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Looking to get a driver’s license in New Jersey?

Confused about all the license types?

You’ve come to the right place. 

Though the NJ driver’s license classifications are straightforward, they can confuse people that are not familiar with it. This is why we’re going to give you a complete guide on New Jersey’s driver’s license classifications. 

Not only that, we’ll talk about the requirements for each one as well. 

So buckle up and let’s go! 

Types of Driver’s Licenses in New Jersey

There are 5 driver’s license classifications in New Jersey. These are:

  • Class A (Commercial) – issued to drivers who operate any truck or trailer with a GCWR of 26,001lbs or more, wherein the GCWR of the towed vehicle is more than 10,000lbs. 

Drivers with Class A licenses are eligible to operate all vehicles in Class B, C, and D.

  • Class B (Commercial) – issued to drivers who operate any vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001lbs or more, but the GCWR of the towed vehicle is less than 10,000lbs or can transport 16 or more passengers. 

Drivers with Class B licenses are eligible to operate all vehicles in Class C and D.

  • Class C (Commercial) – issued to drivers who operate any vehicle with a GCWR less than 26,001lbs, placarded to transport any hazardous material or any bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers, all school vehicles designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, and any other vehicle for hire designed to transport 8 to 15 passengers.
  • Class D (Basic Automobile License) – issued to 18 years old or older drivers for all types of motor vehicles but not including motorcycles.
  • Class E (Motorcycle License) – issued to a holder that’s driving any vehicle with less than 4 wheels, such as motorbikes or scooters. For individuals who already have an NJ basic automobile license, you can add an Endorsement M to upgrade your license class.

Requirements for a Commercial Driver’s License (Class A, B, C) in New Jersey

Before applying for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in New Jersey, make sure to satisfy these basic requirements:

  • You must be 18 years old or older
  • Both eyes should be 20/40 vision—with or without glasses
  • You should be able to recognize green, red, and amber colors
  • You should be physically fit

Application process:

  • Study the CDL Manual
  • Visit local Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC)
  • Present your Social Security card for the initial commercial permit
  • Bring the four requirements for the 6 Point ID Verification: 
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of Address
  • One Primary ID
  • One Secondary ID
  • Pay the non-refundable CDL permit fee
  • Take and pass the CDL knowledge test and skills test

Requirements for a Basic Automobile License (Class D) in New Jersey

To qualify for a Class D license, you must be able to meet the basic requirements:

  • You must be 18 years old or older
  • You must hold a probationary license for at least 6 months, or hold a license from another state 
  • Both eyes should be 20/40 vision—with or without glasses

Application process:

  • Go to local MVC 
  • Submit medical report
  • Pass the knowledge test 
  • Pass the road test for a Class D

Requirements for a Motorcycle License (Class E) in New Jersey

To qualify:

  • You must be 18 years old or older
  • You should be physically fit

Application process:

  • Go to local MVC
  • Get an examination permit
  • Bring the four requirements for the 6 Point ID Verification: 
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of Address
  • One Primary ID
  • One Secondary ID
  • Apply for a motorcycle permit
  • Pass the motorcycle road test

New Jersey Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program for Teens and Young Adults

If you’re younger than 21 years old you need to meet the requirements of the GDL program before obtaining your first New Jersey driver’s license. 

This program will help you practice and gain driving experience to pass the DMV road test and get an unrestricted license. 

Note: if you just moved to New Jersey and you’re younger than 18, you cannot transfer your out-of-state license or learner’s permit without completing the New Jersey GDL program. 

The GDL program has the following restrictions for those who have student and examination permits and probationary driver licenses:

  • You should display a reflectorized plate decal when you’re driving.
  • Driving should be supervised at all times by a licensed adult at least 21 years of age.
  • Driving is not allowed between 11:01 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • If you have more than one passenger, there should be a parent or guardian.

Now, there is a minimum age requirement in each stage of the GDL program.

  • Student Learner’s Permit – 16 years old
  • Examination Permit – 17 years old
  • Probationary Driver License – 17 years old
  • Unrestricted Driver License – 18 years old

Student Learner’s Permit 

Before getting a learner’s permit, you should complete a driver’s education course accompanied by a certified driving instructor. Once you completed the requirements, head over to your local NJ DMV office together with your instructor to get the student’s permit.

Examination Permit 

If you’re 17 years old, you won’t need a learner’s permit anymore. Just visit your local DMV office and submit the requirements needed to obtain an examination permit. You should pass the vision test and written test on your first try. Then pay for your examination permit.

Probationary Driver License

If you’re 17 years old and already have behind-the-wheel experience for at least 6 months, you can obtain an NJ Probationary Driver’s License. You can schedule your road test online.

  • Visit your local DMV office.
  • Pass your DMV road test.
  • Meet the requirements for the NJ MVC 6 Point ID Verification 

Unrestricted or Basic Driver License

If you’re 18 years old or have practiced unsupervised driving for at least one year with your probationary license, you’re eligible to apply for an NJ Unrestricted Driver’s License.

To apply, follow these steps:

  • Visit your local DMV office.
  • Provide your provisional driver’s license.
  • Meet the requirements for the NJ MVC 6 Point ID Verification 

Conclusion

If you’re planning to get your first driver’s license in New Jersey, it is best to familiarize yourself with the different types of licenses and their requirements. 

So to recap. 

There are 5 New Jersey driver’s license classifications: 

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C
  • Class D
  • Class E

Which one do you need?

Depends on what you’re driving, of course!

We hope that this article has been great in helping you understand the license types in New Jersey!

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