A commercial driver’s license is required for those who operate certain types of vehicles in California. If you are cited for having the wrong type of driver’s license, you could require the defense services of a CDL lawyer. These are the legal requirements you need to know if you reside in the state and drive as part of your job duties.
Types of Commercial Vehicles
You must have a California CDL to travel with passengers or property in any of the following vehicle types:• Any single vehicle or combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 26,001 pounds • Any three-axle vehicle with a weight above 6,000 pounds• A vehicle that carries at least 10 passengers including the driver• A vehicle towing another vehicle and a trailer or two trailers• A vehicle towing any trailer or vehicle with a GVWR of more than 10,001 pounds• Any vehicle carrying hazardous waste, which must also have the appropriate placards
In general, a Class A CDL covers trucks towing trailers, tractor-trailers, flatbeds, tankers, vehicles carrying livestock and Class B and C vehicles with the proper endorsements. Class B vehicles include standard trucks, dump trucks with or without trailers, school buses, tour buses, city buses, box trucks and Class C vehicles with the proper endorsements. Vehicles that fall into Class C include tank trucks, large buses, double and triple trailers and vehicles carrying hazardous materials.
To apply for the commercial driver’s permit that allows you to take the CDL test, you must be at least 18 years old and already hold a Class C driver’s license. Drivers who plan to transport hazardous materials and/or engage in interstate commerce must be at least age 21. To receive a hazardous materials endorsement, CDL holders must pass a security threat assessment screening from the Transportation Security Administration.
Applying for a CDL
Although drivers can complete the California CDL application online, you must visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles to receive your permit. Drivers who have previously held a license in another state must submit the 10-Year History Record Check Form. Other required documents and evaluations include:Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certification Form Proof of identityProof of Social Security numberProof of residency, such as a mortgage, deed or utility billVision testFingerprinting
CDL applicants must pay a fee of $46 for a Class C license and $78 for a Class A or B license. Each endorsement requires an additional $46 fee. After paying your applicant fee, you have three attempts to pass the CDL knowledge and driving tests within 12 months of your initial application date. Once you receive your permit, you can take your DMV test after 14 days and must take the test for the first time within 180 days of receiving the permit.
If you have a previous mark on your driving history that could affect your ability to get a California CDL, talk to a California ticket lawyer. He or she can advocate on your behalf during DMV proceedings.