What Is A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is a driver's license required in the United States to operate any type of vehicle which has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lb (11,793 kg) or more for commercial use, or transports quantities of hazardous materials that require warning placards under Department of Transportation regulations, or that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver. This includes (but is not limited to) tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses (from Wikipedia).

In addition to the standard general knowledge test required for a CDL, truck drivers must also obtain endorsements on their CDL to legally operate a tractor trailer. Drivers need to pass the combination vehicle and air brake knowledge tests and skills test on a vehicle with these features. Failure to pass these components will result in a restriction on the driver’s CDL. Some of the more common endorsements for most professional truck drivers are:

  • T - Double/Triple Trailers (Knowledge Test only)
  • P - Passenger (Knowledge and Skills Tests)
  • N - Tank Vehicle (Knowledge Test only)
  • H - Hazardous Materials (Knowledge Test only)
  • X - Combination of Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Material

Watch the video below for more information on CDL Training from Driver Solutions.