CDL Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial Driver License Frequently Asked Questions

Pursuant to Federal Regulations 49 CFR 383, 384, 390 and 391, all Classes A, B or C Commercial License (CDL) holders must certify to the type of commercial operation they’re engaged in. You can certify on our website at and visit the Driver License home page, under Division Links, CDL Self Certification.

Once submitted, unless you change the type of transportation you are involved in, you do not need to submit another self-certification. To change your certification you can visit our website at

You may change your self-certification status.

Required forms may be submitted by one of the following:


Alabama Law Enforcement Agency

CDL Unit

PO Box 1471

Montgomery , AL 36102-1471


ALEA will notify you that you are no longer medically certified to operate a CMV. You must have a new medical examination and obtain a new medical certificate (card) and any required variance (wavier). You must then provide the ALEA DL Division the new medical examiner’s certificate (card) and any required variance (wavier). You are responsible for contacting and applying to FMCSA for Renewal of your variance (wavier) if applicable. If you do not provide the self-certification, the medical examiner’s certification (card) and any required variance (wavier) within 45 days of the notice from ALEA, then all CDL privileged will be removed from your license.

Starting on January 30, 2012, when you:

  • Apply for a CDL:
  • Renew a CDL;
  • Apply for a higher class of CDL;
  • Apply for a new endorsement on a CDL; or
  • Transfer a CDL from another State

You will be required to self-certify to a single type of commercial operation on your driver license application form. Based on that self-certification, you may be required to provide ALEA with a current medical examiner’s certificate and if applicable, provide any variance (wavier) you may have along with the medical certification card.

Only doctors certified by FMCSA can administer the DOT physical. They will have a Federal Registration number, and they will have the correct form(s). For more information regarding Medical Certification Please see: Federal Regulations: Medical examination; certificate of physical examination

As long as you remain in the Non-Excepted Interstate self-certification category, your medical card needs to be submitted before the current one on file expires. To avoid any overlap with your driving privilege, it is recommended to submit it at least 2 weeks prior to the expiration date.

You can upload your DOT Medical Examiner’s Certificate online at or mail a copy to: CDL Unit, P. O. Box 1471, Montgomery, AL 36102.

After you provide ALEA Driver License Division and your employer with the medical examiner’s certificate (card), the medical examiner’s Certificate (card) will only be valid to present law enforcement for the first 15 day after it was issued, after that time the information will be accessed by law enforcement via CDLIS. Your medical examiner’s certification information will be recorded on your driving record and will become the valid version of your medical certification (card).

If the medical examiner’s certificate has expired, you must obtain a new one and provide it to the ALEA Driver License Division, and if applicable, if the variance has expired, you must renew it with FMCSA and provide it along with your medical certification to ALEA Driver License Division. NOTE: RE-examination will be required if your Alabama CDL has been expired over three (3) years.

Yes, if being issued a CDL for the first time, or upgrading, a CLP be issued first and must be held for at least 14 days before testing for the CDL.

The CLP is valid for 180 days and may be renewed one time.

Military service members who are currently licensed and who are or were employed within the past year (12 months) in a military transportation unit requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a Commercial Motor Vehicle are eligible for a military skills waiver. These individuals will still have to take the knowledge portion(s) of the CDL test, but the skills will be waived. The form to have the skills portion waived is available at any ALEA CDL testing office and should be requested at the time the knowledge test(s) are being taken.