CDL Eligibility and Requirements



You must be age 21 to drive a commercial motor vehicle across state lines (interstate).  If you are between the ages of 18 and 21, you will receive a license with a K restriction allowing you to drive a commercial motor vehicle in Michigan only.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted new regulations to improve driver safety, effective July 8, 2015.  The federal regulations and Michigan law require all drivers who have a Commercial Driver License (CDL) to provide proof of Legal Presence in the United States.


To transport hazardous materials in a quantity that requires the vehicle be marked or placarded, you must be age 21 or older, present proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence and present a Federal Security Threat Assessment.


Driving Record


Before you can obtain an original CDL, you must qualify for the license based on your driving record.  Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a CDL:

  • Inability to make the necessary certifications contained on the CDL Certification Form, BFS-103 (Appendix A of the Michigan Commercial Driver License Manual).
  • Having a license from more than one state.
  • A current suspension, revocation, denial, or cancellation of your license.
  • Conviction of any six-point violation in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
  • Conviction for operating a motor vehicle while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
  • A suspension or revocation in the 36 months immediately preceding application. 
  • Suspensions for Failure to Appear in Court (FAC), Failure to Comply with a Judgment (FCJ), failure to appear for re-examination, financial responsibility, non-sufficient funds checks, and a suspension or revocation for a temporary medical condition do not disqualify an applicant for a CDL.


Medical and Physical Requirements


Unless exempt, you need to comply with federal or state medical/physical requirements before receiving a CDL. When applying for your CDL, you will sign a statement that says all necessary medical/physical requirements have been met. Before taking any CDL skills tests, you must provide a valid medical examiner's card or medical waiver card to your examiner which allows you to operate your commercial motor vehicle. Ask your employer about these medical/physical requirements.

How Can I Get Additional Information on Medical/Physical Requirements?

For information on:


Intrastate (in Michigan) medical/physical requirements and state commercial vehicle rules and regulations, contact:                 


Michigan Trucking Association
1131 Centennial Way
Lansing, MI  48917
(517) 321-1951


Interstate (across state lines) medical/physical requirements and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, contact:  


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA )

219 W. Allegan St., Room 219

Lansing, Michigan 48933

Telephone: (517) 853-5990.


Note: The FMCSA (Michigan Division) does not distribute medical forms or rulebooks.  Forms are available on the FMCSA website listed above.


School bus medical/physical requirements, contact:   


Michigan Department of Education

Office of School Support Services

P.O. Box 30008

Lansing, Michigan 48909

Telephone:   (517) 373-6388


Related Documents
Michigan Commercial Driver License Manual PDF icon