Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Logistics Term

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Definition

A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) certifies a driver to operate heavy, large, or hazardous material vehicles. They must possess higher skills, knowledge, physical abilities, and skills than non-commercial vehicle drivers.

To obtain a Commercials Driver's License, a driver must qualify in both knowledge and skills testing steered towards ensuring these high standards. A CDL holder must follow safety and DOT regulations when hauling on public roads. However, misconduct on the road might compromise a driver's ability to retain or maintain their Commercial Driver's License.

Types of Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL)

As a requirement, most drivers must obtain a license from their local states. It is illegal to have a license from multiple states. Trucking services regarding operating vehicles such as trucks with tanks, double or triple trailers, and carrying hazardous materials require special endorsements. 

There are three types of licenses. 

Class A CDL: To operate vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more, while towing a vehicle/unit over 10,000lbs. 

Class B CDL: To operate straight trucks or buses 26,001 or more.

Class C CDL: To operate vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers, transport freight classified as hazardous materials (hazmat), a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 26,0001 or less, or a single vehicle towing a trailer.

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