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Traffic Patrol Officers: Increase Bus/Truck Traffic Enforcement

Required Licensing

Who Needs a CDL

Not all commercial trucks/buses require the driver to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). License groups are based on the criteria below. Additionally, drivers must be 21 for all interstate driving.

Number of passengers
Vehicles requiring HazMat placards

License Specifications

Although each state's CDL is different, the same content is required.

Driver's full name and address
Maximum class of vehicle driver can operate
Endorsements for which the driver is qualified
Expiration date
Any suspensions/revocations

License Reciprocity

Canada - Drivers issued a license with Class 1, 2, 3. Must possess Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) training certificate when transporting HazMat in U.S.
Mexico - Licencia Federal de Conductor. Includes eagle with serpent in upper left-hand corner
Neither Canadian nor Mexican CDLs require a separate medical certificate


GVWR - value specified by manufacturer as loaded weight of single motor vehicle
GCWR - greater of either the value specified by manufacturer of power unit, if displayed on FMVSS certification label required by NHTSA, or sum of GVWRs or GVWs of power unit and towed unit, or any combination producing highest value
Values can be found on edge of driver's door, in jam of truck or behind driver seat

Combination Vehicle (Group A)

Group A license definition.

Any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.
Group A license holders may operate all vehicles within groups A, B, C and D

Heavy Straight Vehicle (Group B)

Group B license definition.

Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more; OR
Any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 lbs. GVWR
Group B license holders may operate all vehicles within groups B, C and D

Small Vehicle (Group C)

Group C license definition.

Any single vehicle (or combination of vehicles) that meets neither definition of Group A or B, but that EITHER is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver; OR is used for transport of materials found to be hazardous
Group C license holders may operate all vehicles within Groups C and D

CDL Endorsements

An endorsement conveys that the driver can operate specialized trucks/buses.

Hazardous Materials (H)
Tank Vehicles (N)
Hazardous Materials and Tank Vehicles (X)
Passenger Vehicles (P)
School Buses (S)
Doubles/Triples (T)

CDL Restrictions

Drivers of large trucks/buses may have the following license restrictions.

CDL intrastate only (K)
Vehicles w/out air brakes (L)
Except Class A bus (M)
Except Class A & B bus (N)
Except tractor-trailer (O)

CDL Exemptions

Special exemptions are provided for some specialized vehicles, allowing the driver to operate without a CDL.

Emergency and firefighting equipment
Military vehicles
Farming equipment
Recreational vehicles





Group A

Group B

Group C