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LICENSE (CDL) REQUIREMENTS
What are the minimum qualifications needed to operate a commercial vehicle?
A driver must:
- Be at least 18 years old; 21 if driving interstate.
- Have a valid Commercial Driver's License (Class A, B, or C) or a valid Class
D Driver's License, depending on the size of the vehicle and types of loads
A driver may have to meet other requirements such as medical certificate of
health (DOT medical card), drug and alcohol testing, etc., depending on types
of loads being hauled or whether the driver is traveling interstate or intrastate.
How do I know if I need a Commercial Driver's License (CDL)?
You need a CDL if you operate a:
- Combination vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR*) of 26,001
or more pounds, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR*) of the
towed unit is greater than 10,000 pounds.
- Single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds.
- Vehicle transporting 16 or more persons (including the driver).
- Vehicle of any size carrying hazardous materials in quantities large enough
to require placards.
A Class D Driver's License is required for all other vehicles.
* GCWR and GVWR are determined by the manufacturer.
Are there drivers who do not need CDLs?
Those exempted from the requirement to obtain a CDL may include drivers
of recreational, military, and emergency vehicles; and some farm vehicles not
used for hire if driven within 150 miles of the farm.
What tests do I have to pass to obtain a CDL?
Drivers must pass written and skills (vehicle inspection and driving) tests.
How do I know which endorsements/restrictions I need?
CDL endorsements are based on vehicle types or the types of loads being
transported: double/triple trailers, hazardous materials, tank vehicles, and
buses. Your license will have a restriction for driving only vehicles without
air brakes unless you pass additional tests.
Are there other driver's license changes I should be aware of?
Yes. The Commercial Motor Vehicles Safety Act has many rules which affect
drivers. Violations of these rules can result in civil and criminal penalties
or disqualify you from driving commercial vehicles. You can find this information
in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Part 383.
One-Stop-Shop Mailing Address:
PO Box 7129, Boise, ID 837-7-1129
3311 West State St, Boise, ID 83703