Types of Commercial Driver’s Licenses in Texas
There are more than 12 million commercial vehicles cruising around the country every day. From large semi-trucks and passenger buses to small HazMat trucks, these vehicles help to keep our national infrastructure running smoothly. But not just anyone is allowed to drive these vehicles, and you might be surprised to learn that one commercial driver’s license (CDL) won’t allow you to operate any commercial vehicle.
There are three different types of commercial driver’s licenses in the state of Texas: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Read on to learn more about these divisions and what vehicles each allows you to operate.
Class A Texas Commercial Driver’s License
Class A commercial driver’s licenses are the broadest of any of the classes we’ll talk about here. These licenses enable you to drive the large semi-trucks we see zooming down Texan highways every day. In most cases, you can also drive the smaller vehicles covered by Class B and Class C licenses.
If you have a Class A CDL, you can operate
- Any commercial vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds
- Tractor trailers
- Truck and trailer combinations
- Livestock carriers
- Tanker vehicles
- Most Class B and Class C vehicles
You’ll need to complete driver’s training to get a Class A CDL, as well as theory training from an approved trainer.
Class B Texas Commercial Driver’s License
A Class B commercial driver’s license doesn’t come with quite the same number of freedoms as a Class A license. While you can still operate single vehicles with a gross weight rating over 26,000 pounds, you can only tow vehicles that weigh up to 10,000 pounds. You may also be allowed to drive most Class C commercial vehicles with this license.
With a Class B CDL, you can operate
- Large passenger buses
- Segmented buses
- Straight trucks
- Box trucks
- Dump trucks
- Tractor trailers
- Most Class C vehicles
Class C Texas Commercial Driver’s License
Class C CDLs are the most limiting, but can still offer a wide range of driving opportunities. These licenses allow you to operate passenger vehicles that carry more than 15 people. You can also transport hazardous materials, such as fireworks, aerosols, paint, and more.
With a CDL, you can drive
- Small HazMat vehicles
- Passenger vehicles
- Any combination vehicle not covered by Class A or B
How to Get a Texas Commercial Driver’s License
Specific requirements to get a CDL vary from state to state, so it’s always a good idea to check on Texas’ regulations before you begin your application process. That being said, there are some common requirements that you’ll find in most states.
You have to be 21 to apply for a CDL if you want to drive out of state, but you can apply at 18 if you’re only driving within the state where your license is.
If you want to get a Class A or B CDL, you’ll need to complete the training we discussed with an FMCSA-approved instructor. You’ll also have to pass a vision test, a knowledge exam, a driving test, and a pre-trip inspection.
When you submit your CDL application, you’ll need to include the appropriate fee for your state, as well as some personal information. You’ll have to provide an ID, your Social Security number, and proof of state and US residency. You’ll also need to turn in a completed Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate Form.
Get Compensation for Your Texas Truck Accident Injuries
Not all commercial driver’s licenses are the same, and some give you more driving freedom than others. Class A licenses allow you to drive most commercial vehicles, while Class B licenses limit the amount of weight you can drive. Class C licenses are designed mostly for smaller commercial passenger vehicles and HazMat vehicles.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck in Texas the lawyers at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers want to help. We take the burden off your shoulders and put it on ours, and together, we’ll help you make the best of a bad situation. Schedule a free consultation with us today and start getting the help you need in your case.
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If you were injured in an accident in Dallas, TX, please contact our Dallas truck accident lawyers at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We serve all throughout Dallas County and surrounding areas.