CDL stands for Commercial Drivers License. A CDL is required in order to operate vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds, more than 10,000 with a trailer, transporting hazardous materials, or designed for 16 or more passengers (8 or more for pay). This typically includes buses, limousines, tow trucks, and tractor trailers.
There are several different classes and endorsements a driver may need to obtain depending on the types of vehicles and cargo they will be traveling with.
- Class A allows the most flexibility in which vehicles and cargo a driver may transport. Class A allows for any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds and transport more than 10,000 pounds in tow. Class A requires the following test sections that you can find in most state manuals/study guides. You can find below for free: General Knowledge, Combination Vehicles, Air Brakes, Pre-Trip, and Basic Skills.
- Class B allows a driver to drive a single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds or any vehicle not weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Class B requires the following test sections that you can find in most state manuals/study guides. You can find below for free: General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Pre-Trip, and Basic Skills.
- A Class C license allows a driver to drive a single vehicle or a combination of vehicles that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B and is either designed to transport 16 or more occupants or is placarded for hazardous materials. Class C requires the following test sections that you can find in most state manuals/study guides. You can find below for free: General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Pre-Trip, and Basic Skills.
States, like California, New York, and Texas, have strict laws about a driver having a CDL to operate other certain vehicle types as well. Check with your state regulations to ensure that you follow all applicable laws.
There are also several endorsements that to give the driver special vehicle and cargo eligibility. Each endorsement requires its own individual test.
- T Endorsement - Doubles and Triple Trailers - Written Test
- P Endorsement - Passenger Vehicle - Written Test and Driving Test
- S Endorsement - School Bus - Written test, Driving Test, Background Check, Sex Offender Registry Check, and P Endorsement
- N Endorsement - Tank Truck - Written Test
- H Endorsement - Hazardous Materials (HazMat) - Written Test and TSA Background Check
- X Endorsement - Combination of Tank Truck and Hazardous Materials - Written Test
- W Endorsement - Tow Truck - Written Test
There is a constant demand for drivers that are properly licensed with pristine driving records. Take a big step in your preparation of obtaining your CDL from your state by taking the free CDL practice tests offered here!