Commercial Driver Handbook

Driver Education illustration

Section 1 of 15

California Driver License Classes

You May Drive…And You May Tow…Examples…
With a Commercial Class A License:
Any legal combination of vehicles, including vehicles under Class B and Class C.
any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds.
any trailer bus, with endorsement OR more than 1 vehicle, with endorsement.
any vehicles under Classes B and C.
large vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds
With a noncommercial Class A License:
Any vehicles under Class C.
Any housecar over 40 feet but not over 45 feet.
travel trailers weighing over 10,000 pounds GVWR, not used for hire.
fifth-wheel travel trailers weighing over 15,000 pounds, not used for hire.
With a vehicle weighing 4,000 pounds or more unladen, you may tow a: livestock trailer exceeding 10,000 pounds GVWR but not exceeding 15,000 pounds GVWR if the vehicle is controlled and operated by a farmer, used to transport livestock to or from a farm, not used in commerce or contract carrier operations, and is used within 150 miles of the person’s farm.
With a Commercial Class B License:
a single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds.
a 3-axle vehicle weighing over 6,000 pounds.
a bus (except a trailer bus), with endorsement.
any farm labor vehicle, with endorsement.
all vehicles under Class C.
a single vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less.
any vehicle a Class C licensed driver may tow.
With a noncommercial Class B License:
any vehicles under Class C.
any housecar over 40 feet but not over 45 feet, with endorsement.

With a Basic Class C License:
a 2-axle vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less.
a 3-axle vehicle weighing 6,000 pounds gross or less.
a motorized scooter.
any housecar 40 feet or less.
A farmer or employee of a farmer may also drive:
any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,000 pounds or less if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire or compensation.

With a Commercial Class C License:
Any Class C vehicle carrying hazardous materials which requires placards. The hazardous materials (HazMat) endorsement must be on the license. Drivers who transport hazardous wastes, as defined by CVC §§353 and 15278, are also required to have the HazMat endorsement.
a single vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less including a tow dolly, if used.

With a vehicle weighing 4,000 pounds or more unladen, you may tow a:
trailer coach not exceeding 9,000 pounds gross.
trailer coach or fifth-wheel travel trailer under 10,000 pounds GVWR when towing is not for compensation.
fifth-wheel travel trailer exceeding 10,000 pounds but not exceeding 15,000 pounds GVWR, when towing is not for compensation and with endorsement.

No passenger vehicle regardless of weight, may tow more than 1 vehicle. No motor vehicle under 4,000 pounds unladen may tow any vehicle weighing 6,000 pounds or more gross (CVC §21715).
With a Motorcycle Class M1 License:
2-wheel motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized scooter

With a Motorcycle Class M2 License:
Motorized bicycle, moped, any bicycle with an attached motor, or motorized scooter.
Note: Class M1 or M2 is added to any other class license after passing law and skill tests.