Michigan CDL Requirements
There are general requirements all drivers seeking a CDL must meet before they are eligible to begin the application and testing process. These include:
- Applicants must reside in the state of Michigan
- Must be 21 years old to apply to drive a commercial vehicle outside of Michigan state lines
- Must obtain a K restriction if between the ages of 18 and 21, which allows commercial driving privileges within Michigan state lines only
- Provide proof of legal presence in the United States
- Provide proof of Social Security number
- Must be licensed in only one state
- Have no current suspensions, revocations, denials, or cancellations of your license
- Have no conviction of any 6-point driving violation with 24 months upon application
- Have no suspension or revocation within 36 months upon application
- Must comply with federal or state medical/physical requirements and provide a medical examiner’s card
- Must obtain the necessary certifications on the CDL BFS-103 certification form
- Meet driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the Michigan Secretary of State branch office
NOTE: drivers applying for an endorsement to transport hazardous materials must be at least 21 years of age, provide proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residence and present a TSA-approved Federal Security Threat Assessment
This first step any driver applying for a CDL must take is applying for and obtaining a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). A CLP enables you to legally drive the type of commercial vehicle you are planning to drive with your CDL, accompanied by a licensed driver of the same class of commercial vehicle. When you have passed the knowledge and vision tests to obtain your CLP and held it for at least 14 days, you are eligible to begin the process to qualify for a CDL.
Drivers ready to begin the CDL process must appear in person at a local Secretary of State branch office with the necessary documents as listed above and complete an application stating that you meet medical and driver qualifications. You will then pay the CDL fees and schedule your skills test. Your skills test must be scheduled at least 2 days in advance of when you are eligible to test. Skills tests may be taken through an approved driver testing business. These include both public and private agencies authorized by the State of Michigan to conduct CDL testing.
The testing process involves several steps, including a physical exam, drug test, written test, additional certifications if applicable, and a road skills test. Additionally, drivers who are applying for hazmat endorsements must submit a background check and fingerprints.
Physical Exam: the applying driver must pass a physical exam meeting all requirements as specified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, administered by a qualified medical professional on the national registry.
Drug Test: all applicants must take a FMCSA truck driver drug test and alcohol test. A medical certificate that is valid for two years will be given upon passing the tests.
Written Test: a written test covering basic knowledge and understanding of operating a commercial vehicle, modeled after the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administration guide, will be required of any driver seeking a CDL. Drivers who do not pass on the first attempt may retake the exam after a one-day waiting period.
Additional Certifications: Drivers seeking a CDL to drive combination vehicles, vehicles with air brakes, vehicles pulling double or triple tractor-trailers, or vehicles transporting hazardous materials must take additional tests to demonstrate knowledge specific to these types of vehicles.
Road Skills Test: When all written tests are completed with passing scores, drivers will then need to pass a road skills test, which requires the driver to successfully demonstrate a Michigan CDL pre-trip inspection, pass a basic vehicle controls test, and pass the road skills test in the type of vehicle for which the driver is applying. All 3 parts of the exam must be taken at the same time, in successive order, and each test must be passed before continuing on to the next one. The state of Michigan does not supply vehicles for road skills test. Applicants must provide their own vehicle, driven to the test site by an appropriately licensed driver.
When you have passed all tests and provided all required documentation, you must return to the Secretary of State branch office to pay the required fee to add CDL privileges to your license.