Commercial driver licenses are required for drivers – paid or volunteer – who operate vehicles in North Carolina that are designed or used to transport passengers or property.
They are not required to drive recreational vehicles, military equipment, fire and/or emergency equipment or certain farm vehicles, but a driver must have a regular license of the appropriate class.
In addition to a commercial driver license, a special endorsement is required to haul hazardous materials, transport passengers, drive school buses and school activity buses, pull double trailers or drive tank vehicles.
Entry-Level Driver Training CDL Applicants
On Feb. 7, 2022, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles implemented entry-level driver training, or ELDT, federal requirements for commercial driver license applicants.
ELDT must be conducted by a registered training provider listed on the federal Training Provider Registry.
Successful completion of ELDT is required on or after Feb. 7, 2022, for applicants who are:
- Obtaining an CDL (Class A or B);
- Upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
- Obtaining a School Bus (S), Passenger (P), or Hazardous Materials (H) endorsement
For more information about ELDT, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.
Appointments Required for CDL Road Tests
Appointments are required for those seeking a Commercial Driver License road test. To make an appointment for a CDL road test only, please call 919-715-7000.
Commercial Class A
|Required for any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more (provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle or vehicles being towed is more than 10,000 pounds)|
Commercial Class B
|Required for any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, and any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not in excess of 10,000 pounds|
Commercial Class C
Required for any vehicle not described in Commercial Class A or Commercial Class B but is:
- Designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver
- Used to transport hazardous materials that require the vehicle to be placarded under 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F
Required to haul hazardous materials, transport passengers, drive school buses and school activity buses, pull double trailers or drive tank vehicles.
|School bus/activity bus|
- Six months of driving experience required
- Class B or Class C commercial driver license required
- be held for 14 days prior to skills testing
- Valid for 180 days
- Permits 30 days past expiration date, the driver is required to retake all written tests