Classes A, B, and C
There are three classes of commercial driver's licenses (CDL):
- Class A
- Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. If you have a Class A CDL, you may drive a three-wheel vehicle, but not a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car.
- Class B
- Any single unit vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or any vehicle like that towing a vehicle that does not weigh more than 10,000 pounds. If you have a Class B CDL, you may drive a three-wheel vehicle, but not a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car.
- Class C
- Any single vehicle, or a combination of vehicles, that are not Class A or B vehicles, but can carry 16 or more people (including the driver), or have a hazmat placard. If you have a Class C CDL, you may drive a three-wheel vehicle, but not a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car.
Your CDL expires every five years.
The following endorsements may be added to your commercial driver's license (CDL):
- H - Hazardous Material (Hazmat)
- N - Tanker Vehicle
- P - Passenger Vehicle (Designed to carry 16 or more people, including the driver)
- S - School Bus (You must have a P endorsement to have an S endorsement)
- T - Double/Triple Trailers
- X - Combination Hazmat and Tanker
You must complete the following tests for each endorsement above:
- H - Knowledge test and TSA threat assessment
- N - Knowledge test
- P - Knowledge and skills test
- S - Knowledge and skills test*
- T - Knowledge test
- X - Knowledge test and TSA threat assessment
*If you're interested in receiving the S endorsement, you must take the skills/road test in a vehicle that meets the following definition: "School Bus means a commercial vehicle used to carry pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students from home to school, from school to home, or to and from school-sponsored events. A school bus does not include a bus used as a common carrier.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 49 CFR, 172, F