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What is a Class B License?

Diana Bocco
By
Updated May 23, 2024
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According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the United States, there are three main types of commercial drivers' licenses, although each of these classes is often broken up into additional designations. Most people have a Class C driver's license, which allows them to drive any single vehicle as long as the weight falls under 26,000 pounds (11,793 kg). Class A licenses allow drivers to operate a combination tractor-trailer truck weighing 26,000 lb (11,790 kg) or more. A Class B license, which can be quite difficult to obtain, allows the driver to operate straight vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds (11,793 kg) in addition to any of the vehicles contained in Class C.

Class B license also allows the holder to drive buses, farm labor vehicles, and any housecar or trailer over under 45 feet (14 m). With this license, a driver is not allowed to pull a trailing unit weighing over 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg); with an A license, he can.

To obtain a Class B license, a person must already possess a C license. He or she must be at least 18 years old and pass a special visual acuity test and a road/skill test. For commercial driving across state lines, a Class B driver must be over 21. This class of license is also required to drive a single fire fighting vehicle; this is special kind of license known as "Restricted Class B Fire Fighter License." While the license is valid for five years, a new medical test must be submitted every two years in order to keep the license updated.

Certain types of Class B licenses may require special endorsements. This includes drivers who will be transporting hazardous materials, pulling double or triple trailers or tank vehicles, driving school buses, and handling vehicles not equipped with air brakes.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diana Bocco
By Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various businesses. With a data-focused approach and a talent for sharing engaging stories, Diana’s written work gets noticed and drives results.
Discussion Comments
By anon992410 — On Sep 06, 2015

You do not need a class B license to drive doubles or tankers in California.

By anon340149 — On Jun 30, 2013

Class A, B and C are commercial licenses. Someone with a standard drivers license is not class C. No you do not need a Class C to obtain a class B or A. You need a standard drivers license, which is not commercial.

Class A, B and C are nationwide. If you have one in one state, it is valid in another state. You do need your DOT (department of transportation) physical card to drive. You can go straight from a standard license all the way up to a Class, A without having to gradually increase. You do not need to get a C then a B then an A. You can go straight to B or A if your training and tests demonstrate you can.

By anon333203 — On May 03, 2013

For the state of California, do I need a Class B license to drive a 15 passenger van?

By anon294276 — On Oct 01, 2012

In Latvia, class B driving licenses are for vehicles with seats for up to eight passengers and a maximum weight of 3,500kg (includes pulling a trailer where the maximum weight of the trailer when fully loaded is 750kg or less).

By anon147247 — On Jan 28, 2011

Do you need a medical card to drive a class B truck?

By anon144616 — On Jan 20, 2011

is a cdl b permit good in any state?

By anon135764 — On Dec 20, 2010

is possible to drive in Sweden with an internationalized Ethiopian driving license?

By anon107054 — On Aug 28, 2010

Here's an idea - call the department of motor vehicles for your questions.

By anon105270 — On Aug 19, 2010

If I get a Class B License to drive a 15 passenger van for a youth group and I get stopped by the police because of some violation within the van, do I get the violation or does the youth group? It is their van.

By anon93657 — On Jul 05, 2010

I would like to confirm that if I have a class B driving license from Europe, I can drive a class C vehicle from California. If not, what is the procedure to follow to get a class C permit accepted by the state of California?

Thanks, Planner34

By anon78564 — On Apr 19, 2010

are class b license drivers subject to random drug testing per D.O.T. as the class a drivers are?

-bigmo

By anon66095 — On Feb 17, 2010

what kind of vehicle is needed to take the class b test?

By anon46850 — On Sep 29, 2009

For the state of California, do I need a Class B license to drive a 15 passenger van?

By anon43088 — On Aug 25, 2009

Can I drive a LDV convoy van 1999 with a category b license?

By anon42931 — On Aug 24, 2009

For the state of Califorina do you have to have a class B drivers license to drive a 15- passenger van?

By anon42524 — On Aug 21, 2009

anon- you can retake the test up to three times, even on the same day if you want.

By anon38970 — On Jul 29, 2009

What is the policy on re-taking a test that you missed.

By stare31 — On Mar 20, 2008

Kochoa - you can get a study guide for a Class B license (as well as information on how and where to take the test) by contacting your state's department of motor vehicle. just run a google search for your state, dmv, and class b license (e.g., "california dmv class b license") and you should be well on your way....

By kochoa — On Oct 12, 2007

How can I get a study guide for a class B license permit/test?

Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco, a versatile writer with a distinct voice, creates compelling long-form and short-form content for various...
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