You should get your commercial driver's license (CDL) for the class of vehicle that you plan to drive.
The class of a vehicle is determined by its gross vehicle weight rating and the manufacturer's design. The vehicle's class determines the type of CDL and any endorsements that you are required to have. If you drive a redesigned or altered vehicle, the type of CDL and endorsements that you need is determined by the vehicle's original class and not by the class of the redesigned vehicle.
Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more if the vehicle(s) being towed has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds. Vehicles in this class include:
- Truck and trailer combinations
- Tractor-trailer buses
If you hold a class A license and you have the correct endorsements, you may also operate vehicles listed in classes B and C.
Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more towing another vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. This class includes:
- Straight trucks
- Large buses
- Segmented buses
- Trucks towing vehicles with GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less
If you hold a class B license and you have the correct endorsements, you may also operate vehicles listed in class C.
Any vehicle that is not included in classes A or B that carries hazardous materials or is designed to carry 16 or more occupants, including the driver.
Permits you to drive a motorcycle.
|H||Permits you to drive a vehicle that transports hazardous materials. This endorsement cannot be transferred from another state or foreign country. You must successfully complete the hazardous materials knowledge exam and background check.|
|N||Permits you to drive a tank vehicle.|
|P||Perrmits you to drive a passenger-carrying vehicle. You must take the road test in the class vehicle you wish to operate.|
|S *||Permits you to drive a school bus. This endorsement cannot be transferred from another state or foreign country. You must successfully complete the school bus knowledge exam and road skills test.|
|T||Permits you to drive a vehicle towing a double or triple trailer.|
|J||You may only operate a school/activity bus. You may not operate any other type of commercial motor vehicle.|
|K||You may not operate a vehicle with air brakes. If you plan to operate a vehicle with air brakes, you must take the air brakes knowledge test. You also must take the road test in a vehicle equipped with air brakes.|
|L||You may not operate a commercial motor vehicle outside of Virginia.|
|M||Operation of a passenger bus restricted to a Class B or C passenger vehicle.|
|N||Operation of a passenger bus restricted to a Class C passenger vehicle.|
|Y||You must wear corrective lenses when operating a commercial motor vehicle.|
* Individuals required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry (Virginia Code Chapter 9 of Title 9.1) (Registry) will be issued licenses valid for five years. However, they are not eligible for a Virginia commercial driver's license/instruction permit with an "S" endorsement during any period in which registration with the Registry is required. Additionally, if they hold a Virginia commercial driver's license/instruction permit with a "P" endorsement they are prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle to transport children to or from school or daycare sponsored activities.
NOTE: Failure to appear at DMV to have a cancelled endorsement removed or the appropriate restriction added to a Commercial Driver's License/Commercial Instructional Permit will result in the cancellation of CDL/CIP privileges.