driver must apply for a CLP first, and then take the CDL skills test in a vehicle equipped with full air brakes. The applicant must pay for a new issuance 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.

An applicant may take any CDL knowledge test up to two times per week. Measurement of the week will start with the 1st test. The system will stop the applicant from taking a knowledge test if the applicant has already taken and failed 2 tests in the 7 day period prior to and including the current day.

Provide the public list of examiners to all CDL applicants requiring a skills test, other than school bus applicants or New Mexico Department of transportation (NMDOT) applicants.

All applicants must obtain a commercial 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 would receive a class A commercial learner’s permit with a "P" endorsement, an “M” and “P” restriction before he can take the skills test in a passenger vehicle. If this same applicant had a Class B license, they would receive a Class B commercial learner’s permit with a “P” endorsement, an “M” restriction and a “P” restriction.

 

Section D: Renewal, Replacement or Upgrade of a CDL

Revised December 11, 2017
 

Requirements when renewing a CDL

  1. Applicant must surrender current New Mexico driver license.
  2. If applicant has not renewed, replaced or upgraded since November 14, 2016, all identity and residency documents will be required.  (Refer to Chapter 6 Section C).
  3. Applicant must have a Medical Examiner's Certificate on file with MVD or present a current DOT Medical Examiners Certificate and/or Medical Waiver/Exemption issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  4. 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 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 customer service representative should continue with the transaction removing the H endorsement.
  5. Applicant must not be subject to any suspension, cancelation, revocation or disqualification in any state.
     

Requirements for Replacing a Lost or Stolen CDL

  1. Applicant must present proof of identification and all documents if applicant has not completed a transaction since November 14, 2016 (refer to Chapter 6).
  2. Applicant must have a Medical Examiner's Certificate on file with MVD or present a current DOT Medical Examiner's Certificate and/or Medical Waiver issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  3. Applicant must not be currently subject to any suspension, cancelation, revocation or disqualification in any state.?
     

Requirements for commercial license upgrade

  1. Applicant must pass all required knowledge tests for upgrade.
  2. Applicant must pass the required skills test for upgrade.
  3. Applicant may not be suspended, canceled,revoked or disqualified in any state.
  4. Applicant must have current DOT Medical Examiner's Certificate and/or any medical waiver issued to him.
  5. If applicant has a hazmat endorsement on current commercial license, the knowledge exam must be retaken anytime the hazmat endorsement period is renewed.
  6. Applicant must have at least a valid New Mexico driver’s license and a current New Mexico commercial learners permit for the class of commercial driver’s license requested.
     

Return prior license with VOID punch

When a prior CDL is surrendered (whether in- or out-of-state and whether renewal, replacement or upgrade), punch VOID through the old license. Return the VOID-punched card to the customer with their new license.

If the driver is obtaining a commercial learner’s permit (i.e. new or for additional endorsements), do not invalidate his current license as this is needed in addition to the commercial learner’s permit.

 

Section E: CDL - Medical Certification and Waivers

Revised December 8, 2017
 

Medical Examiner's Certification

Every commercial driver’s license or learner’s permit applicant must provide evidence that he/she is medically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle. Applicant must present a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate, which indicates that the applicant has passed a DOT physical. In order to be acceptable, the certificate must be filled completely. The Medical Examiner's Certificate must have all of the following fields filled in:

  • Printed name, address, medical license/certificate number, National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners number, telephone number, date of examination, certificate expiration date and signature of medical examiner. (A Medical Certificate can only be issued by a medical professional listed in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.)
  • Appropriate box(es) must be checked by medical examiner.
  • Printed name, address and signature of driver.

Do not accept any medical certificate that has been altered or corrected.

Look over the CDL Medical Examiner's Certificate. Be familiar with the information that is currently required. Because MVD electronically tracks the Medical Certificate, the Commercial Driver's License expiration date is no longer tied to the length of the Medical Examiner's Certificate expiration date.
 

New Mexico Medical Waivers

New Mexico does not have a Medical program; Medical Waivers must be issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
 

Federal medical waivers/exemptions

  1. Vision waiver/exemption - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently offering vision waivers/exemptions to commercial license holders. To apply a driver may download the Vision Waiver application from the FMCSA at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/driver-exemption-programs. The effective date range of waivers/exemptions is entered in the Medical Examiner's Certificate section by checking the box “Accompanied by an exemption” or “Accompanied by a waiver.”
     
  2. Loss of limb exemption - Drivers with physical impairments which affect their ability to safely operate CMVs, or with missing limbs (e.g., a hand or finger, an arm, foot or leg), are required to obtain Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (SPE).  Applications can be found through FMCSA at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/skill-performance-evaluation-certificate-program. The effective date range of waivers/exemptions is entered in the Medical Examiner's Certificate section by checking the box “Accompanied by a Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (SPE).”?
     
  3. Diabetes Exemption – FMCSA offers diabetes waivers to commercial license holders. The Diabetes Exemption Application can be found through FMCSA at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/driver-exemption-programs. The effective date range of waivers/exemptions is entered in the Medical Examiner's Certificate section by checking the box “Accompanied by an exemption” or “Accompanied by a waiver.”?
     
  4. Hearing Exemption – FMCSA offers hearing waivers to commercial license holders. Applications can be found through FMCSA at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/driver-exemption-programs. The effective date range of the waiver is entered in the Medical Examiner's Certificate section by checking the box “Accompanied by an exemption.”

 

Section F: CDL Skill Test Requirements

Revised December 8, 2017
 

Skill Tests are Required When:

  1. An applicant is applying for any first-time New Mexico Commercial Driver’s License and is not presenting a valid CDL from another state.
  2. Applicant is adding a passenger endorsement to any first-time or existing commercial driver’s license, class A, B or C.
  3. Applicant wishes to remove an “E” restriction (Automatic Transmission) from an existing commercial license.
  4. Applicant is adding an “S” endorsement (School Bus) to any first-time or existing class A or B commercial license.
  5. Applicant wishes to remove an “O” restriction (except Tractor-Trailer) from an existing commercial license. (Applicant must test in a tractor-trailer.)
  6. Applicant wishes to remove a “Z” restriction (No Full Air Brake Equipped) from an existing commercial license.
  7. Applicant wishes to upgrade from “P” endorsement with “N” restriction (except class A or B Bus) to a “P” endorsement with an “M” restriction (except class A Bus).
  8. Applicant wishes to remove an “L” restriction (No Air Brakes) from an existing commercial license.
  9. Applicant is upgrading any commercial license: Class “C” to Class “B” or Class “B” to Class “A”.
  10. Applicant’s license has been revoked for any reason, and they want to receive another commercial license.
  11. Applicant’s CDL has been expired more than 5 years.

 

Section G: Class E (Exemption) License

Revised December 11, 2017
 

Federal regulation allows states to exempt certain 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 (18.19.5.112 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:

  1. Recreational Vehicles – vehicles that are registered and used as recreational vehicles.

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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.]
     

Vehicle Certification

All first time applicants for a Class E license must provide a Vehicle Certification form (MVD-10414).

THIS IS YOUR DOCUMENTATION FOR WHY YOU ISSUED THE EXEMPTION. MAKE SURE THAT THE APPLICANT IS QUALIFIED TO RECEIVE IT.

  1. RV driver – may sign for himself.
  2. Farm or Ranch – owner may sign for himself; however, the farmer/rancher must sign for employee-applicants.

  3. Fire Fighters – Fire Chief must sign.

 

Section H: Driver Self-Certification for Issuance of a CLP or CDL

Revised December 8, 2017
 

Driver Self-Certification for Issuance of a Commercial Driver’s Permit or License (49 CFR 383.71)

Prior to obtaining a CLP or a CDL (1st time issuance or renewal), in accordance with federal regulations (49 CFR 383.71), the applicant must certify their current CDL driver category as one of the following:

NI – Non-Excepted Interstate
I am an interstate driver, and I am required to meet the Federal DOT medical card requirements.

EI – Excepted Interstate
I am an interstate driver, and I do not have to meet the Federal DOT medical card requirements.

NA – Non-Excepted Intrastate
I am an intrastate driver, and I am required to meet the medical requirements of the State of New Mexico.

EA – Excepted Intrastate
?
I am an intrastate driver, and I do not have to meet the medical requirements of the State of New Mexico.
 

NOTE: The following groups may drive out of state, but are exempted from obtaining a Medical Examiner's Certificate per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation #391.2:

  1. Farm custom harvesting operations

  2. Apiarian (bees), controlled and operated by a bee keeper engaged in seasonal transportation

  3. Farm vehicles, except articulated vehicles

 

Section I: Military Skills Test Waiver

Revised December 8, 2017
 

In the past there was a practice (known as “grandfathering”) 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, per se, no longer takes place.

However, a Military Skills Test Waiver is available to certain individuals who have had recent experience driving commercial motor vehicles for the military.
 

The Military Skills Test Waiver (49 CFR 383.77)

Individuals who have been separated from military service for not more than one year, and/or were regularly employed in a military position requiring the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for at least two years immediately preceding discharge, and who wish to obtain a first-time CDL may use the Military Skills Test Waiver so long as the requirements listed in FMCSA regulation 383.77 are met.

Those conditions require at least the following:

(a)   An applicant must certify that, during the two-year period immediately prior to applying for a CDL, he/she:

(1)   Has not had more than one license (except for a military license);

(2)   Has not had any license suspended, revoked, or cancelled;

(3)   Has not had any convictions for any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying offenses contained in §383.51(b);

(4)   Has not had more than one conviction for any type of motor vehicle for serious traffic violations contained in §383.51(c); and

(5)   Has not had any conviction for a violation of military, State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) arising in connection with any traffic accident, and has no record of an accident in which he/she was at fault; and

(b)   An applicant must provide evidence and certify that he/she:

(1)   Is regularly employed or was regularly employed within the last year in a military position requiring operation of a CMV;

(2)   Was exempted from the CDL requirements in §383.3(c); and

(3)   Was operating a vehicle representative of the CMV the driver applicant operates or expects to operate, for at least the 2 years immediately preceding discharge from the military.
 

Military Skills Test Waiver Application Process

  1. The waiver applicant may obtain the required Application for Military Skills Test Waiver form (MVD-11198) and the optional/voluntary Placement Interest Questionnaire (MVD-11199) from the MVD web site or from an MVD Field Office.
  2. He or she must complete the application in full, including Training/Validation Office and Commanding Officer information and signatures, and submit it by email, fax or mail to the Commercial Driver License Unit.
  3. If the applicant wishes, he or she may also complete the optional Placement Interest Questionnaire. Once the application is approved, the CDL Unit will forward the completed questionnaire to the New Mexico Trucking Association.
  4. The MVD field office cannot accept the form or process the CDL until the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver is approved by the CDL Unit.
  5. The CDL Unit will review the form and will call the applicant to approve the application or, if the application is not acceptable, to explain the reason.
  6. If the application is approved, the waiver information will be entered into Tapestry allowing a field office authorized for CDL issuances to issue a CDL using the Military CDL option.
  7. The CDL skills test will be waived for those applicants who qualify and are approved by the CDL Unit.
  8. All other CDL application requirements do still apply, including the knowledge/written test, vision test, etc.

 

Section K: CDL Skills Tests

Revised December 6, 2017
 

Approved Third-Party CDL Examiners

CDL skills tests are given by four distinct groups of approved third-party examiners. 

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.
 

Public Third-Party CDL Examiners:

Most CDL examiners 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. They can be contacted by anyone who requires a skills test for the issuance of a commercial driver's license.  
 

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.
 

PED School Bus Transportation Division

The School Bus Transportation Division of the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) tests all school bus drivers. 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 state employees. NMDOT's examiners are not authorized to test anyone who is not a New Mexico state employee.
 

Applicants applying for a New Mexico CDL are allowed to take the CDL skills test in another state so long as the applicant received training in that state as well.

 

Section L: CDL Knowledge Tests

Revised December 6, 2017
 

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.

If any applicant is caught cheating please go into the Exam Manager on their account, go to Exam Type, click the Fail Exam header hyperlink, choose Cheating for the reason and cancel the test session.

The customer will not be able to test for 1 year from the date the test was cancelled.

Under no conditions 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, refer them to the CDL Driver Manual. This will give them a general idea of topics they should study. Written exam scores stay viable for one year.
 

An applicant must score at least 80% to pass each exam.

CDL applicants can take the CDL knowledge tests up to twice a week.

If the system prevents a clerk from starting a specific CDL test, it means that the applicant has already taken and failed 2 tests in the 7 day period prior to and including the current day. The system will not display the denied test in the dropdown box if the applicant has taken and failed the test 2 times in the 7 day period. The system will display a denial message: CDL XXX Test: Tests restricted by retesting limits. For example, if the CDL General Knowledge test has been denied, the message displayed will be: “CDL General Test: Tests restricted by retesting limits.” 

 

Section M: CDL Frequently Asked Questions

Revised December 8, 2017


Q:  Do we transfer an expired out-of-state CDL license?
A:  No, we only transfer 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:  Yes, we do.

Q:  An applicant comes in with a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) from another state. Do we accept it and issue a CDL license?
A:  No. Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs) are not transferable from state to state.

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:  Yes, so long as the temporary is not expired.

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.

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. 

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.

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. §66-1-4.15(K) defines “revocation" to mean that the driver's license and privilege 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 to 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.

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. If it has been less than a year since downgrade of the commercial license, the applicant will not have to do any retesting. If it has been more than a year since the downgrade, a driver will have to take all applicable knowledge tests pertaining to their previous CDL. If it has been more than 5 years since the downgrade, a driver will have to do all applicable knowledge tests and the skills test.

 

 

 

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