Driving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), which are primarily tractor-trailers (or Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs)),[2] requires advanced skills and knowledge above and beyond those required to drive a car or other light weight vehicle. Before implementation of the commercial driver’s license (CDL) Program in 1986, licensing requirements for driving larger vehicles and buses varied from state to state.

Many drivers were operating motor vehicles that they may not have been trained or qualified to drive.[citation needed] This lack of training resulted in a large number of preventable traffic deaths and accidents.[3]

1986 when the Act became law, all drivers have been required to have a CDL in order to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed testing standards for licensing drivers. U.S. states are able to issue CDLs only after a written and practical test have been given by the State or approved testing facility.

What is a CDL A 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.

Types of CDL licenses

Class A CDL : A Class A commercial driver’s license is required to operate any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, including a towed vehicle that is heavier than 10,000 lbs.
Class B CDL : A Class B commercial driver license is required to operate:
Class C CDL
CDL Endorsements.