Have you ever seen someone driving a tractor trailer or a school bus and thought, “I want to do that?” If these are career options that you are interested in pursuing, you will have to apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This license gives you the right to operate a commercial motor vehicle. You have to get a special license because operating this vehicle is more complicated than operating a personal vehicle. The stakes are also higher, because the sheer size and weight of these vehicles can cause much more damage than the average car or truck can. You can learn more about the commercial motor vehicle here.

Definition of Commercial Motor Vehicle

The Department of Motor Vehicles defines this type of vehicle as one that:

  • Carries hazardous material.
  • Transports at least 16 people (including the driver), for example, a public transportation bus or a school bus.
  • Transports 11 or more students under age 21 to and from school. The driver is included in this number.
  • Weighs at least 26,001 pounds.

If the vehicle in question does not meet these requirements, it is not considered a commercial motor vehicle, and you can operate it with a regular driver’s license. However, to operate a commercial motor vehicle, you will have to apply for your CDL.