3 Classes of Commercial Driving

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers of commercial vehicles are required to obtain commercial driver’s licenses if operating a vehicle that weighs more than 26,001 pounds and falls under the specifications of a Class A, B or C license. Drivers must meet certain requirements to obtain a CDL in their states.

Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License
Drivers must pass a knowledge and skills test administered through their states in order to obtain a CDL. It is illegal for drivers to hold a CDL from more than one state. There are additional tests to obtain an endorsement for any of the following: double or triple trailers, passenger, tank vehicle, hazardous materials, combination of tank vehicle and hazardous materials and school bus.

Class A
Drivers who operate a vehicle that weighs more than 26,001 pounds qualify under a Class A commercial driver’s license when any attached vehicle, such as a trailer, weighs more than 10,000 pounds.

Class B
Class B CDLs are for drivers who operate vehicles that weigh more than 26,001 pounds and towed vehicles weigh less than 10,000 pounds.

Class C
Class C CDLs are reserved for vehicles over 26,001 pounds that do not fall into the category of Class A or Class B. Class C CDLs require that the vehicle was built to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or that the vehicle transports material listed as a toxin, select agent or hazardous material. Any vehicles under Class C that carry hazardous material are required to show a placard.