Each state sets an expiration date for drivers licenses, and that includes commercial drivers licenses. In Wisconsin, the lifespan of a CDL is eight years, after which you will need to seek a renewal. Each renewal has a lifespan of eight years so over a forty year working life, a truck driver will need to renew their license five or six times.
Renewing your CDL is a straightforward process, however, you will need to plan ahead, especially if you have a HazMat endorsement. If you have kept your postal address up to date, you will receive a renewal notice in the mail. Take this notice along with some identification to your nearest DMV center. You will need to undertake a simple eye test and have your photograph taken, and after paying the renewal fee, the job is done. If you don’t receive your renewal notice, you will need to go to your nearest DMV center and fill out the required forms to renew your license.
If you have a HazMat endorsement, the process is a little longer but definitely worth the effort as it extends your work options. For a HazMat renewal, you will need to have your fingerprints taken, and since this process is not available in all DMV centers, you will need to plan ahead. You will also need to fill out the ‘Risk Assessment’ forms, a requirement under national security legislation, and resit the knowledge test for HazMat holders.
There is also a process available for those who lose or have their CDL stolen. Go to your nearest DMV center and fill in the application for a replacement CDL (you can plan ahead by downloading the form and filling it in at home). Take plenty of ID with you to avoid any problems. The process is fairly similar to renewing your CDL. A photo is taken, you pay the fee, and you’re back in business.
Like all professions, truck drivers have a licensing system that requires renewal on a regular basis. Each state sets that renewal period, however, eight years is the norm. You can make life a lot easier on yourself by keeping the DMV up-to-date with your current postal address – all you need do then is wait for renewal notices to arrive.