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CDL Restrictions

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 8:30 p.m.


There are many options when getting a commercial driver's license with CDL restrictions. The CDL A, B, and C each have their own training requirements and testing procedures. That’s why it's essential to consider the pros and cons of each CDL class before deciding which one’s best. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

The Class A CDL is the most popular choice among drivers. Sure, it provides access to a wide variety of vehicles. But there are also 6 types of endorsements available for this license form. Plus, seven restrictions can be placed on a CDL. What is the DOT SAP Program?

Obtaining a CDL A endorsement opens up the possibility of driving more commercial motor vehicles. But remember that some restrictions could apply to your license once you have it. Fortunately, these can be lifted once you meet the government requirements. Let's take a look at the seven types of CDL A restrictions that may apply. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

What is the (L) Air Brakes CDL Restriction?

If you don't pass the air brakes section of your CDL test, you'll receive an "L" restriction. This means that you cannot operate a semi-truck with air brakes. Of course, this is problematic because most trucks use air brakes. Fortunately, you can retake the test until you get this restriction lifted. So don't worry if it takes more than one try - keep practicing, and eventually, that "L" will be gone! What is MC Number?

What is the (Z) Air Brakes CDL Restriction?

If you have a 'Z' restriction on your driver's license, it means that instead of failing the test in a vehicle with air brakes, you passed in one with hydraulic brakes. You must retake the test using an air-braked vehicle to get the restriction lifted. It's just like getting an 'L' restriction removed; same process, different brakes! The key is to make sure that you're prepared. This means understanding what to expect when taking the test. Then, you can get on track toward your driver's license being free of restrictions. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

What is the (E) Manual Transmission CDL Restriction?

Say that you have passed your CDL test. But it took place in a vehicle with an automatic transmission. This means that you may be restricted from driving some cars. Now, let’s say that your employer only uses automated transmission trucks. This shouldn't be much of a problem. But if you’re considering changing carriers in the future, this could become an issue. In that case, you may want to retake your CDL test in a manual transmission vehicle to ensure that no restrictions apply to your license—importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

What is the (K) Interstate Travel CDL Restriction?

Drivers who are under the age of 21 are limited in the types of freight they can transport due to the “K” restriction. This means the drivers cannot operate commercial motor vehicles across state lines. As a result, it’s illegal for them to haul freight from state to state. However, there is hope on the horizon as this restriction could be changing soon. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

What is the (O) Fifth-Wheel Connection CDL Restriction?

If you take your CDL test in a vehicle that doesn't use a fifth-wheel connection, such as a pintle hook or some other type of connection, you will receive an “O restriction.” To have this reversed, you only need to retake the exam using a truck with a fifth-wheel connection. So, if you want to ensure your CDL license is unrestricted and valid for commercial purposes, use the correct type of tow connection when taking your test. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

What is the (M) Class A Passenger Vehicle CDL Restriction?

If you hold a CDL A license, the "M" restriction might be something you encounter down the line. It occurs when someone earns their P or S endorsement in a CDL B vehicle and is restricted from driving any Class A vehicles exceeding certain weight limits. In other words, you can go all Class B passenger vehicles, such as buses, but not larger buses classified under Class A. Therefore, keeping track of what car you take your enhancements tests in is essential so you don't end up with an unexpected restriction on your license. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

What is the (V) Medical Variance CDL Restriction?

Say that you have a medical condition that could negatively impact your driving. You may be subject to the "V" restriction on your CDL. Common examples of this restriction include vision impairment and high blood pressure. Fortunately, this type of restriction does not prevent you from operating any particular vehicle. Instead, it indicates to the DMV and other agencies that extra care should be taken when you drive. If you have questions about the “V” restriction, you must speak with your doctor and local licensing authority. IFTA Sticker Registration steps.

What Is a Class A CDL?

The FMCSA classifies CDL A trucks as vehicles with a gross combination weight rating or total weight of at least 26,001 pounds. This includes towed units with a gross vehicle weight of at least 10,000 pounds. This is the highest-level classification available for commercial motor vehicles. CDL A drivers must possess the necessary knowledge and skills to operate these large, complex vehicles safely. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

What Is the (H) Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) CDL Endorsement?

A HAZMAT endorsement can significantly expand your job opportunities. It enables you to haul hazardous materials over the road, and many of these jobs come with higher pay than other CDL positions. Say that you need to get a HAZMAT license. You must pass background checks, written tests, and a DOT medical exam. In some cases, it's also necessary to possess a HAZMAT endorsement to get the X endorsement—more on that later. You must visit the website link.

What Is the (N) Tanker Vehicle CDL Endorsement?

Are you looking for a well-paid driving job that allows you to spend more time at home with your family? If so, securing a tanker endorsement is a crucial option. Tanker truck drivers operate vehicles carrying liquids or gaseous materials, and while the job can be rewarding, it also requires additional written testing. Once qualified, however, you'll face new challenges, such as learning how to deal with the 'surge' of liquid in the tank while driving—a skill which takes some practice to perfect! What is Unified Carrier Registration?

What Is the (N) Tanker Vehicle CDL Endorsement?

Say that you need a well-compensated job with more home time than other positions. In that case, receiving a tanker endorsement may be ideal. This requires an additional written test, but it's worth it to have the ability to transport liquid or gaseous materials in a tank. You will also have to learn how to properly adjust to your cargo moving around during transit if it isn't complete. With some practice and skill development, you can master this maneuver and become an expert tanker truck driver. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

What Is the (P) Passenger Transport CDL Endorsement?

Passenger transport endorsement is an important license needed for drivers who wish to operate vehicles that can carry more than 16 passengers, like a city commuter bus. To acquire this permit, applicants must pass a written and skills test and any other required licensing qualifications. Also, visit the website link.

This job is ideal for those looking for a consistent work schedule with nights at home, or those interested in seeing the country while driving across its roads with travel companies. One thing's certain- passenger transport jobs involve interacting with people all day long… so it's not suited for someone who prefers solitary activities! You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

What Is the (S) School Bus/Passenger Transport CDL Endorsement?

With the “S” endorsement, driving school buses requires more than just passing a written and driving skills test; background checks, criminal history checks, and physical fitness tests are also necessary. Plus, drivers must stay up-to-date on any changes to school bus rules by receiving supplemental training or testing when needed. Qualities such as patience and handling rowdy kids on board are essential for anyone looking to drive a school bus. Visit BOC-3.

What Is the (T) Double/Triples CDL Endorsement?

Do you want to maximize your earnings while trucking? With a “T” endorsement, you can tow more than one trailer on the back of your truck and take advantage of higher-paying jobs. This endorsement requires an additional written test, but it will allow you to haul two or three times as much freight as before - all without spending extra time on the road.

What Is the (X) Tanker and Hazardous Materials CDL Endorsement?

Those with an "X" endorsement are highly sought-after in the gas and oil hauling business. This additional certification requires drivers to pass a written test, demonstrating their expertise in safely transporting liquid or gaseous hazardous materials (HAZMAT) cargo inside of a tanker. This endorsement significantly sets these drivers apart from others and is a testament to their specialized skillset. If you want to work in the gas and oil hauling industry, having an "X" endorsement is essential.

Conclusion: Do Your Best To Prevent CDL Restrictions

When preparing for your CDL test, ensure you take your exam in the suitable vehicle class. This can help you avoid any unnecessary restrictions placed on your license afterward. The key is to take time to become familiar with the types of cars that are necessary for taking your CDL exam. Doing so can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Have a plan and do your research so that you won’t have to deal with any CDL restrictions. Good luck!

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