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Types of Commercial Driver’s Licenses

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Truck Accident

Every day, we pass dozens of commercial trucks on the roads. From tractor-trailers and flatbed trucks to buses, dump trucks, and tank trucks, there are millions of these vehicles that need drivers.

But did you know that there’s more than one type of commercial driver’s license? Read on to discover the three different types of commercial driver’s licenses and what each one allows you to drive.

Type A

Type A commercial driver’s licenses give drivers the broadest scope of driving rights. In fact, drivers who have a Type A CDL can drive most vehicles that require a Type B or Type C license.

Drivers with a Type A license can operate:

  • Tractor trailers (semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, etc.)
  • Truck and trailer combinations
  • Tanker vehicles
  • Livestock carriers
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Most Class B and Class C vehicles

You have to have a Type A CDL if you want to drive a vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds. Of course, this only applies if the towed vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds.

Type B

Type B CDLs allow drivers to operate slightly smaller vehicles than the Type A license covers. This license also allows you to operate certain types of Class C vehicles.

If you have a Type B license, you can operate:

  • Straight trucks
  • Box trucks (furniture trucks and delivery trucks)
  • Segmented buses
  • Large buses (city buses, school buses, tourist buses, etc.)
  • Dump trucks
  • Some Class C vehicles

Type B CDLs allow you to operate any single vehicles that aren’t hitched to a trailer. You can also drive commercial trucks that have a combined weight greater than 26,000 pounds or a detached towed cargo vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds.

Type C

Type C CDLs allow you to drive the smallest kinds of commercial vehicles. You have to have one of these licenses to drive any vehicle that holds more than sixteen people, including you. This will enable you to drive small buses and certain full-size vans.

A Type C CDL also allows you to operate double and triple trailers, as well as tank trucks and HazMat vehicles. You can drive vehicles that weigh less than 26,000 pounds or a vehicle towing a trailer that weighs less than 10,000 pounds.

How Do You Get a CDL?

If you want to get a CDL that allows you to drive out of state, you have to be at least 21 years old. You can get a CDL in Illinois at age 18, but you’ll only be able to drive within the state. Once you turn 21, that restriction will automatically be removed.

You can apply for a CDL at your local DMV, but there are several other requirements you’ll have to meet. You’ll have to have a valid non-commercial driver’s license, have one or two years of driving experience, and provide proof of citizenship or lawful permanent residency. You’ll also need to get a DOT physical, take the appropriate driver training, and pass all required background checks.

Illinois also has some additional requirements you’ll need to meet to get your commercial driver’s license.

Get Protection in Your Personal Injury Case

Different classes of commercial driver’s licenses allow you to drive different sizes of vehicles. Type A gives you the broadest scope, and Type B allows you to drive most mid-size commercial vehicles. A Type C CDL allows you to drive smaller commercial vehicles, such as buses and tank trucks.

If you were injured in an accident with a commercial truck, our lawyers can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to. We’ll take on the insurance and trucking companies to get you a full settlement offer. Schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss the details of your case and your legal options.

Contact the Naperville Truck Accident Law Firm Of the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid for Help Today

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, please call the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.

Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid1730 Park St #209, Naperville, IL 60563(630) 428-4040