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Tennessee Commercial Driver’s License Rules and Regulations

Earning a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Tennessee can lead to a rewarding and long-lasting career. In order to obtain your CDL in Tennessee, you will be required to pass tests that evaluate your skills behind the wheel and your knowledge of the laws and regulations.

There are schools dedicated to preparing you for this test, just like United Truck Driving School. Contact us today if you are ready to get started!  

Which license is right for you?

There are three different classes of CDLs: Class A, Class B, and Class C. The breakdown of the different classifications are as follows:

According to DrivingLaws

  • Class A – Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B – Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
  • Class C – Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous. Note: A bus may be either Class B or Class C depending on whether the GVWR is 26,001 pounds or more.


Once you have earned your CDL, you can have temporary or permanently lose it for a number of reasons. The severity of the punishment depends on the violation committed. Violations are categorized as either major or serious.

Major Violations

The first time a major violation is committed, the driver’s will lose their license for one year. A second violation will result in a permanent disqualification. Major violations include (but are not limited to):

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
  • Operating a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher
  • Declining an alcohol test as required by law
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident
  • Using a commercial motor vehicle to commit a felony
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a suspended license

Serious Violations

The first serious violation does not result in disqualification but carries a warning. If a second serious violation is committed within three years of the first, the driver will be suspended for 60 days. A third serious violation within the same three-year period results in a 120 suspension. Serious violations include (but are not limited to):

  • Driving in excess of 15 mph over the speed limit
  • Reckless driving as defined by Tennessee law
  • Executing dangerous lane changes
  • Tailgating
  • Operating a commercial motor vehicle without earning a CDL, having a CDL in the driver’s possession, or having the wrong classification of CDL

Earn Your CDL and Get Out On the Road

If you are ready to obtain your Class A CDL, sign up for classes at United Truck Driving School today!