When Is a CDL Required?


Quick Answer

A commercial driver’s license is required when operating a vehicle with a semi-trailer or a trailer with two axles or more. A CDL is also required for operating a vehicle with a gross weight in excess of 26,000 pounds when the vehicle in tow is greater than 10,000 pounds.

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When Is a CDL Required?
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Full Answer

A single vehicle that is designed to carry 16 passengers or more, including the driver, requires a CDL. It is also necessary to have a CDL when operating a vehicle transporting enough hazardous materials to be placarded. In addition to these federal standards, a state may have additional rules defining the types of vehicles that necessitate having a CDL. A for-hire vehicle in New Jersey, such as a van or a limousine made for transporting eight to 15 people, must be operated by an individual with a CDL.

A commercial driver’s license is issued through the state, and it is illegal to posses a CDL from more than one state. The legal limit for the blood alcohol concentration of an individual with a CDL, who is operating a commercial vehicle, is at or below 0.04 percent, which is lower than that of non-commercial vehicle drivers. Driving violations related to alcohol can affect the vehicle operator’s eligibility and qualifications for both commercial and non-commercial licenses.

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