What is a CDL License?

In short, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) shows carriers and employers that you are a licensed and competent Professional Truck Driver.

Operating certain commercial motor vehicles requires specialized skills and knowledge. Prior to implementation of the Commercial Driver’s License Program, anyone with a license to drive a car could also legally drive a tractor-trailer or a bus in a number of states. In circumstances where a classified licensing system was available, students weren’t tested in vehicles similar to the kind they’d use. As a result, many drivers were operating motor vehicles that they may not have been qualified to drive.

What type of CDL do I need?

While the type of license is dependent on the type of work you’re looking for, Roadmaster courses are primarily focused on the Class A CDL license. which is required for over-the-road (OTR) Professional Truck Drivers.

Why do I need a CDL?

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was signed into law on October 27, 1986. The goal of the Act is to improve highway safety by ensuring that drivers of large trucks and buses are qualified to operate those vehicles and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from the highways.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed and issued standards for testing and licensing commercial motor vehicle drivers. Among other things, the standards require states to issue a Class A CDL to a commercial motor vehicle driver only after the driver passes knowledge and skills tests.

How do a Class A CDL and a Class B CDL differ?

Class A CDL License – Any combination of vehicles weighing 26,001 or more pounds provided the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds. You also need this license to drive across state lines.

Careers that require a Class A CDL include but are not limited to:

  • Interstate Tractor-Trailer Driver
  • Intrastate Tractor-Trailer Driver

Class B CDL License – Any single vehicle weighing  26,001 or more pounds towing a vehicle, not in excess of 10,000 pounds while driving only in the state in which it was issued.

Careers that require a Class B CDL include but are not limited to:

  • Local Delivery Driver
  • Dump Truck Driver
  • Bus Driver