Types of Driver’s Licenses: What do they mean?
While most people think of regular two- or four-door cars when they think of a driver’s license, there are many different types of vehicles on the road that require a certain type of license to drive. In fact, the types of driver’s licenses are organized by classes that span from A to E as well as special variations like MJ and DJ. The driver’s license requirements and types can also vary slightly by state here in the US.
Different Driver’s License Types
Don’t worry, as a New England truck driving school, we are here to help clear up the differences between some of the more common license types.
Although it may seem odd to jump into the middle of the alphabet to start, a Class D license is the most common type of driver’s license. It is what most people on the road have. People with a valid Class D license are able to legally drive passenger cars, but less well-known is the fact that holders of this license can also typically drive trailers and towing vehicles that weight fewer than 10,000 pounds. This, for example, can be towing a boat, RV, landscape trailer, etc.
Junior License (DJ)
Similar to a Class D license is the Class DJ license. The DJ license varies state to state and is generally designed for new, or younger drivers who just passed their driver’s test. It typically has more restrictions for the driver’s safety including tighter weight restrictions, the use of handheld devices, and even driving curfews during certain times of the day.
Commercial Driver’s License (Class A, B, and C)
A commercial driver’s license is required to operate vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating of over 26,000 pounds. Because of the differences between these large commercial vehicles and standard passenger cars, CDL training programs like ours can help prepare people how to operate these vehicles.
A CDL falls into a few classes that vary depending on weight and vehicle specs. Class A CDL training can help prepare people to drive the trucks often referred to as big rigs, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers. A Class B commercial driver’s license also has special requirements. In order to drive a passenger bus, box truck, construction vehicles, and other similar vehicles, a Class B license is required. Some people may choose to undergo Class B driver’s license training to prepare them for this type of license. Finally, a Class C CDL license is generally required for those who want to drive a vehicle with 15 or more passengers or transport hazardous waste.
Taxi and Livery (Class E)
Before Uber and Lyft, taxis were a major player in most metropolitan areas. Though not as prominent, they are still popular today and drivers require a special license. Drivers must be over 18 to drive these for-hire vehicles, but there is typically still a passenger limit.
Many people find motorcycles to be a lot of fun, but are a very different type of vehicle to handle compared to a car. Many states require a separate motorcycle license. Like regular Class D licenses, many states also have junior motorcycle licenses (MJ) with more restrictions such as age.
If you are interested in training for a commercial driver’s license, contact us today to take the first step to find out more.