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  • Writer's pictureFront Range Compliance

Determining CDL Class and Requirement

Once you've determined if your vehicle is a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) you will then need to determine which class of Commercial Drivers License (CDL) is required for your specific vehicle or combination.

Determining the class of CDL required is often an extremely complicated, even for veteran truck drivers. Just like our CMV Flowchart, we have made a CDL Flowchart to determine the class of CDL required.

To help you use the chart, here are a few examples:

  1. A combination vehicle with a trailer GVWR of 9,000 lbs and the power unit has a GVWR of 27,000 lbs. What class CDL is required for the driver?

  2. A single vehicle with a GVWR of 25,000 lbs hauling non-bulk packaging 1,250 lbs of kerosene. What class CDL is required for the driver? What endorsement is needed?

  3. A hotel shuttle bus with a GVWR of 9,955 lbs which is designed to transport up to 20 people including the driver. What class CDL is required for the driver? What endorsement is needed?

  4. A combination vehicle with a trailer with a GVWR of 11,000 lbs and a GCWR of 30,500 lbs. What class CDL is required for the driver?

  5. A truck trailer combination, trailer has a GVWR of 7,500 lbs and truck has a GVWR of 20,000 lbs, that doesn't transport hazmat or people other than a driver and passenger. What class CDL is required for the driver?

  6. A truck with a GVWR of 32,000 lbs. What class CDL is required for the driver?

  7. A 3500 dually pickup with a GVWR of 13,200 lbs pulling a trailer with a GVWR of 14,000 lbs. What class CDL is required for the driver?

The answers to the above questions can be found at the end of the post!


For referencing the official regulations with CDL Classes, please see below.


Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Requiring a CDL

49 CFR 383.5 Defines a CMV which requires a CDL

49 CFR 383.91 Specifies the CMV Groups

49 CFR 383.93 Defines the CDL Endorsements

49 CFR 383.95 Defines the CDL Restrictions


If you need assistance with maintaining DOT Compliance or have further questions about CDL classes and when they are required, please reach out to us at info@frontrangecompliance.com or reach out to Nicole Hall using the link below and we would be happy to further assist you!


Make sure to check out our online DOT Training platform, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement, Defensive Driving, and Pre/Post Trip Inspection. In the coming months, we plan on releasing Designated Employer Representative and Appendix A.

Until then, check out our other blogs or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be the first to know when new classes are made available or for other updates like this! You can also opt-in to our newsletter for exclusive offers, regulation changes, and industry news!

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CDL Flowchart examples:

  1. Class B

  2. Class C with a Hazmat Endorsement

  3. Class C with a Passenger Endorsement

  4. Class A

  5. NONE

  6. Class B

  7. Class A

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