When people speak of “getting their license,” they usually mean attaining a non-commercial driver’s license (non-CDL), specifically, a non-CDL Class C license. But depending on an individual’s needs, did you know that they can attain different types of licenses?
In this blog post, Omega Law Group will discuss the different types of non-CDLs as outlined by the California Driver Handbook, but made simpler!
Certain types of non-CDL licenses will give you access to operating a wide array of vehicles. But remember, you are not allowed to collect some form of compensation when holding them. For that, you will need to acquire a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
Non-CDL Class C License
Most people in California have a non-CDL Class C license, which gives them basic driving privileges.
Such privileges include being able to drive 2-axle and/or 3-axle vehicles. A car axle is the metallic shaft that connects a pair of wheels in your car. This means that 2-axle vehicles contain four wheels, while 2-axle vehicles contain six non-CDL Class C license holders may drive a 2-axle or a 3-axle vehicle given that the gross weight vehicle rating of the former is less than 26,000 pounds. If they plan on driving the latter, it should weigh 6,000 lbs. or less.
Class C License holders in California may also drive bigger vehicles like vans and housecars (ie: RV). They are allowed to drive vans that carry 10-15 people, and housecars that are no bigger than 40 feet.
But this is where reading the fineprint comes in handy. While it is true that non-CDL Class C license holders are allowed to drive vans, they also need to fulfill the following requirements:
Must complete and pass a medical examination that Class B license holders need to take
Sign a statement that attests to their safe-driving abilities
No conviction of reckless driving in the last five years
No conviction of drunk driving in the last five years
No conviction of a hit-and-run in the last five years
Once approved, they are given DMV endorsement and therefore permission to tow:
A car weighing less than 10,000 lbs.
A trailer weighing 10,000 lbs. or less
A fifth-wheel travel trailer weighing 15,000 lbs. or less
When towing with a non-CDL Class C License, it’s important to note that you’re only allowed to tow one vehicle at a time. If your car weighs 4,000 lbs. or less, you may only tow vehicles weighing equal to or less than 6,000 lbs.
Non-CDL Class A & Class B Licenses
For non-CDL Class A & Class B Licenses, you maintain the driving privileges that non-CDL Class C License holders enjoy. On top of that, you are permitted to do other things.
If you hold a non-CDL Class B license, you may drive housecars no bigger than 45 feet given that you acquired DMV endorsement. You’re also allowed to tow:
A trailer coach under 9,000 lbs.
5th wheel travel trailers weighing 10,000 to 15,000 lbs.
If you hold a non-CDL Class A license, you may drive housecars no bigger than 45 feet without the need of a DMV endorsement. You’re also allowed to tow:
Travel trailers over 10,000 lbs.
Fifth-wheel travel trailers over 15,000 lbs.
Additionally, a non-CDL Class A license holders are entitled to tow trailers weighing 10,000 to 15,000 lbs. IF:
The vehicle is being operated by a farmer
They’re using a vehicle that weighs over 4,000 lbs.
The farmer is transporting livestock and/or other things within a 150 miles radius from the farm.
Similar to non-CDL class C licenses, you may only tow one vehicle at a time if you hold class A or B licenses. If your vehicle is 4,000 lbs., you’re only allowed to tow vehicles if they weigh 6,000 lbs. or less.
Call Omega Law Group
Our awards and excellent testimonials are a result of our ability to empathize and attend to the needs of our clients. Here at Omega Law Group, you will come first. If you or a loved one is afflicted with an accident, reach out to our team. Visit our Contact Us page or call us at (310) 504-1852.