Since 1992 drivers have been required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate certain commercial vehicles. These include vehicles like semi-trailers, tanker trucks, and buses.
California requires truck drivers to have a CDL if they drive any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. You also need a CDL if you drive vehicles with a combined weight exceeding 26,000 pounds; the requirement also applies to those driving tractor-trailers.
A commercial driver’s license is important because these are heavy vehicles that require extra training and skill to operate. You must be appropriately licensed and certified, but even the most experienced and careful truck drivers get into accidents.