Information on a CDL

Driving is a big responsibility. To drive many different types of vehicles, a commercial driver’s license might be necessary. It is a lot more involved to drive larger vehicles than to drive a car or a van. Those who drive a bus, tractor trailer or tow truck need to obtain a CDL. Some of the laws vary by state, but the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was signed into law in 1986. The law is intended to keep the highways safe, and states that there are certain requirements that must be met for a commercial driver’s license to be issued.

To get a CDL, the driver must pass a written test and also a practical test. The test must be taken at a testing facility that has been approved by the state. There are three different classifications of commercial driver’s licenses that can be issued.  Those three licenses are Class A, Class B and Class C. The classifications refer to the weight of the vehicle, including cargo, and also the number of passengers that the vehicle can carry. Some states also have additional restrictions that fall under the category of commercial driver’s license. New Jersey, for example, includes any vehicles that carry eight or more passengers.

The United States has a national age to apply for a CDL, which is 21. Some states will allow those who are 18-20 to get the license, but they will not be allowed to drive the vehicle outside of the state. The laws must be followed for the state where the driver resides, and it is not the state where they received the license. Transporting hazardous materials also falls under the commercial classification, and that cannot be done by anyone who is under 21 years of age. Special laws and restrictions also apply to school bus drivers.

If someone is looking to obtain a CDL, there are various ways to go about it. There are schools all over the country that offer training. There are also employers who will provide the training to perspective new employees. Usually the applicant will have been required to have already passed the written test before starting the practical training. Once the license has been obtained, there are many different types of job opportunities available. Some people choose to drive long trips.  These drivers often take several days to transport goods thousands of miles. Other drivers would rather take shorter trips. The choice is up to each individual driver.

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