school bus image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com

When Do You Need a CDL to Drive Passengers?

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Drivers operating vehicles with a gross vehicle weight greater than 26,000 lb. need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Federal guidelines mandate that drivers obtain CDLs for specific situations regarding the transportation of passengers.

Passenger Vehicles

A driver is required to have a CDL for transportation of 16 passengers (including the driver) in a single vehicle. A driver is also required to have a CDL to drive any vehicle designed to carry 15 or more passengers, not including the driver.

School Vehicles

Any driver transporting students on behalf of a school requires a CDL, regardless of the number of passengers. This includes school bus drivers, as well as drivers of school vans or any other school vehicle used to transport students.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Sapling
Brought to you by Sapling

Necessary Endorsements

Transporting 15 or more passengers requires a CDL with the passenger endorsement. Drivers transporting students require a CDL with the school bus endorsement. Both endorsements require passing additional knowledge and skills tests.

About the Author

Mindi Orth began writing in 1996 as a technical writer for a consulting firm. She has experience in business documentation and has authored training and instructional materials. Orth holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baldwin-Wallace College.

Cite this Article