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CDL Requirements

Truckers Require SPecial Licensing to Operate Massive Vehicles.

Commercial Driver's License Requirements

It Takes a Special License to Drive Commercial Vehicles

Commercial trucks require specialized training in order to operate them safely. However, prior to 1986, there were few rules regarding licensing for those who drove large trucks, which is why the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was signed into law (see more about this below). Currently, to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the first step for a driver is to find their Department of Transportation (DOT) Number and Operating Authority.

An individual who hopes to become a commercial driver will need to compile all of the necessary forms, submit them to the FMCSA, begin a safety assurance program, and then obtain the DOT registration. Some commercial drivers may even need to possess medical certification requirements.

CDL Classes & Endorsements

There are three major types of licenses for commercial drivers along with many different specialized endorsements.

The three major classes of federal commercial drivers' licenses are as follows:

  • Class A licenses are for those driving trucks weighing over 26,000 lbs. or towing a vehicle that is at least 10,000 lbs.
  • Class B licenses are for those drivers who will be driving vehicles that weigh the same as for Class A licenses (over 26,000 lbs.) but have a towing capacity that cannot exceed 10,000 lbs.
  • Class C licenses are for those who do not fit into either category, such as vehicles designed for the transportation of 16 or more passengers or drivers who are transporting hazardous material.

Endorsements are classified by letters. Drivers that possess these letters on their commercial licenses signify that they are qualified to carry out the following functions.

  • "T" is for drivers who have completed a knowledge-based test to transport double or triple trailers
  • "P" is for those who have passed knowledge and skills tests to transport passengers
  • "N" is for those who have passed a knowledge test to drive a tanker vehicle
  • "H" stands for hazardous material, which requires a knowledge test only
  • "X" is an endorsement for those who drive tank vehicles that carry hazardous materials
  • "S" is for those who have passed knowledge and skills test to become school bus drivers

Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act for Safety

One provision of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act is that each state must develop its own standards for trucking companies, as long as those standards comply with federal standards. This is important when it comes to the formulation of knowledge and skills tests. Knowledge tests require that drivers get at least 80% of the answers correct while the skills test requires the successful completion of all the required skills. This is where some drivers try to cheat the system.

Licensing fraud has become a bit of a phenomenon in the trucking world recently. Those who have their licenses revoked for some reason may attempt to fraudulently regain their licenses. The Act clearly states that it is illegal for a driver to possess multiple CDLs. Some drivers may even try to manipulate the knowledge and skills tests so that they can pass. All of these practices constitute negligence both on behalf of the driver and the company for failing to notice the problem.

Want to know more about requirements for obtaining a CDL? Contact Arnold & Itkin today!

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $12 Million Massive Settlement Obtained for Truck Driver Arnold & Itkin is proud to announce that our firm has secured a $12 million settlement on behalf a truck driver who was crushed by his own cargo—which then led directly to a stroke. The driver, who was 56 years old at the time, now requires costly ...
  • $10 Million Settlement Obtained for Family Affected by Fatal Vehicle Accident Our firm represented the family of two people who were killed after their vehicle was hit by an 18-wheeler running a red light. We were successful in reaching an eight figure settlement on their behalf.
  • $10 Million Settlement Won for Family Against Negligent Trucking Company Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Caj Boatright, and Ces Tavares represented a family who had lost their father in a tragic 18-wheeler accident. He was driving home when a trucker made a dangerous maneuver and caused a massive collision. The trucking company ...
  • $3.2 Million Settlement Reached for Injured Husband & Wife Attorney Cory Itkin represented a husband and wife who were injured after being hit by two semi-trucks. The wife sustained back injures while the husband was knocked unconscious; he needed several surgeries. Our firm was successful in reaching a ...
  • $2.1 Million Settlement Obtained for Truck Accident Victim Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a multimillion-dollar settlement for a man who suffered severe neck and back injuries in a truck accident. Our firm aggressively pursued the case until the defendant settled with our client days before trial.
  • $2 Million Large Settlement Obtained for Grieving Family Arnold & Itkin is proud to have secured a massive settlement for a family who lost their loved one due to the negligence and reckless action of a commercial vehicle driver. Our work will allow our clients to live in financial stability while they ...
  • $1.6 Million Large Settlement Reached for Victim of Severe Truck Accident Truck accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin secured a sizable settlement for a client who was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler on the highway. Her injuries required multiple surgeries, but the defendants refused to take responsibility. Her $1.6 million ...
  • $1.5 Million Big Rig Accident Victim Received Jury Verdict Arnold & Itkin LLP obtained a $1.5 million verdict on behalf of a client who suffered a torn meniscus when he was bumped by a tractor trailer. We are especially pleased with this result because the defendants accepted no responsibility for the injury ...
  • $1.5 Million Jury Verdict Ruled in Favor of Longshoreman Arnold & Itkin obtained a $1.55 million verdict on behalf of a client who was seriously injured when a yard mule driver collided with the pickup truck in which he was standing. The defendants only offered to settle for $35,000 while denying the ...
  • $1.49 Million Settlement for Man Struck by a Truck Our firm helped represent a client who was severely injured after he was struck by a truck. We helped recover $1.49 million on his behalf.
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