What It Takes To Get a Commercial Driver’s License

If you’re going to be transporting more than 15 passengers on a bus, you’ll need a special license to ensure you prepare for the responsibility sufficiently. Requirements for different driver types can vary by state, but there are some general expectations for what it takes to get a Commercial Driver’s License.

The Different License Classes

The origin of the Commercial Driver’s License Law goes back to 1992 and divides everything into classes:

  • Class A: Tractor/trailers with a combined weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • Class B: Any vehicle with a weight rating of 26,001-plus pounds that’s not towing a trailer over 10,000 pounds
  • Class C: Any single vehicle that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, and transports 15 or more passengers

The Prerequisites

Different types of commercial driver’s licenses demand “endorsements,” so check with your Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure that you have everything in order. Then, take these steps:

  • If you’re at least 21 years old, submit your state’s CDL application and pay the fee.
  • Provide verification of your identity and Social Security number.
  • Provide proof that you live in the United States and your particular state.
  • Submit a Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate Form.
  • Take—and pass—a vision test.
  • Pass a written exam.

What To Expect With the Exams

At this point, you’ve earned a Commercial Learner’s Permit. You’ll have to practice and wait at least two weeks before you can schedule a road skills exam for your CDL. It’s important to note that examiners expect you to BYOB (bring your own bus). When your appointment arrives, you’ll:

  • Pass the bus inspection.
  • Pass the road skills and driving examination.
  • Pay a fee for the license itself.

As long as you have a clean record and believe you can handle the passengers, you might want to earn a license just in case your organization needs another driver. If you have what it takes to get a Commercial Driver’s License, contact an established, reputable dealer like National Bus Sales to show you new and used busesto suit your purpose. A great driver deserves a great vehicle to keep passengers safe.

Mike Curtis

Mike Curtis

Mike Curtis General Manager National Bus Sales

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