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What is a Class B License?

Drivers must obtain a class B license to drive coaches or buses.
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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2014
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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.

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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.

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anon340149
Post 21

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.

anon333203
Post 19

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

anon294276
Post 18

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).

anon147247
Post 16

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

anon144616
Post 15

is a cdl b permit good in any state?

anon135764
Post 14

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

anon107054
Post 13

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

anon105270
Post 12

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.

anon93657
Post 11

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

anon78564
Post 10

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

-bigmo

anon66095
Post 9

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

anon46850
Post 7

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

anon43088
Post 6

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

anon42931
Post 5

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

anon42524
Post 4

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

anon38970
Post 3

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

stare31
Post 2

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....

kochoa
Post 1

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

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