A Commercial Drivers License is commonly known as a CDL. This type of license is required of a driver who operates vehicles over a certain weight capacity, is driving a vehicle for commercial transport, hazardous waste transport or who transports 16 or more passengers at one time.
The commercial drivers license system is required in the United States for drivers that meet one or more of the criteria listed above.
The Commercial Drivers License licensure became a law in 1986 in an effort to improve safety on the roadways across the country. The federal government did establish some requirements that govern the law but each state is allowed to issue CDL’s if a driver passes the tests associated with licensure. The minimum age to obtain a CDL license is 21, but some drivers between the ages of 18-20 can obtain a CDL but are restricted within the state that the license is issued until they turn 21.
The Commercial Drivers License system has different classes associated with it, depending on what the specifications of the vehicle or the reason for transport.
A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required for vehicles that weigh more that 26,001 pounds or if they are towing in access of 10,000 pounds.
A Class B Commercial Drivers License is required for drivers of vehicles driving a vehicle weighing more that 26,001 pounds or for towing a vehicle less than 10,000 pounds.
A Class C CDL is required for drivers of a single vehicle or a multiple vehicles that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, the driver included, or is transported hazardous material or waste