• Kenneth Powell

At What Weight Do You Need a CDL in Missouri?

Any driver who intends to operate heavy machinery or other commercial vehicles must have a commercial driver's license (CDL). Getting a CDL requires passing driving tests and CDL training courses.


When the Vehicle Motor and Safety Act was implemented in 1986, it became necessary to have a CDL. Before this, there were numerous preventable accidents and fatalities on the roads because states had exclusive regulations for operating heavy machinery.


Commercial driving without the required CDL license is now against the law.


Types of CDL

Types of CDL


A driver can obtain one of three types of CDLs. Each type has specific criteria that must be met for qualification.


Class A


When the tow vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds, the driver must have a Class A CDL. This license is valid for trucks with a gross weight rating above 26,000 pounds. A person can drive any of the following with a Class A CDL:


  • Livestock Carriers

  • Tractor Trailer

  • Flatbeds

  • Truck Trailer Combination

  • Tractor Trailer Bus


Class B


Anyone intending to drive a vehicle with a total weight rating of 26,001 pounds or a tow vehicle weighing no more than 10,000 pounds must possess a Class B CDL license. One can drive the following with this license:


  • Large Passenger Buses

  • Tractor Trailer

  • Segmented Buses

  • Box Trucks

  • Straight Trucks

  • Dump Trucks with Small Trailers


Class C


Drivers require a Class C CDL license to operate vehicles designed for at least 16 passengers. The license is also necessary to carry hazardous items or equipment, including any vehicle classified as dangerous by the law. With a Class C CDL license, one is permitted to drive any of the following:


  • Passenger vans

  • Small Hazardous material vehicles

  • Vehicles not described by Classes A or B


What Is a CDL permit?


A person must obtain a CDL permit to work for a small truck driving firm. Once they pass the general knowledge test, they can get the CDL permit. This is necessary for drivers training to obtain their commercial licenses.


CDL Endorsements


One can add several endorsements to their license after getting their CDL. A driver must pass a test to be able to add an endorsement. Before being added to your CDL license, some types, such as Hazardous Material, will require a background check.


CDL Training


Drivers often wonder whether it is worthwhile attending a CDL training school or not. This is because most CDL applicants often have the required skills and need the license for official purposes.


Although a driver can attain a CDL without attending a training school, it is not recommended.


Anyone that has attempted to obtain their CDL without attending a training program finds out how much they don't know. Driving, operating, and maintaining a commercial vehicle goes beyond using it for one task.


Applicants should try to find a training facility close by that offers the most convenient hours for them.


How Long Does It Take to Get a CDL?


CDL training classes typically go up to seven weeks. Starting a career as a truck driver requires financial investment and a significant amount of instruction before becoming proficient.


Every school is unique and offers a variety of programs. However, if the applicant intends to work while still in school, they should anticipate more time.


Additionally, a Class A license may take longer since it allows the individual to drive a broader range of commercial vehicles.


Who Is Exempted from a Missouri CDL?


Only military individuals with equivalent safe-driving experience are exempted from earning CDLs under FMCSA standards. The remaining items are eligible for exemptions at the discretion of the state, including:


  • Missouri military vehicle operators

  • Farm equipment operators

  • Driving vehicles for transporting supplies, machinery, or goods to or from a farm.

  • Commercial vehicles for agricultural or nursery operations.


Contact Powell Law Firm for More Information


Drivers should know the type of vehicles they want to operate and get the necessary licenses. Missouri has strict laws against drivers involved in commercial vehicle accidents if they are not licensed. For legal guidance, contact the best truck accident lawyer in St Louis MO.


For other trucking laws in Missouri such as do you need rear license plates on a truck or how far can something stick out of a truck, contact Powell Law.


Our experienced auto attorneys are always ready to guide drivers through the available options if they need the license urgently. There are ways to obtain permits or temporary CDLs by law.

Call Powell Law Firm at (314) 470-1374 to schedule a free consultation.