Gianni Evangelisti Authored By: Gianni Evangelisti

Georgia - GA CDL Overview

A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is a driver's license required by Georgia to operate any sort of vehicle which

  • transports quantities of hazardous supplies that require warning placards under Department of Transportation laws
  • is designed to move 16 or more passengers, including the driver. This includes (but is not restricted to) tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses.
  • has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lb or more for commercial use

The CDL is ruled by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. The CDL rules are designed to insure highway security by requiring that truck drivers and drivers of tractor trailers and buses meet minimum standards.  The Act also allows the removal of drivers that are deemed unsafe or unqualified. States such as Georgia are given the authority to issue Commercial Driver’s Licenses, but the minimal federal government requirements have to be met.

Prepare for your GA CDL tests with our free Georgia CDL practice tests

Georgia CDL License Groups - GA CDL Classes

Commercial Driver’s Licenses are issued by Georgia in response to the CDL License classes specified below.
Group A (Combination Vehicle) CDL License

Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that has a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.  Should you have a Group A CDL license, you are allowed to drive any vehicle or combination of vehicles of any size.

Group B (Heavy Straight Vehicle) CDL License

Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle lower than 10,000 pounds GVWR. With a Group B CDL license, you might be allowed to drive any single vehicle regardless of weight. As well as, you are allowed to tow a trailer if the trailer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is lower than 10,000 pounds. If the trailer you might be towing has a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds, and the mixed vehicle weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds, you will need a Class A CDL.

Group C (Small Vehicle) CDL License 

A Class C CDL license is meant to cover any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that doesn’t meet the Group A or Group B definitions, but that either is designed to move sixteen or more passengers (including the driver), or is intended to move Hazardous Materials (HazMat).

With a Group C CDL license, you may drive any vehicle designed to move sixteen or more passengers, together with the driver, if the GVWR is lower than 26,001 pounds and you have a passenger endorsement. As well as, a Class C CDL also helps you to operate any vehicle used to move hazardous materials if the GVWR is less than 26,001 pounds and you have the correct endorsement.

Georgia CDL Examination Overview

Exams for the GA CDL License include both skills tests and knowledge tests.

The CDL Knowledge Exams consist of a general exam, a number of endorsement examinations, and an air brakes test.  The tests that you'll take depend upon the license classification that you're obtaining (Class A, B, or C) and the type of vehicle that you will be driving (e.g., Tanker, Double/Triple, Passenger Bus).

Please consult with our free Georgia CDL practice exams that can help you prepare for your GA CDL examinations.

General Test Overview

Drivers of every CDL class must pass a General Knowledge examination which contains questions regarding driving safety, vehicle inspection, street signs, traffic legal guidelines and other information it's worthwhile to determine to drive a commercial vehicle in Georgia.

Endorsement Examination Overview

In addition to the general knowledge test, it's necessary to also take and pass various endorsement examinations depending on the kind of vehicle that you will be operating.  The endorsement tests are described below.

  • Tankers endorsement - to drive a commercial tank vehicle (over 26,000 pounds) designed to move any liquid or gaseous materials inside a tank that is permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or chassis. Moveable tanks having a rated capacity under 1,000 gallons are not required to have this endorsement.
  • Double and triple trailer endorsement - to pull double and triple trailers.
  • Passenger endorsement - to drive any vehicle, besides a school bus, designed to hold 16 or more persons, together with the driver.
  • School bus endorsement - required to drive school buses designed to carry 16 or more individuals, together with the driver that is transport students to or from school and authorized school activities. Additionally, a driver must receive a passenger endorsement before obtaining a school bus endorsement.
  • Hazardous materials endorsement - to drive any vehicle carrying hazardous materials.  Hazmat materials are identified by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services and require a Hazmat placard.

Air Brakes Exam

Should you plan on driving any commercial vehicle that has air brakes, you should take and pass the air brakes examination to take away the air brakes restriction from your CDL.  The air brakes exam is totally different than the endorsement exams because the air brakes examination works as a restriction instead of an endorsement.  If you don't pass the air brakes examination, your CDL will bear a mark of restriction which means that you are not licensed to drive a commercial vehicle with air brakes.

Georgia CDL License Requirements and GA CDL General Qualifications

In keeping with federal regulations, a CDL operator is qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle in Georgia if they:

  • Are at least 21 years old.
  • Can read and speak English enough to talk with the general public, to grasp highway traffic signals and indicators, to answer official inquiries, and to make reports and records.
  • Are physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Have a currently legitimate commercial motor vehicle operator’s license issued by only one state.
  • Have delivered their employer a list of violations or the certificate as required
  • Are not disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle
  • Have successfully passed a driver’s road test and associated knowledge exams and have been issued a commercial driver’s license by the state of Georgia

More detailed Georgia CDL Requirements can be found within the GA handbook link found within the part below.

Georgia CDL Handbook and Resources

Georgia CDL Handbook - gives GA CDL requirements and application info

Georgia CDL Agency - Georgia Department of Driver Services

Department of Driver Services
2206 East View Parkway
Conyers, Georgia 30013

(404) 657-9300
(678) 413-8400
(678) 413-8500
(678) 413-8600
- or -
1(866) 754-3687 Inside Georgia

Contact Center Hours: M-F 7:00am - 5:15pm
Commercial Driver's Licenses (Option 5)

This information applies to the entire state of Georgia as well as the cities of: Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Savannah, Athens.


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