February 7, 2023

Different Driver’s Licenses and Their Requirements

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Do you know what class of driver’s license you have? Unless your career requires that you have a certain type of license, you’ve probably never given the classification of your driver’s license a second thought. However, if you intend to drive a vehicle that is much larger and heavier than a standard vehicle or has fewer wheels, you’ll need to know about the different driver’s licenses and their requirements.

Class D License

A class D driver’s license is the most common type, and the one people typically get for every day, noncommercial use. To earn a class D license, a driver must be at least 16 years of age and pass both a knowledge exam and a driving test. Typically, drivers who are under the age of 18 must also take a driver’s education course that involves both classroom and on-the-road training. A driver who holds a class D license may drive a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 16,000 lbs. or under. This may include towing another vehicle that weighs under 10,000 lbs.

Commercial Licenses

Commercial driver’s licenses, or CDL licenses, are required to drive commercial motor vehicles. There are three different classes of CDL licenses: class A, class B, and class C. Class A licenses allow drivers to operate a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or over. This may include a towed vehicle with a GVWR of over 10,000 lbs. A class A license is the most common type of commercial license. A class B license allows drivers to operate a single vehicle weighing 26,001 lbs. or more. This may include a towed vehicle that weighs 10,000 lbs. or less.

Finally, a class C driver’s license allows drivers to operate vehicles that seat 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or transport hazardous materials. As with other licenses, potential CDL drivers must complete a specific set of training and pass both practical and driving tests to earn a license. If you’re considering becoming a CDL driver, you’ll need to learn about the full requirements to do so.

Motorcycle Licenses

If you want to drive a motorcycle, you’ll need to get a motorcycle license. There are two different types of licenses in this class: class L and class M. Class L licenses allow you to drive a motorcycle or scooter with less than 150 cc that can travel at speeds up to 60 mph. A class M license is required to drive all motorcycles that are more powerful. In some states, you’ll be required to take a motorcycle driver’s education course, and you’ll need to pass a driving test that is specific to these licenses.

This brief overview of the different driver’s licenses and their requirements should give you a better idea of which license is the best fit for your personal or career needs. Before applying for any license, be sure you’ve reviewed the full requirements and are qualified to receive the license of your choice.

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