The CDL Endorsements To Obtain a CDL License

by Joshua on December 13, 2013

When trying to obtain a CDL license there are many testing situations you may encounter. There are several types of CDL Class licenses and the one you will need or test for will differ depending on the job you will be doing. The different types of CDL Class licenses are a Class A, Class B, Class C and Class M (M2 & M3). A CDL or Commercial Driver’s License is required if you are employed as or trying to become hired as a truck driver or machine operator in a multitude of work fields. For whichever kind of particular truck type or machine you will be driving or operating you must have the specific endorsement required for that type of vehicle.

Types of CDL License’s

When you are applying for your CDL License have to be sure you are doing the procedure for the license class that you need and not for a type that you do not. Check with your employer or to the CDL handbook to make sure which type you should study and test for. Each CDL license type has different endorsements and requirements that you will need to test for and have to operate with a CDL.

Class A

Class A CDL Licenses are required if you are planning on operating a vehicle with a weight rating of GCWR up to 26,000 pounds or a GVWR weight rating of up to 10,000 pounds. If you are a Class A license holder than you may operate vehicles under the class B & C as well with the correct endorsements. Vehicles that you are allowed to operate in the CDL Class A License are combination vehicles such as-

  • Tractor-trailer vehicles
  • Truck and trailer combination vehicles
  • Tractor-trailer bus vehicles

Class B

The Class B. CDL license is required if you wish to drive any vehicles of the weight class GVWR weighing over 26,000 pounds or single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or over towing any vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds. If you are a Class B CDL carrier and have the correct endorsements you may also operate any class C vehicles also. The vehicles you will be permitted to operate if you have a class B CDL are -

  • Large Buses or Segmented Buses
  • Straight Trucks
  • Trucks towing vehicles of any type

Class C

The Class C CDL license is needed to drive or operate any vehicles of the weight class GVWR weighing over 26,000 pounds or single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or over towing any vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds just as the class B and A also. The Class C CDL is needed also if you vehicle carried hazardous materials or has an occupant capability of 16 people or more. The vehicles you may be allowed to operate with a Class C CDL are -

  • Tractor Trailer Vehicles
  • Truck and Trailer combination vehicles
  • Tractor trailer bus vehicles
  • Large Buses or Segmented Buses
  • Straight Trucks
  • Trucks towing other vehicles of any type

Class M , M2 & M3

The Class M CDL allows you to drive any two wheeled and three wheeled motorcycles. Class M2 only allows you to operate two wheeled motorcycles and M3 class license only allows you to operate three wheeled motorcycles.


There is a variety of endorsements available for you to test on no matter what CDL (Commercial Drivers License) you are applying for or testing for. Depending on your job and its requirement you may need all or just one endorsement to operate your work vehicle. The most beneficial option you can choose is to get as many endorsements as you can during your first round of testing, this way while your CDL of whatever class type is valid you may pursue other job opportunities or eliminate the need to go back and test for them when you start a new job.

Types of CDL Endorsements

Endorsement H

Endorsement type H is required for a lot of Class C vehicles or any vehicles that require hazardous material endorsement. Endorsement type H allows you to drive any vehicle that carries hazardous materials. To earn this endorsement you must complete a background check and your CDL license test as well as the endorsement test. This endorsement does not carry over to other states or foreign countries.

Endorsement N

Endorsement type N allows you to drive any type of tank vehicle. The only persons operating a tank vehicle that does not require a endorsement type N or CDL license are those that are military personnel operating a tank vehicle within the jurisdiction of the military.

Endorsement P

Endorsement type P is required to operate any type of passenger class vehicle. If you are required to test for a P class endorsement then you must pass a road test in the vehicle type of which you will be operating.

Some of the content that you will be asked about or that will be covered in a passenger endorsement test includes the following-

  • Definitions of the different types of buses and other passenger vehicles
  • Proper passenger loading and unloading procedures for passenger CMV’s
  • Before and after trip vehicle inspection procedures
  • Proper use of emergency exits of all type of passenger CMV’s
  • Brake systems
  • Braking procedures
  • Four way stop procedures
  • Railroad crossing and drawbridge procedures
  • Procedures for common emergency’s on various CMV’s
  • Full knowledge of prohibited practices
  • Response to fires, unruly passengers and other uncommon situations

It is best for you to practice and study as much as you can before you plan on taking your passenger endorsement. Study the handbook and utilize as many alternative studying resources as you can. If you find it difficult to learn the require information by only reading it consider using practice tests, answer keys or cheat sheets. provides a great variety of all of these and you get in instant satisfaction of knowing whether or not your hard work and studying is paying off or if you need more time before you plan on taking the endorsement test.

Endorsement S

Endorsement S allows you to operate a school bus. Even if you are an eligible for other types of endorsements of CDL’s if you have certain felonies involving minor children you will not be allowed to get an S type endorsement in most states.

Endorsement T

If you plan on towing a double or even triple trailer regularly in your job field or if it is a requirement of your job then you will need a type T endorsement.

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