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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires commercial vehicle drivers to be 21 or older to drive a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce to move goods across state lines. Although 49 states allow 18 to year-olds to be issued a CDL, they may only drive a commercial vehicle within the state where the CDL was issued, i. Drivers must also be 21 years of age or older to transport hazardous materials when placards are required.
Additional age requirements vary by state. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law on 15 November includes an amendment to establish a three-year apprenticeship program that would allow 18 to year-olds with a CDL to operate in interstate commerce after successful completion of supervised training with an older and experienced driver before they can drive in multiple states.
Before , driving commercial motor vehicles CMVs , which are primarily tractor-trailers or Longer Combination Vehicles LCVs ,  required advanced skills and knowledge above and beyond those required to drive a car or other lightweight vehicle. Before the implementation of the commercial driver's license CDL in , licensing requirements for driving larger vehicles and buses varied from state to state. This lack of training resulted in a large number of preventable traffic deaths and accidents.
A state may also require a driver to have a CDL to operate certain other vehicles. For example, a driver licensed in New Jersey must have a CDL to drive a bus, limousine , or van that is used for hire and designed to transport 8 to 15 passengers. California defines a commercial vehicle as one that transports for hire either people or products.
In most states, a driver's license for cars is required before a Commercial Driver's License can be issued. The following endorsements listed are federal-level endorsements. States are free to enact endorsements at the state level. For example, in New York State, a W endorsement is required to operate a tow truck. These are optional endorsements that do not carry an endorsement code, but may be required for certain CDL holders:.
Any other restrictions have been promulgated at the state level. Educational prerequisites vary by state. Some states, such as Ohio , for example require hours of classroom and on the road training. These training programs specialize in teaching potential truck drivers the necessary skills and knowledge to properly and safely operate a truck, including map reading, trip planning, and compliance with U.
Department of Transportation laws, as well as backing, turning, hooking a trailer, and road driving. The overall purpose of these training schools is to help truckers-to-be pass the CDL knowledge and skills tests as well as advanced driving techniques such as skid avoidance and recovery and other emergency actions for situations such as a breakaway trailer and hydroplaning.
These classes usually go well beyond the training the typical non-commercial driver receives, such as the driver's education provided in high school. There are a number of licensed CDL training schools around the United States and many trucking companies operate their own schools as well.
Although each state may add additional restrictions, there are national requirements which are as follows. The General Knowledge Test, required for a commercial learner permit, consists of 50 questions, where 80 percent of questions must be answered correctly to pass. It includes three different sections:. Employers, training facilities, states, governmental departments, and private institutions may be permitted to administer knowledge and driving test for the state. The test must be the same as those given by the state issuing the CDL, and the instructors must meet the same professional certification as state instructors.
In addition, the state's agreement with the third party testing centers must allow the FMCSA and the State to conduct random examinations, inspections, and audits without notice. In , the law regarding drivers in pursuit of a CDL was modified and requires a DOT medical examiner to authorize a person with a medical issue to be able to drive. Prior to the change, a private doctor was able to authorize a driver to obtain a CDL.
A valid medical certificate must be filled out by a medical professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners at the conclusion of an extensive physical exam, with a copy provided to the state Bureau or Department of Motor Vehicles compliance unit. Trucking companies can use a commercial service that has clearance for providing this information as a means of screening prospective employees.
States can reduce certain lifetime disqualifications to a minimum disqualification period of 10 years if the driver completes a driver rehabilitation program approved by the State. Any convictions are reported to the driver's home State and Federal Highway Administration and these convictions are treated the same as convictions for violations that are committed in the home State. The Commercial Drivers License Program collects and stores all convictions a driver receives and transmits this data to the home State so that any disqualification or suspension can be applied.
The FHWA has established 0. A driver must report any driving conviction within 30 days, except parking, to their employer regardless of the nature of the violation. Employers must be notified if a driver's license is suspended, revoked, or canceled.
The notification must be made by the end of the next business day following receipt of the notice of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege or disqualification. Employers cannot under any circumstances use a driver who has more than one license or whose license is suspended, revoked or canceled, or is disqualified from driving.
Violation of this requirement may result in civil or criminal penalties. All places in Australia have a mostly similar driver licence system, although some things can change in each state or territory e. GVM is the maximum recommended weight a vehicle can be when loaded. A 'Class C' Licence allows the holder to drive cars, utilities, vans, some light trucks, car-based motor tricycles, tractors and implements such as graders.
You can also drive vehicles that seat up to 12 adults, including the driver. The medical standards for drivers of commercial vehicles are set by the National Transport Commission and Austroads , and are set out in 'Assessing Fitness to Drive' available from the Austroads website. For those applying for heavy vehicle licence classes MR Medium Rigid , HR Heavy Rigid , HC Heavy Combination or MC Multi Combination , it is strongly recommended that the applicant ensures they meet the medical requirements before commencing any training or tests for a heavy vehicle licence.
The driver of a vehicle carrying paying passengers such as a school bus or tourist coach requires an appropriate driver licence and a 'Public Passenger Vehicle Driver Authority' which is issued by the Ministry of Transport. There are six classes of motor-vehicle licence  and nine licence endorsements.
Class 1 governs vehicles with a GLW gross laden weight or GCW gross combined weight of less than 6, kg, and Class 6 governs motorcycles. Classes 2—5 govern heavy vehicles. Before getting a Class 2 licence, a driver must be at least 18 years of age and have held an unrestricted Class 1 licence for at least six months. Gaining a Class 5 is not dependent on holding a Class 3. Once a driver has a Class 2 they can progress straight through to Class 4 and Class 5.
Each progression 2 to 3, 2 to 4, or 4 to 5 requires having held an unrestricted licence of the preceding class for at least six months. For drivers aged 25 or over the minimum period for holding the unrestricted time is reduced to three months, or waived entirely on completion of an approved course of instruction. Additional endorsements on an NZ driver's licence govern provision of special commercial services. The endorsements are:. The F, R, T and W endorsements are for operating special types of vehicle on the road.
Where the holder also has a heavy vehicle Class 2 or Class 4 licence, they are permitted to drive heavy special vehicles. Otherwise the limits for Class 1 6, kilograms 13, lb apply. These endorsements are issued for one or five years, at the option of the applicant at the time of purchase. In Hong Kong , Transport Department is responsible for issuing driver licences. Private light bus class 4 , public light bus class 5 , taxi class 6 , private bus class 9 , public bus class 10 , franchised public bus class 17 , medium goods vehicle class 18 , heavy goods vehicle class 19 , articulated vehicle class 20 and special purpose vehicle class 21 are vehicles requiring commercial driving licences.
To apply for a commercial driving licence, a driver must: - be of age 21 or above; - have obtained a private car or light goods vehicle full driving licence for at least 3 years 2 years if converted from probationary licence immediately before the application; - be a Hong Kong permanent resident or not subject to any condition of stay other than a limit of stay; - have not been convicted of some serious driving offences specified in law within 5 years before the application; and take a driving test of the class of vehicle the driver is going to apply.
In Hong Kong, driving licences are issued separately for each class of vehicle and printed on the licence, although passing a driving test of a heavier vehicle automatically gives the driver the right to apply for corresponding lighter vehicles:.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. License to operate large or heavy vehicles. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. A CDL must contain the following information:.
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Trucking Company Reviews Information on many of the trucking companies that hire inexperienced drivers Articles: Choosing A Truck Driving School If you decide to go through a private CDL school these articles will help you choose the right one. Articles: Choosing A Truck Driving Job These articles will help you understand how to choose your first trucking company.
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