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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 amandabrown (53 Posts)

Amanda is a blogger with eGears and has been working in the trucking industry for a year. Her goal for this blog is to inform you of industry news, product information, and the truck driving training aids available on our website. You can connect with Amanda on Google+ here


  • 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.