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New Commercial Licensing Requirements


New Commercial Licensing Requirements

Effective May 10, 2017, pursuant to federal law, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will require all new and existing commercial driver license (CDL) applicants to provide DMV with the following:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship/lawful permanent residency/legal presence (see list below).
  • Proof of residency (domicile).

The new requirements apply to original and renewal CDL applicants, as well as CDL cardholders who request a license upgrade. Applicants who have started their CDL application, but have not completed the process by May 9, 2017, will be required to meet the new requirements. 

Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Lawful Permanent Residency, or Legal Presence

CDL applicants must submit one of the following genuine documents bearing his or her true full name as proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency, or legal presence:

  • Valid/unexpired U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
  • Certified copy of a U.S. Birth Certificate (issued by a city, county, or state vital statistics office)
  • Certified copy of a Birth Certificate issued from one of the following U.S. Territories:
    • American Samoa
    • District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.)
    • Swain’s Island
    • Puerto Rico (issued on or after July 1, 2010)
    • U.S. Virgin Islands (issued on or after January 17, 1917)
    • Guam (issued on or after April 10, 1899)
    • Northern Mariana Islands (issued after November 4, 1986)
  • U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad or Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  • Valid/unexpired Permanent Resident Card
  • Valid/unexpired Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Valid/unexpired foreign passport with an approved Record of Arrival/Departure

Note: Name change document(s), such as a marriage license, may be required to issue a CDL in your true full name.

Residency Documents

CDL applicants must submit acceptable proof of residency in California. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Rental or lease agreement
  • Mortgage bill
  • Home utility bill
  • Employment document
  • Tax return

For a complete list of acceptable documents, please visit:    

Please note:  If you do not yet have a California driver license and you are applying for a CDL, you must present two documents as proof of residency.  Existing California driver license cardholders applying for, upgrading, or renewing a CDL, are only required to present one document as proof of residency.

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