If life has taught us anything, it is that all things good things must come to an end, and a drivers license is no exception to that rule. If you are someone who drives for a living, staying on top of keeping a license current is especially important. While the state does what it can to send reminders, at the end of the day it is, after all, the state, and mistakes can be made. An expired CDL can result in not just the loss of mobility but in the loss of livelihood. This makes it extremely important for a CDL holder to make sure their license is always in date.
Get It Done Before It’s Gone
Remaining aware of your expiration date will simplify the renewal process. Renewing an expired license complicates matters tremendously and may even require retesting. At the very least, you certainly won’t be able to take advantage of online renewal or renewal by mail. Saving yourself a trip to the DMV should be inspiration enough to keep your expiration date circled on your calendar.
For CDL holders in states where online or by mail renewal options are not available, heading to the DMV prepared will make the process go more smoothly. Chances are good that the renewal application form will be available online and should be completed before arriving. You should also educate yourself on the rest of your state’s renewal process as you may be required to pass a vision test and, in some cases, a brief medical exam. Also be sure of the required fees and the forms of payment recognized by your local DMV office so that payment can be made easily.
Why Not Upgrade?
Adding new endorsements to a CDL can mean greater income potential, and there is no more convenient opportunity to do this than at renewal time. The addition of an endorsement usually requires the passing of a written test and the payment of a fee. Provided that you pass the test (and your check clears) your renewed license will also reflect your new endorsement. Adding an endorsement in this manner will save steps and will make you a more valuable member of the driving community at the same time.
If you plan to add endorsement at renewal time, be sure to check if there are any additional steps beyond passing an exam. For example, a Hazardous Materials Endorsement will require that you begin the process early. Beyond a test and fee, a HAZMAT endorsement also requires a background check. This background check can take up to 30 days to complete, so you will need to start the process early if you want earning the endorsement to coincide with renewal time.
Now that you’ve read about the process, you may want to pull out your wallet and double check the date on your CDL. If your renewal date is approaching soon, make sure to take the steps necessary to keep it active. If you don’t, you take a chance of your license expiring while out on the road, the last thing any professional driver wants to happen.