Class B license (CDL): what is it and how to get it?
A commercial driver's license, commonly abbreviated to CDL, allows carriers to drive large vehicles such as trucks or buses. But there are different types or classes of CDL driving licenses that are issued according to the specific needs of each driver. In this article we will focus on the Class B License (CDL)we will tell you about its requirements, the procedure for obtaining it and the approvals that you can request.
- What is a Class B license (CDL)?
- Requirements for obtaining a Class B CDL License
- Steps to obtain the Class B License (CDL)
- Class B CDL approvals
What is a Class B license (CDL)?
The CDL Class B license is one that allows you to drive any vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) greater than 26,000 lbs, as well as any vehicle towing a trailer that does not exceed a GVWR of 10,000 lbs.
Holders of this type of license can operate with straight trucks, vans (such as delivery trucks), large buses (such as school, city and tour buses) and dump trucks with small trailers.
Keep in mind that each state has its own rules regarding the procedure for obtaining this type of driving license. Therefore, we recommend that you contact a local office of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for more detailed information on the Class B CDL licensing regulations in your state.
On the other hand, you should know that the tests that will be done to you are not easy and can be quite exhausting. And it is for this reason that preliminary training is essential.
NOTE: Drivers with this type of license can drive Class C but not Class A vehicles
Requirements for obtaining a Class B CDL License
One of the basic requirements for obtaining a CDL Class B license is the age of the applicant, which you must be at least 21 years old if you will drive in and out of your state. If you plan to drive only in your state, you can apply for a driver's license from the age of 18. Other than that, you must have a valid state driver's license. Drivers who have traffic violations on their driving record are strictly prohibited from applying for this license.
When submitting the application for a CDL class B driving license, it will be necessary to present:
- State-issued ID or other document proving legal presence in the United States
- Proof of residence in the state where the application is made
- Social Security number
When you apply for a Class B CDL license, you will be assigned a test involving the following areas:
- General knowledge
- Basic skills
- Evaluation of the pneumatic brake
- Pre-ride assessment and inspection
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Steps to obtain the Class B License (CDL)
The first step is to train as it is necessary to acquire the necessary knowledge to pass the CDL Class B state exams. To do this it is best to take a course at a training school.
You should also get the CDL license manual which is available from your state DMV. There you will find a list of questions that will help you prepare for the exam. Another option is to get a CDL test book from a bookstore or library.
3. Submit the CDL application and the theory test
It is recommended that you schedule your knowledge test for the day you submit your driver's license application. This exam consists of multiple choice questions and true or false questions relating to driving a Class B vehicle. To pass it you must obtain a minimum score of 80. Upon successful completion you will be awarded a Class B CDL Vehicle Learner.
4. Practice driving with a CDL study permit
You can hire an instructor or someone with a type B CDL license to do this practice. Your chaperone must sit next to you to supervise you as you drive a vehicle that matches the driving license class you are applying for.
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5. Make an appointment for the driving test
To make an appointment for the practical driving test, you can go to the DMV in person, call by phone, or do so via your state's DMV website. Indicate the requested information and mark the date of your appointment.
6. Take a test drive
This is a skill test where an examiner will accompany you on the road to assess your ability to drive a Class B vehicle in various conditions.
The purpose of the driving test is to ensure that you have the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to drive safely, according to the regulations of your state. By passing the skill test you will get a temporary license that is valid for approximately one month, then you will get your permanent Class B CDL license.
7. Receive your CDL
Your CDL Class B permanent license will be sent to the room address you indicated when signing the form, within approximately one month.
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Class B CDL approvals
An approval is a designation in the CDL that indicates that you are qualified to use a specific type of vehicle or to use that vehicle for a particular use.
For example, you need a special approval to carry passengers in a commercial vehicle, and you also need an approval to drive a vehicle that carries hazardous materials. Note that there are different types of approvals, but you can only get those that match the license class you have.
Approvals available for a Class B license (CDL)
|Allows you to transport hazardous materials or waste
|Transportation Security Administration Written Exam and Threat Assessment *
|Allows you to transport bulk liquids
|It allows you to carry passengers
|Written exam and driving test
|Approval by S
|Allows students to be transported in a full-sized school bus
|Written exam and driving test
|Tank / hazardous materials
|This is a combination of Endorsement N and Endorsement H. If a client has both, their CDL will show Endorsement X.
|N / A
* There are two requirements you must meet before obtaining or renewing a Hazardous Materials Permit:
- Apply for and successfully pass the security background check of the Transportation Security Administration. This is a requirement for all applicants for authorization for the authorization of hazardous materials without exception. It may take 60 days or more to receive the results.
- Take and pass the Hazardous Materials exam. You can do this at the same time you receive or renew your CDL
To initiate this process you can call (877) 429-7746 or go to the web https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/.
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