Commercial Driver License Types
Commercial Driver's License (CDL) are categorized in several types, to get your license you need to know which type you need. The following is a list of license classes, endorsements, and restrictions to aid you to identify which license you need.
Generally the size of the vehicle (or trailer) you will drive determines the class of license required. These classes are listed below:
|Examples||Name||Description||Permit Class||License Class|
GVWR is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
GCWR is the Gross Combination Weight Rating
|trucks and trailers||Combination Vehicles||May operate a combination vehicle when the GCWR is 26,001 pounds or more and the GVWR of the towed unit is 10,001 pounds or more||IA||A|
|motor coaches, box trucks, dump trucks||Heavy Straight Vehicles||May operate any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. A trailer may be towed if the GVWR of the trailer is 10,000 or less||IB||B|
|buses||Small Vehicles||May operate any single motor vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less, or a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials||IC||C|
An endorsement allows a commercial driver to operate specific types of motor vehicles. Each endorsement requires a knowledge test. Some endorsements may require a road skills test.
|Name||Requirements||Description||Permit Endorsement||License Endorsement|
||Vehicles transporting hazardous materials||H|
|Tank vehicles||knowledge test||Required for drivers of vehicles designed to transport liquids or gaseous materials within a tank||N||N|
||Required for drivers of vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers including the driver||P||P|
||Required for drivers of vehicles transporting preprimary, primary or secondary school students from home to school, from school to home, or to and from school- sponsored events||S||S|
|Double/Triple||knowledge test||Required for drivers of vehicles pulling two or three trailers. (A dolly or load divider, sometimes referred to as a "jeep," is considered to be one trailer.)||T|
|Combination Tank & Hazardous Material||
||Required for drivers of vehicles transporting tank vehicle used to transport hazardous materials||X|
A restriction limits a commercial driver from operating certain types of vehicles.
- Permit Restrictions
- Some restriction will apply to learner's permits while a driver is learning to drive safely. For example, the passenger restriction (P) that prevent a permit holder from driving with passengers.
- License Restrictions
- Several endorsement require road skills tests with specific vehicles. If the vehicle you use for your road test does not have that capability, to remove the restriction you will need to test with such a vehicle.
|Name||Test(s) to remove||Description||Permit Restriction||License Restriction|
|Air Brakes||knowledge & road skills||You may not drive vehicles with air brakes||L||L|
|Automatic Transmission||road skills||You may only drive Class A or B vehicles with manual transmission||E|
|Empty Tank||knowledge||You may only drive with an empty tank (for N endorsement)||X|
|Intrastate Commerce||special, see self-certification||You may only drive for intrastate commerce||K|
|Medical Waiver||special, see medical card||You have a Federal medical waiver or Skills Performance Evaluation (SPE)||V|
|Off-Highway||road skills||You may only drive in rural communities where road tests are not administered.||7|
|Passenger||road skills||You may not drive a Class A bus||M|
|Passenger||road skills||You may not drive a Class A or B bus||N|
|Passenger or School Bus||road skills||You may not drive with passengers in your bus||P|
|Tractor/Trailer||knowledge & road skills||You may not drive a tractor-trailer combination.||O|