Commercial Driving License Rules in MA

Driving a commercial vehicle comes with higher risks associated with operating much larger vehicles. That is why there are enhanced commercial driving license rules in Massachusetts aimed at minimizing the risk behind the wheel. For victims of a commercial driving accident, understanding these laws could influence what occurs in your case. A truck accident attorney from The Cashman Law Firm can help you recover compensation after a crash. 

How to Get a Commercial Driver’s License in Massachusetts

Both the federal and state governments mandate laws and requirements for those who wish to obtain a commercial driver’s license in Massachusetts. Among these requirements are:

  • Being over the age of 18 for intrastate driving or over 21 for interstate transport
  • Holding a valid Class D license for the length of their commercial permit
  • Being a lawful, permanent resident of the US with a valid Social Security number
  • Being a resident of the state
  • Meet minimum CDL medical requirements
  • Pass all necessary exams

Violations of driving are monitored over time, and points are added to the driver’s record for violations. Too many points can lead to suspension or revocation of their license. In addition, a driver can lose their license for other reasons, including:

  • Refusing a roadside breathalyzer test
  • Driving under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Failing to qualify to maintain a valid CDL
  • Driving a commercial vehicle when they have a revoked or expired CDL
  • Driving negligently with hazardous materials
  • Making numerous or serious traffic violations

CDL Education and Requirements

Those who wish to operate a commercial vehicle in Massachusetts must obtain a CDL. To do that, they must complete the necessary skill training and then sit for an exam. Most will also need to take a driving test with the state to prove their skill. The specific requirements are dependent on the classification of the license they plan to get. Classifications determine what types of commercial vehicles the driver can operate.

  • A Class A license is necessary for vehicles with a gross combined weight rating of 26,001 pounds or higher with a towed vehicle of over 10,000 pounds, including tractor-trailers, tankers, flatbeds, and livestock carriers.
  • A Class B license is typically for those who are operating a single vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds and towing a vehicle with a weight limit of under 10,000 pounds. This typically includes dump trucks, straight trucks, box trucks, large buses, and segmented buses.
  • A Class C license is necessary for vehicles that do not meet the Class A or B requirement or are meant to transport at least 16 passengers or hazardous material. This may include smaller hazardous materials vehicles, small trucks towing a trailer, and passenger vans.

Commercial driver’s licenses are overseen by the Massachusetts Register of Motor Vehicles. Drivers must meet all of the state’s requirements, along with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Drivers with violations in these areas could lose their licenses. They may also be negligent for any accidents, injuries, and other losses they cause due to operating outside of the state’s guidelines.