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Requirements for a CDL License in Michigan

A commercial driver's license, or CDL, is required for Michigan drivers of commercial vehicles that transport 16 or more passengers, carry hazardous materials and weigh 26,001 pounds or more. The law exempts certain drivers from this requirement, including police officers, firefighters, farmers, active-duty military personnel and people transporting family members and personal belongings. The Michigan Department of State issues CDLs in a standard version and an enhanced version that allows drivers to cross certain borders without needing to present additional documents.

Basic Requirements

Requirements for a CDL in Michigan include age restrictions based on travel. While the minimum age to drive commercial vehicles within the state is 18, drivers must be 21 to cross state lines or to drive placarded or marked vehicles carrying hazardous materials. He must also meet state or federal medical and physical Michigan CDL requirements. He's required to sign a statement that verifies he meets all medical and physical requirements at the time of application. He must also provide a medical examiner's card or waiver card before he can take any CDL tests.

Driving Record Requirements

Another Michigan CDL requirement is having a regular driver's license that is valid and not suspended, cancelled, revoked or denied. Certain convictions on an applicant's driving record will disqualify a driver from obtaining a CDL, such as having a revocation or suspension within 36 months immediately prior to the application. Drivers also can't have a convictions of driving while impaired when operating a commercial vehicle or any six-point violation within the 24 months prior to applying for a CDL. Applicants can't have licenses from more than one state.

Application Requirements

Michigan applicants must visit a local Michigan secretary of state office and provide a valid Social Security number as well as meet the driving record, medical and physical CDL requirements. She must pass the written and vision tests and schedule a CDL driving test administered through a third-party testing organization. Once she passes the CDL driving test, she can return to the SOS office to pay the CDL license fees. If adding a hazardous materials endorsement, she must provide a background and fingerprint check from the Transportation Security Administration as well as proof of U.S. citizenship. Drivers who want to apply for the enhanced CDL must meet the same application requirements as well as bring photo identification, take a new photo and pay the enhanced CDL fee.
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