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Who are Commercial Drivers?

Commercial drivers are all individuals, whether paid or volunteer, who operate commercial motor vehicles. Volunteer drivers of church buses or private or public school buses and mechanics who test drive commercial vehicles must meet commercial driver's license requirements.

Commercial driver's license requirements do not apply to:

  • Operators of emergency vehicles, such as firefighters
  • Active duty military personnel operating military vehicles
  • Operators of vehicles, such as recreational vehicles and rental moving vans, used only for personal use
  • Operators of farm vehicles if:
    1. The vehicle is used by farmers to move farm goods, supplies or machinery to or from their farm
    2. The vehicle is used within 150 miles of the farm, and
    3. The vehicle is not used as a common or contract motor carrier.

You may not hold a Virginia-issued commercial driver license (CDL) and a Virginia-issued photo ID.

It is illegal for commercial drivers to have more than one license. You must keep the license issued by the state where you live and return all other licenses to the states that issued them. If you fail to return licenses from other states, you could be fined up to $5,000, put in jail for up to 90 days, or both.

CDL Age Requirements

You must be at least 18 years of age to hold a CDL. Under federal law, you must be a commercial driver at least 21 years of age to:

  • Drive across state lines
  • Transport hazardous materials or
  • Transport interstate freight (e.g., mail) within the state.

If you are under 21 years of age, you may be issued a CDL with an "L" restriction. This restriction indicates that your driving privileges are valid only in Virginia.