Can I Transfer My CDL to Another State?


If you’re a truck driver, and you want to move from Utah to Iowa. You’ve got your commercial driver’s license (CDL), which means you can drive any type of commercial vehicle across state lines. However, your CDL is not automatically transferable to the new state. You will need to apply for a CDL once you move.

Truck drivers are just like every other profession in the U.S. If you need to move to a new location for work or personal reasons, you can perform a CDL transfer to another state, but you will need to complete a few steps. Read on for all the details about transferring an out-of-state CDL.

How to Transfer a CDL to Another State?

1 – Visit the DMV

The first step is to visit your local DMV and apply to transfer your CDL to another state. You can do this online or in person, but you’ll have to physically go to the DMV at some point, so you might as well fill it out there in case any questions pop up.

2 – Prove Your Address

The second step in transferring your CDL is providing your address. You’ll need to show that you live somewhere within the new state. This can be done with:

  • A utility bill (such as electricity, gas, water) from the state
  • A bank statement from a financial institution located within the state
  • Rental agreement or lease with proof of payment
  • Vehicle registration
  • Or other similar documents

3 – Fulfill Any Test Requirements

You’re almost there! Now that all of your documents in order, and you may have to retake some portions of the CDL test, including the written skills test. Test requirements vary by state. Check with your local DMV to ensure you are prepared.

4 – Present Medical Examiner’s Certificate

Next you will need to present a valid DOT medical examiner’s certificate. These certificates are valid for two years, so be sure it is valid before you apply to transfer your CDL.

5 – Complete or Verify Background/Fingerprint Tests

Once you’ve been approved for your license, you may need an additional background check and fingerprinting if you are applying to add a Hazmat endorsement to your license.

6 – Transfer Withing 30-60 Days

Most states require you to transfer your license withing 30-60 days of your move to a new state.

Can I have a CDL in Multiple States?

While your CDL is valid in any state, it must be issued in the state in which you reside. It is against government regulations to have a CDL in multiple states. When you receive a CDL in a new state, you will have to surrender your CDL from the previous state.

Any time you change your residence to a new state, you will need to go through the process of transferring the license to the new state. Yes, this can be a pain, but that is why drivers make more than other professions – because they have completed their due diligence to be trusted on the road.

Can You Transfer a CDL Permit to Another State?

Unfortunately, no you cannot transfer a CLP (Commercial Learner’s Permit) to another state. You must perform all tests in the state in which you have a valid driver’s license. If you move to a new state you will have to retest and get a CLP in that state.

Can I Take My CDL Test in Another State?

The question of can I take my CDL test in another state is a little tricky to answer because it depends on the state. In most cases the answer is yes. some states allow out-of-state testing with a third-party examiner, as long as you have a valid driver’s license and CLP from your home state and both state use the Commercial Skills Testing Management System (CSTIMS).

Is A CDL A Federal License?

A CDL is not a federal license. It’s a state license and can only be issued by the state you reside in. However, even with a verifiable CDL license, you will need to follow the FMCSA guidelines. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration governs and regulates the safety of commercial drivers. They are the ones ensuring you follow driving hours, stop at weight statins, and similar situations.

Where to Get Started

If you have a CDL and want to transfer it out of state, then you must make sure that your license is in good standing. This means that you have no outstanding violations or convictions on your record. 

The Department of Motor Vehicles will be able to tell when they review your application and determine whether or not they will accept any pending charges into consideration when issuing a new license.

Other than that, it is easy to transfer a CDL to another state. All you need is a valid CDL license and be at least 21 years of age. The transfer fees are usually low, and any additional tests or requirements are a breeze because you have done them before.


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