Commercial Driving License Requirements for Truck Drivers

In 1986, a federal law was passed that requires truck drivers and other drivers to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to operate certain vehicles. The law’s aim is to make sure only safe drivers who know how to properly maneuver and drive larger vehicles are allowed to operate them. Unsafe drivers should be taken off the road. The individual states give the CDL but the federal minimum standards must be met.

CDL licenses are required for the following:

  • Class A truck – Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Truck Rating of more than 26,000 pounds carrying less than 10,000 pounds
  • Class B truck – Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Truck Rating of more than 26,000 pounds carrying less than 10,000 pounds
  • Class C truck – Any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that aren’t Class A or Class B trucks but that carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or hazardous materials. A bus, for example.

States, like Virginia and North Carolina, can also require other vehicles to be driven by those with a CDL license. You generally only need one CDL license to drive in any state – as long as you’re 21 or over. Drivers must pass a written test and a test to measure one’s driving skills. Most drivers must also show they have a medical clearance to drive these heavy vehicles.

The standards for conviction of certain motor vehicle related rules are quite severe. Employers can be held liable if they let someone drive a restricted Commercial Vehicle without a proper CDL. Drivers who drive without a valid CDL can face heavy fines and even jail time. While a Blood Alcohol Level of .08 is required for a DWI violation in most states, if a CDL license is involved then only a .04 Blood Alcohol Level is required.

If a driver didn’t have a proper CDL license, then that fact may be able to be used to help show the liability of the truck driver should an accident occur.

Joe Miller helps Truck Accident Victims

Joe Miller is dedicated to helping truck accident victims fight for the compensation they need to deal with their accident-related losses. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, let the experienced Norfolk legal team at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., help you fight for the full and fair compensation you need. Call us today at (888) 694-1671 to learn more about what we are prepared to do to help you.