Alaska Department of Administration, Divison of Motor Vehicles
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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.

Class

Generally the size of the vehicle (or trailer) you will drive determines the class of license required. These classes are listed below:

Classes of Commercial Driver's Licenses
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

Endorsements

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.

Endorsements for Commercial Driver's Licenses
Name Requirements Description Permit Endorsement License Endorsement
Hazardous Materials
  • knowledge test
  • background check
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
Passenger
  • knowledge test road skills test
Required for drivers of vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers including the driver P P
School Bus
  • knowledge test
  • road skills test
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
  • knowledge test
  • background check
Required for drivers of vehicles transporting tank vehicle used to transport hazardous materials   X

Restrictions

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.
Restrictions for Commercial Driver's Licenses
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