Licensing for the
Commercial Vehicle Driver, Chauffeur and Public Passenger Licenses
In 1986 the United States Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act requiring a uniformed standard for commercial driver licensing for the United States,
The act and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define what commercial motor vehicles require a CDL and have classified them in three groups:
- Class A
- Any combination of vehicles with a gross weight combination rating (GWCR) of 26,001 or more pounds provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the (GVWR) vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
- Class B
- A single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
- Class C
- A single vehicle or combination weighing less than 26,001 pounds GVWR. Applies also to vehicles hauling hazardous materials or required to be placarded; and any vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver.
Endorsements can be added to the basic CDL:
||Combination of vehicles with double or triple trailers.
||Vehicles used to haul liquids or gaseous materials in permanent tanks or in portable tanks having a rating capacity of 1,000 gallons or more.
||Any vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
||Any vehicle used to transport hazardous materials in placardable amounts.
||Any tank vehicle used to transport placardable amounts of hazardous materials.
One or more written knowledge tests must be passed before any CDL or endorsement permit is granted:
- Everyone must take The General Knowledge test.
- Passenger Transport test is optional
- Air brake test if vehicle has air brakes. (Optional)
- Combination Vehicle testing. (Optional)
- Hazardous Material test required for a driver if he hauls any waste or hazardous material requiring placarding.
- Tanker test if driver hauls liquids in bulk.
- Doubles/Triples test. (Optional)
A skills test is also required and consists of three elements:
- A pre-trip inspection of the vehicle being driven.
- Basic vehicle control.
- On-road test involving a variety of traffic situations.
A valid medical examination must be presented with a CDL application.
The CDL manual and additional documents can be obtained online from the Indiana Department of Revenue.
Indiana also has a requirement for a chauffeur and public passenger chauffeur licenses for those vehicles not subject to CDL requirements.
A chauffeur is defined in as:
- Employed by another person for the principle purpose of operating a motor vehicle registered as having a gross weight of sixteen thousand (16,000) pounds or more for the purpose of transporting property; or
- Operating a motor vehicle registered as having a gross weight of sixteen thousand (16,000) pounds or more for the purpose of transporting property for hire; or
- Operating a private bus.
A public passenger chauffeur is defined as:
- A person who operates a motor vehicle while in use as a school bus for the transportation of pupils to or from school, or to or from school athletic games or contests.
- A person who operates a motor vehicle other than a medical services vehicle while in use as a public passenger-carrying vehicle.
Both chauffeur licenses require compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 391) physical qualifications unless exempted under state law (IC 8-2.1-24-18).