CDL License Types

Ready to get behind the wheel of a big truck or tractor trailer? Whether you’re in it for the long haul or just putting on your trucker hat for a short stint, you’ll need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to drive a commercial truck. The following will explain the various CDL license types that are available.

Requirements for obtaining a CDL vary by state, but all states require you to pass a written test as well as a three-part skills test. With such extensive testing on the road ahead, you’ll want to study up. A commercial driver education program can help you prepare to pass your CDL test and get on the road

What class type of a Commercial Driver License (CDL) do I need?
The class of a CDL needed by a driver depends on the type of vehicle that is to be operated. An individual seeking a CDL will be required to take a CDL knowledge test. The general knowledge test is required for all CDL applicants. Depending on the vehicle’s class and application, an individual may be required to take additional test(s) for the required endorsement(s).

Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Classes

There are three defined CDL license types of CMV that an individual may apply for a license to operate.

CMV Class Description
Class A Any vehicle with a semi-trailer or trailer with two or more axles. This group also includes any combination of vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the towed vehicle is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Class B Any Heavy Straight Vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds is classified in Group B, as well as any vehicle towing another vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Class C Any vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or is used in the transportation of materials classified as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

CDL License Types