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Can I Take My CDL Test In A Different State?


Can I take the CDL exam in a different state?

A question our students often have is can you take your cdl test in a different state? We will address the answer to that question in this article

Yes, in most cases you can take your commercial driver's license (CDL) exam in a different state than where you live. This is possible because of an agreement between states known as Interstate Compact

What is Interstate Compact

An Interstate Compact is an agreement made between all states in the United States of America to regulate and cooperate in various areas. These agreements are created to facilitate cooperation between the states and to ensure that various issues are handled more efficiently. You can read more about this agreement on the official website https://interstatecompact.org/icots/what-is-icots

We are interested in the Interstate Driver License Compact. This agreement is designed to coordinate states in sharing information about traffic violations and driver's license revocations. If a person commits a traffic violation in a state other than their resident state, the violation information is transferred to their resident state. This allows the states to share information and take action according to national standards. Therefore, it is very important to follow your state's laws and regulations. If you have an outstanding criminal record or traffic tickets, you may have problems passing the CDL exam. For example, you may be disqualified for a certain period of time if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol again

You can read more about this in our article https://startcdl.com/blog/can-i-get-a-cdl-with-a-dui

State requirements for passing the CDL

You can take the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) exam in another state, even if you are not a resident of that state. However, there are some important things to consider:

    State Requirements:

  • Each state has its own requirements for obtaining a CDL. Make sure you meet the requirements of the state in which you plan to take the exam

  • Residency:

  • Some states may have residency requirements. You may need to provide proof of residency in the state in which you intend to obtain a CDL (This could be a state driver's license, utility bills, bank statements, etc.)
  • Tests and training:

  • Depending on the state, you may be required to take theory and practice tests. Some states may also require training before taking the test
  • Entry Level License (CLP):

  • Some states may require that you first obtain a temporary commercial vehicle driving permit, known as a Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP), before proceeding to take the exam. You can read more about obtaining a CLP in our article https://startcdl.com/blog/how-to-get-a-cdl-in-nj

Before you begin the process, it is recommended that you contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or similar agency in the state where you plan to take the exam to verify all requirements and get up-to-date information

Out of state cdl testing and training details

A question that often arises is: can you take a cdl road test in a different state than your residency? Some states allow you to take the exam out-of-state with a third-party examiner if you have a valid driver's license and CLP from your home state and both states use the system (CSTIMS)

What is CSTIMS

The Commercial Skills Test Information Management System (CSTIMS) is an Internet-based tool that provides jurisdictions and third-party examiners with a consistent way to track the scheduling and entry of commercial driving skills test results. It applies the rules established by the jurisdiction to administer commercial driving skills tests (CDL). CSTIMS alerts authorized users when business rules are violated and provides reports to identify signs of potential fraud. Therefore, you need to be careful when taking tests in any state and not attempt to cheat when taking the exam. If you are found cheating while taking the exam, you will be subject to sanctions up to and including disqualification and denial of your license. It is advised that you better prepare and take these tests on your own. This will help you gain the necessary knowledge and feel confident in your abilities. You can take a free test on our website and determine the level of your knowledge https://startcdl.com/quiz-landing

Is it possible to transfer one state's CDL to another state?

A CDL cannot be transferred from one state to another. If you want to move to another region, you will have to get a new CDL for that state

Old driver's licenses will need to be surrendered in the new state and by passing the test, a new CDL will be obtained

Once you obtain a CDL in a new state, you are not allowed to use your personal driver's license or former commercial driver's license in the future.

It is against the law to have two driver's licenses (a CDL and a personal driver's license)

Most states require you to exchange your old CDL for a new one within 30-60 days of becoming a resident. But some states only require you to do so before your current license expires. If you don't change your license within a certain time frame in your new state, you risk having your license revoked or receiving a fine


In this article, we looked at the question Can you take the CDL exam in another state? We learned about Interstate Compact and CSTIMS. Since the rules may vary from state to state, it is best to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or our managers before taking the test. We have offices in almost all states and they will be able to advise you individually, telling you all the nuances in their jurisdiction. You can fill out an application form and a manager will contact you as soon as possible
Written by Max Smith

An experienced driver with a wealth of knowledge in the field of truck driving. With years of expertise behind the wheel and a deep understanding of the intricacies of trucking, Max is uniquely qualified to provide valuable insights and guidance on the topic of truck driver training. As an avid advocate for safe and efficient trucking practices, Max is dedicated to sharing valuable information and helping aspiring truck drivers excel in their careers.


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