The Kinds Of Driving License Available In The USA

by Maisie

Powered vehicles are immensely dangerous, and it is very important that drivers know and understand the rules of the road. To this end, the United States has a system of driving licenses designed to ensure the safety of road users. Here is a quick guide to the licenses issued in the USA.


There are several kinds of commercial driving license – each suited to a different kind of heavy vehicle. If you drive a specialist vehicle for your work, the chances are high that you will need to own a commercial driving license of some sort.

Class A

A class A commercial driving license is needed if a person wants to drive large semi trucks. These trucks are truly huge and have complex gearboxes, making it essential that the person behind the wheel has some specialist training under their belt.

Class B

A class B commercial driving license is needed in order to drive a passenger bus, construction vehicles and large vans.

Class C

Class C licenses are needed in order to drive vehicles carrying 15 or more people and vehicles that are carrying dangerous materials.


Motorcycles are a great deal of fun, but they are also very dangerous to operate. Over 5000 Americans die in motorcycle accidents every year. Because of just how dangerous two wheelers are, riders need to have a special license in order to take to the road. Gone are the days when motorcycle riding was easier and cheaper to start than driving a car.

Class D

Class D licenses are the most commonly held kind of certificate in the United States of America. People who hold class D licenses are able to drive cars and vans. They can also tow trailers – if their total weight is below 10,000 lb. This means that some pickup truck owners with class D licenses are able to take on small commercial loads in a practice that is known as ‘hot shot trucking’. Hot shot trucking is a great way of getting into shipping work or driving work without seeking to acquire a commercial driving license or heavy-duty HGV truck.


Some states require that teenage drivers take to the roads using a junior license. These licenses have tighter restrictions than regular class D permits. They can include limits on power, highway driving and weight. These restrictions are all designed to keep younger drivers safe on the roads. Junior driving licenses are usually only in place in states where the legal age for driving a car is 16 instead of 18.

Taxi And Livery

Drivers operating a traditional taxi service have to be specially licensed to carry people. Their license often stipulates the number of people that they are allowed to convey at any one time. Drivers working for tech driven lift companies like Uber and Lyft do not need to get a taxi license in most states. This has driven some controversy, as drivers operating using these apps are not as qualified as their traditional taxi driving counterparts.

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