A commercial driver’s license or CDL is a license for operating large, placarded hazardous material vehicles or heavy vehicles. It is primarily for commercial purposes in the US.

You must undergo CDL training to get the license. The requirements

  • You must be at least 21 years old or 18 years old for intrastate driving.
  • You must submit your state’s CDL application form and pay the CDL License cost.
  • Provide your Social Security verification and identity.
  • You must provide proof of US residency and proof of state
  • You must submit a medical examiner’s certificate form and a medical examination report.
  • You must pass a vision test.
  • You must pass a knowledge exam.

After you have passed the Commercial Driver’s license training test, you will first receive a Commercial Learner’s Permit or CLP.

Then, you will be taken through a pre-trip inspection with your own vehicle so you can pass the driving examination.

After passing this exam, you will be required to pay the necessary fees for a new commercial driver’s license.

Optionally, you could provide a 10-year clean record check if you happen to have had a driver’s license from any other jurisdiction or state other than the one you are applying for the CDL.

 

CDL classes

During CDL training, you will come across different classes. These must be well understood, so you know which truck driver license you will apply for.

Class A 

This class is required when you wish to drive vehicles with a GVWR or Gross Combination Weight Rating of more than 26,001 pounds. This is on the condition that the vehicle towing will be more than 10,000 pounds in weight.

When you receive your Class A commercial driver’s license and all the other proper endorsements, you can drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Truck and Trailer combinations
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Livestock carriers
  • Tank vehicles
  • Flatbeds

Class B

This class is required when you wish to drive vehicles with a GVWR or Gross Combination Weight Rating of more than 26,001 pounds. This is on the condition that the vehicle towing will be more than 10,000 pounds in weight.

When you receive your Class B Commercial Driver’s License training and all the other proper endorsements, you can drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Large passenger busses
  • Straight trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Segmented busses
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Dumb trucks that have small trailers

Class C

A commercial driver’s license for Class C is required if you wish to operate a vehicle with a designated transport of 16 occupants or more. This includes the driver, and it can also transport hazardous materials or HazMat that are classified as such by federal law.

You can drive the following vehicles with a Class C license:

  • Passenger vans.
  • Small HazMat vehicles
  • A combination of all the vehicles in Class A and B.

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