What You Should Know About Getting a CDL in Nevada

Editorial Team

Getting a CDL in Nevada

Getting your CDL (commercial driver’s license) can put you on the path to a lucrative career. Yes, driving a commercial truck can command a relatively high salary especially if you take the long-distance hauls.

There’s also a sense of freedom you get being on the road, instead of stuck in an office building. If a career as a commercial truck driver sounds appealing, you need a specialized driver’s license.

This ultimately means understanding the CDL classifications for truck drivers, and there’s more than one. Here’s what you need to know about driving a commercial truck in Nevada.

Three Types of CDLs in Nevada

The state of Nevada recognizes three types of commercial driver’s licenses. Each type allows you to legally drive a specific vehicle. For example, if you want to haul large loads, you’re going to need a Class A CDL.

If you’re only planning on ferrying passengers around or want to stick with a smaller vehicle, you’ll need a Class C CDL. Here’s a deeper look at the three types of CDLs.

Class A CDL

If you’re planning on attaching trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs. to the truck cab or hauling loads over 26,000 lbs, you’re going to need a Class A CDL. With this type of CDL, you can legally drive big semis and 18-wheelers with huge trailers in Nevada.

You’re also not really limited on load weight and this can expand your career options. For example, you can carry construction equipment like large machinery.

Class B CDL

Okay, a Class B CDL is necessary to drive large, straight trucks. Think of refrigerated trucks delivering supplies to casinos and hotel hotels for example. Since these types of trucks are usually limited to city driving, weight restrictions apply.

A Class B CDL is required if the vehicle weighs over 26,000 lbs. If you’re not driving a straight vehicle, meaning the trailer is detachable, a Class B CDL may still be a requirement. If the trailer isn’t over 10,000 lbs, you need a Class B commercial driver’s license.

If the trailer is over 10,000 lbs, you’re probably going to need to carry a Class A CDL. There may also be restrictions on where you can drive within city limits when the load is over 10,000 lbs.

Class C CDL

The third CDL category is the Class C commercial driver’s license, and this type of CDL is necessary for passenger vans and small trucks. With a Class C CDL, you can drive 16 or more passengers at a time, depending on the vehicle’s size. The license also allows you to operate a small truck carrying hazardous materials.

A quick note here: simply because you have a valid Class C CDL doesn’t mean you can shove a bunch of passengers into a vehicle. Traffic safety laws still apply, which means, according to Nevada state law, all passengers must be seated and buckled in. In other words, you must have a seat belt for each passenger.

Starting Endorsements and a Learner’s Permit

Even if you’re itching to get started driving a commercial truck, there are a few rules and steps you need to follow. Once you know what type of CDL you need, the next step may be to get an endorsement.

You aren’t going to need an endorsement for a basic CDL. With a basic CDL, you can start driving a commercial vehicle but your options are pretty limited. You may even need to pass an endorsement test before getting your commercial learner’s permit (CLP).

So, what are endorsements? Think of endorsements as tests you need to pass before getting your CDL. There are 6 types of endorsements that cover everything from driving a school bus to carrying hazardous cargo:

  • T Endorsement covers hauling multiple trailers simultaneously.
  • P Endorsement is a state requirement if you plan on driving a commercial passenger vehicle. A large van carrying passengers from the airport to the hotel is an example.
  • N Endorsement is a requirement for drivers’ hauling gasses or liquids in tank vehicles. Think of the long, tubular-shaped trailers on gas trucks.
  • H Endorsement is a necessary test you need to pass if you want to haul hazardous materials
  • X Endorsement combines the requirements of an N and H endorsement. This allows you to haul hazardous materials in tank-style trucks.
  • S Endorsement is for anyone who is planning on driving a school bus.

When you’re ready to get your commercial learner’s permit, you’ll probably be required to take at least one of the endorsement tests. However, if you’re happy hauling produce within Las Vegas city limits, you may be able to move onto the licensing requirements phase.

You Need a Commercial Learner’s Permit

Just like getting your standard motor vehicle driver’s license, you start with a learner’s permit. You must have a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) for at least two weeks (14 days) before you can take the CDL exam.

You also need to have at least a standard driver’s license to get a CPL. You can also hold a lower-class CDL. For example, you have a valid Class C CDL but want to move up to a Class A CDL. Instead of showing your motor vehicle license, you provide your Class C CDL.

During the two weeks you hold a CLP, you must practice your driving skills and road knowledge with a licensed CDL driver. The licensed CDL holder must also be at least 25 years old. There aren’t any exceptions.

Your supervising driver also needs to meet a couple of requirements. These include having a valid CDL, meeting the minimum age requirements, holding the necessary endorsements, and being able to provide a recent medical certificate.

Hitting the Road with Your CDL

Congratulations, you’ve made it through the endorsement exams, held a CPL for at least two weeks, and passed your CDL test. You’re ready to hit the road as a commercial truck driver in Nevada.

Unfortunately, even with all of your training accidents can still occur. If you’re involved in a truck accident, contact an experienced attorney. You don’t want your career to come to a screeching halt over an accident.