Difference Between Class A and Class B
Commercial Drivers License


What is Class A CDL?

A Class A CDL (commercial driver's license) is mandatory for functioning and operating any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more and imperatively, the towed vehicle should be heavier than 10,000 pounds.

The Class A CDL allows the drivers to operate the following commercial vehicles:

  1. Tractor-trailers
  2. Truck and Trailer combinations
  3. Tank vehicles
  4. Livestock vehicles
  5. Flatbed Trailers

What is a Class B CDL?

A Class B CDL (commercial driver's license) is mandatory for operating a single vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more and the towed vehicle should not be heavier than 10,000lbs.

The Class B CDL allows the drivers to operate the following commercial vehicles:

  1. Straight Trucks
  2. Large Passenger Buses
  3. Segmented Buses
  4. Box Trucks
  5. Dump Trucks with small trailers
  6. Tractor-trailers

How to get a commercial learner's permit(CLP)?

To obtain a commercial learner's permit (CLP) it is mandatory to have proof of the following documents:

  1. US citizenship, evidence of the lawful presence
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Self-certification of medical status
  4. Medical Examiner's Certificate
  5. Proof of Insurance

After getting the necessary documents following steps need to be followed for get CDL:

1. Completion of CDL application
2. Appointment at the local driver's license office
3. Provide the following documentation to the license and permit specialist:
- CDL application for the issuance of CLP.
- US citizen and Residency number.
- Social Identity number.
- Payment of application fees.
- Submission of thumbprints.
- Passing of vision exam.
- Passing a knowledge test for appropriate driver's license endorsements.
4. The knowledge exam must be taken in the following order:
- State Commercial Rules
- General Knowledge
- Combination(Class A only)
- Air Brake(if applicable)
- Endorsements

Process for getting a CDL:

The CDL training is necessary for acquiring the requisite knowledge and competence for safe and relevant driving skills. To get a Commercial driver's license (CDL) one needs to complete their commercial driver's license training from an accredited and certified truck driving training school.

The CDL training is classified into two sections:

Classroom Instruction: For an aspiring truck driver, it is recommended to attend classroom instructions from an accredited CDL training school. The classroom instructions will help in getting familiar with the relevant skills in operating rigs and commercial vehicles. The classroom time will include instructions on state and federal laws in concern with trucking so that we are updated and refurbished with the legal requirements from FMCSA, DOT, and DMV.

Hands-on training: To professionally operate rigs or heavy-duty commercial vehicles, it is mandatory to get acquainted with basic behind-the-wheels driving skills. The aspiring truck drivers who are looking for a career in the trucking industry need to receive their training from accredited CDL training schools. A certified instructor works in correspondence with the aspirants to impart necessary and relevant driving skills for behind-the-wheels hands-on training. The hands-on training will absolutely prepare you for the CDL exam. The CDL exam includes three parts:

  • Road Test
  • Vehicle Inspection
  • Backing Test

How to obtain a commercial driver's license?

  • Aspirant must be at least 21 years of age.
  • The commercial learner's permit must be held for at least 14 days
  • Payment of fees through the DMV
  • Must hold a valid non-commercial driver's license.
  • Must not be disqualified from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
  • Must not hold a CDL of another state.

What test do you have to pass?

For getting the CDL permit, the aspirant must pass a written test. In order to obtain the CDL, one needs to pass 3 potions of the exams, which are namely road test, vehicle inspection, and backing test. The commercial driver's license permit written exam consists of the following sections which are namely general knowledge, combination mechanisms, and air brake systems. To successfully pass the written test, it is necessary to possess insight and recognition of the following skills:

  1. Legitimate Inspections of vehicles
  2. Essential Driving Skills
  3. Estimating the adequate distance before stopping the vehicle on the road.
  4. Maintaining relevant spaces while driving on the road.
  5. Adaption to Inclement weather.
  6. Adequate attention towards evacuation during emergencies
  7. Pertinent shifting of gears.
  8. Clear field of vision during driving in the traffic.
  9. Maintaining vehicle speed in compromising situations of slippery road vehicles, steep hills, and sharp curves.
  10. Sharing the road with other vehicles.

For passing the CDL exam, one has to successfully perform some of the following tasks:

  • Reversing and parking exercise
  • Coming together in and out of traffic
  • Passing through railroad crossings
  • Parallel Parking
  • Docking
  • Changing of lanes
  • Turning of lanes
  • Optimal gear shifting
  • Conducting pre-trip and post-trip inspections

To get your CDL license it is necessary to comply with the state requirements. It is obligatory to get a commercial learner's permit (CLP). The next step involves going through a screening process. The Department of Transportation (DOT) delivers a physical ability card. It is necessary to attend a CDL program for completing a written exam and driver's test. The requisite CDL endorsements for operating particular vehicles are listed in accordance with the DOT regulations.