CDL Class B Drivers License

All truck drivers must pass a state-administered CDL exam and show proof of their Commercial Driver's License when applying for a job. The Class B CDL is granted to driver who will be driving vehicles weighing more than 26,001 pounds and with a towing weight of less than 10,001 pounds. Many drivers with this license are classified as "light" truck drivers and are legally allowed to drive straight trucks and trucks with cabs towing a lightweight vehicle. These trucks include dump trucks, garbage trucks, delivery vans, and other types of commercial vehicles.

What Is a Class B CDL?

A Class B CDL refers to a Commercial Drivers License for drivers who will operate any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds with vehicles being towed that weigh less than 10,000 pounds. You will need to pass a series of exams that cover general knowledge, safety protocol, air brakes, combination vehicle basics, and pre-trip inspection protocol in order to get this license. Most CDL training programs provide plenty of hands-on training opportunities for this type of license and this can help you pass the driving test for the Class B CDL.

While completing a professional training program is not required, most employers do prefer to hire candidates who have completed a formal training program and have extensive behind-the-wheel experience. Even though you might only bed driving smaller trucks, vans, and other commercial vehicles, it's a good idea to acquire as much behind-the-wheel experience as possible.

You can complete additional coursework and exams to receive an endorsement for a specific type of truck or vehicle with this license. For example, some drivers choose to take an exam to drive a school bus or some type of passenger bus.

Class B CDL License Requirement

All drivers applying for the Class B CDL license must meet a set of state requirements. You are not required to complete a certification program or training program to obtain this type of license, but many drivers do take professional courses so that they can better prepare for the exam. Typical courses included in this type of CDL program include: vehicle inspection, shifting and backing procedures, speed management, road hazards and emergency procedures, parking and docking protocol, and trip management. A portion of the training includes exam preparation. Students also have the chance to learn some key skills that they can use during an entry-level position.

Every state sets its own licensing requirements but most will require the following to get a Class B license:

  • Possession of or qualification for a non-commercial Class C driver license
  • Completion of a Commercial Driver License Application (Form 735-175)
  • A clean driving record
  • Proof of state residence address
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States, identity, and date of birth
  • Passing the CDL Combination Knowledge Test
  • Passing the CDL General Knowledge Test
  • Passing the Basic Control Skills Test
  • Passing the Behind-the-Wheel Drive Test
  • Passing the Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test
  • Providing a valid DOT Medical Certificate
  • Payment of fees