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FAQ: “What are the Different Types of CDL Licenses?”

CDL licenseWhen people begin to ponder professional driving as a new career path, often times one of the first questions that pops into their head is, “Which type of CDL license will I need for this job?”

This is a great question, as there are three different classes of CDL licenses and it can be a bit confusing to know which you’ll need. Today I’m going to briefly talk about the different CDL classes and the vehicles you’re eligible to drive with each.

Class A CDL License

A Class A license is required to operate any combination vehicle with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or more. The vehicle being towed must weigh more than 10,000 pounds to qualify for a Class A. To drive a tractor-trailer, you must have a Class A license. eGears offers a Class A Practice Test to help you get your Class A CDL permit.

Class B CDL License

Class B licenses are needed to transport a heavy single unit truck that weighs more than 26,000 pounds. You can also tow a combination vehicle with a Class B license as long as the vehicle being towed does not exceed 10,000 pounds. You also may tow a vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds as long as the total vehicle weight does not exceed 26,000 pounds. Class B vehicles include straight trucks, school buses, dump trucks, cement mixers, and motor coaches. eGears offers a Class B Practice Test to help you get your Class B CDL permit.

Class C CDL License

A Class C CDL is needed to operate a vehicle with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or less that transports 15 or more passengers or carries Hazardous Materials. With a Class C license, you can also tow vehicles with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less. Vehicles that require Class C licenses include limousines and small vehicles transporting Hazmat.

Note: If you’re not sure which class of license you’ll need, remember that you can drive any vehicles of a lower class than the CDL you hold. So for example, if you have a Class A CDL, you’re still able to drive Class B and Class C vehicles, provided you hold any necessary endorsements. You cannot, however, drive a semi truck if you only have a Class B license.

Need to get your CDL? Here are some products you may find helpful…

Post By Amanda (53 Posts)

Amanda is a former blogger with eGears, an online CDL training resource offering CDL practice tests and study guides . eGears offers a complete solution to help learn and remember the CDL manual information to pass the CDL test on the first try.


  • neal creque

    I just relocated back to the mainland from the US Virgin Islands. I had a CDL license out of texas. I drove from 1998 to 2004 and my license expired in 2005. I would 2 start my career over. How would I go about it. I currently hold a drivers licencse from the virgin islands and now living in panama city Florida.