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Understanding the Texas CDL Renewal Grace Period, A Comprehensive Guide

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Published on Feb. 9, 2024, 5:25 a.m.


Let’s jump in and go over the Texas CDL requirements renewal grace period. The importance of maintaining a valid Commercial Driver's License (CDL) cannot be overstated for those in the trucking industry. In the state of Texas, as in many others, there are specific rules and regulations surrounding the renewal of a CDL, including a defined grace period. This article will explore the Texas CDL renewal grace period and offer insights into the renewal process. A commercial Driver's License can be provided at 21 years of age in the United States.

What is a CDL Renewal Grace Period?

A CDL renewal grace period refers to the time after the expiration of your CDL during which your license remains valid. Our firm specializes in all aspects of helping Texas trucking companies succeed. This period can vary from state to state. It's designed to offer drivers a window of time to renew their licenses without facing penalties.

The Texas CDL Renewal Grace Period

In Texas, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) manages the issuance and renewal of CDLs. Interestingly, Texas does not officially stipulate a grace period after the expiration of a CDL. This means that once your Texas CDL expires, it's technically considered invalid.

While there may not be immediate penalties for expired CDL endorsements within a short time frame, driving test, pass a vision test. Commercially with an expired license is illegal and can lead to severe consequences, including fines and potential disqualification. What Is IRP or Apportioned Registration? Therefore, it's recommended to renew your CDL before its expiration date to avoid any legal issues.

Texas Commercial Drivers License Renewal Process

The CDL renewal process in Texas involves several steps:

  • Renewal Notice: Typically, you will receive a renewal notice from the Texas DPS before your CDL expires. This notice will include information about when and how you can renew your CDL.
  • Documentation: You will need to provide the necessary documentation, which may include proof of identity, social security number, and evidence of Texas commercial rules residency.
  • Medical Certification: Depending on the type of commercial motor vehicle you drive, you may need to provide a current Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate.
  • Application and Fees: You will need to complete the renewal application and pay the required fees. The renewal application can be completed online or in person at a Texas DPS office.
  • Tests: In some cases, you may need to retake the written knowledge test or the driving skills test. This is usually required if your CDL has been expired for more than two years.

When Do Texas CDLs Expire?

In Texas, the expiration date of a Commercial Driver's License depends on the age of the driver at the time the license was last issued or renewed:

  • For drivers who are under the age of 85 when their license was last issued or renewed, the CDL is valid for six years. This means that if you were 84 or younger when you last renewed your CDL, your license will expire on your birthday six years later.
  • For drivers who are between 85 and 86 years old at the time of issuance or renewal, their CDL is valid for 2 years. This means the license will expire on their birthday two years later.
  • For drivers who are 87 years old or older at the time of issuance or renewal, the CDL is valid for 1 year. This means the license will expire on their birthday in the following year.

It's important to note that, regardless of age, CDL holders may also need to renew their medical certification more frequently, depending on their medical condition and the type of commercial motor vehicle they drive.

Remember, driving with an expired CDL is illegal and can result in penalties, so it's crucial to renew your CDL before it expires. Texas does not have a grace period for expired CDLs, so be sure to mark your expiration date and start the renewal process well in advance to avoid any lapse in validity. Want to know about hazardous materials?

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Do Different States Have Their Own CDL Expiration Policies?

Yes, each state in the U.S. has its own specific policies regarding the expiration and renewal of CDLs. These policies are set by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent agency, and they can vary significantly from state to state.

For example, as previously mentioned, Texas CDLs generally expire every six years for drivers under the age of 85. However, in California, a CDL expires every five years, regardless of the driver's age. In contrast, Florida issues CDLs that expire every eight years.

In addition to differing expiration periods, states also have varying procedures for CDL renewal. Some states, for example, require mandatory periodic retesting for CDL holders. Others may require a medical examination at each renewal, while some might require it only for certain endorsements or age groups. States also differ in their handling of expired CDLs. Some states provide a grace period during which a CDL can still be renewed without additional tests, while others consider a CDL to be invalid immediately upon expiration.

In all cases, CDL drivers are expected to be aware of and comply with their state's specific regulations. As a best practice, CDL holders should familiarize themselves with their state's CDL manual or contact their local DMV to understand the policies that apply to them. Also, it's important to remember that while driving, CDL holders must comply with both the regulations of their home state and the laws of any state they drive through or deliver to lawful presence.

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Can I Renew My CDL in Texas Online?

Yes, in Texas, you can renew your commercial learner S permit and commercial Driver's License (CDL) online through the Texas Department of Public Safety's (DPS) online portal, provided you meet certain eligibility criteria. When it comes to safety policy compliance, the DOT in Texas is very strict. To be eligible to renew your Texas CDL online, you must:

  • Have a valid Texas CDL that has not been expired for more than two years.
  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Do not want to change the class of your CDL or add/remove any endorsements or restrictions.
  • Do not have any medical restrictions on your current CDL.

It's important to note that if your medical certification is not up to date with Texas DPS, you will need to provide an updated one before you can renew your CDL, and this may require an in-person visit. To renew online, you will need to provide the necessary information, pay the renewal fee, and follow the instructions on the Texas DPS online portal. Once your online renewal is processed and approved, you will receive your new CDL in the mail.

Please note that information about renewing a CDL online in Texas is subject to change, so always verify the current procedure with the Texas DPS.


In conclusion, while Texas does not officially offer a CDL renewal grace period, it is crucial to renew your CDL promptly to ensure the continuous legal ability to operate commercial vehicles. Understanding the renewal process and timeline can help make the process smoother and prevent any potential disruptions to your professional driving career.

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