Get a commercial learner’s permit

Learn how to get a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) in Connecticut

Get a commercial learner’s permit

Learn how to get a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) in Connecticut

CLP Overview

To get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Connecticut, you first need to get a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and pass the skills test. Your CLP is good for one year. If you don’t get a CDL in that year, you need to retake and pass all the required tests to get a new permit. 

You may also need to take the air brakes, combination, passenger endorsement, and/or school bus endorsement tests if those apply to the type of CDL you need.

You don’t receive a permanent driver license or ID card or leaner's permit while at your in-person DMV appointment. It arrives through the mail. For more on this, please see Central Issuance. After visiting an office, you can track the delivery of your new card.

CDL application age requirements 
You need to meet the following age requirements based on the type of CDL you need:

  • Be at least age 18
  • Be at least age 21 to haul hazardous material
  • Be at least age 21 to drive interstate

CLP and CDL medical requirements
To get a CLP or CDL you need to give the DMV a valid medical examiner’s certificate, provided by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. For more information, visit the CDL medical requirements page .

CLP self-certification
CLP holders need to provide self-certification of their driving type. For more information, visit the self-certification page.

Federal ID requirements

To meet new federal requirements around ID verification, CDL and CLP holders need to provide the DMV with: 

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States (undocumented individuals will not be issued a CDL or CLP)
  • Proof of Connecticut residence from two sources.
  • Name change documents (if applicable)

For a detailed list of documents you need, visit the REAL ID document checklist.

When you need a REAL ID 

  • New applicants for a CLP when they apply
  • Existing CDL holders when renewing licenses
  • All out-of-state CDL holders when they are transferring to Connecticut

Note: This does NOT apply to current U.S. citizens who complete this paperwork requirement when they get a verified driver’s license. The license has a verified gold star and their CDL designation on it.

  • Required documents

Required documents

Bring these documents with you when you arrive for the CLP knowledge test:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, you’re required to show proof of your legal status in this country. Please see acceptable forms of identification for non-U.S. citizens.

  • General knowledge test
  • Testing requirements for certifications
  • Endorsements tests
  • Passing the tests
  • Failing the tests
  • Fees for a CLP

General knowledge test

Once your documentation is presented and accepted by a DMV representative, you are required to take and pass a general knowledge test depending on the type of commercial motor vehicle you intend to operate. 
Testing is offered by appointment only. Make an appointment at a DMV office.  
The general knowledge test consists of 50 questions (40 correct answers represent a passing score). To prepare for the test, study the Connecticut Commercial Driver’s Manual

Testing requirements for certifications

Use the below chart to find out what tests you need to take—in additional to the general knowledge test—to get the driving class you want.



Air Brakes 


Passenger Endorsement 

School Bus Endorsement 

Class A 

If equipped 

If carrying passengers

If driving school bus 

Class B 

If equipped 


If carrying passengers 

If driving school bus 

Class C 

If equipped 


If carrying passengers 

If driving school bus 

Endorsements tests

If you want to have additional endorsements added to your license   , you are required to pass a test for each endorsement you apply for. This can be done when taking the CDL Permit Test. 

Testing for endorsements:

  • The hazardous materials endorsement test has 30 questions (need 24 correct to pass). 
  • The air brakes endorsement test has 25 questions (need 20 correct to pass).
  • The combination vehicle, school bus, passenger, tanker, and doubles and triples endorsement tests have 20 questions (need 16 correct to pass).

Note: If you apply for a hazardous materials endorsement (H) or public passenger endorsement (“S,” “V,” “A” or “F”) there are additional requirements that need to be met. Please see additional information on hazardous materials endorsements or public passenger endorsements.  
Applicants or holders of a public passenger endorsement must have an acceptable driving record.

Passing the tests

Once you pass the required knowledge tests, you are required to pay a $20 fee for the issuance of the commercial learner’s permit.

Failing the tests

If you fail any knowledge tests, you need to make an appointment to retake the test. You also need to complete a new application for commercial driver's license (Form R-229a) and pay the test fee again.

Fees for a CLP

  • General knowledge: $16
  • Air brakes: $5
  • Combination: $5
  • All other endorsements: $5 per endorsement requested
  • Skills test: $30 paid when the application is submitted    

School bus operator fee waiver:
If you are applying for a school bus endorsement applicant, you need to have a letter from your employer to have the general knowledge test, commercial learner’s permit, and skills test fees waived. 

You can pay the fees for the endorsements that allow you to carry passengers, including these endorsements:

  • Air brakes
  • Passenger
  • School bus