A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required for anyone who wishes to operate a tractor-trailer. But there are other requirements that drivers must meet, which can depend on the state.
Georgia Age Requirements for a CDL
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees the trucking industry, requires that truck drivers be at least 21 years old. But in Georgia, drivers 18 years and up can obtain a CDL.
A special license is issued for those between the ages of 18 and 20, as driving is limited to the state of Georgia for these individuals. Once the individual turns 21, the restriction is lifted allowing the driver to drive anywhere else in the nation.
Which vehicles require a CDL to operate?
Operators of a single tractor-trailer that transports 16 people or more or one that weighs more than 26,000 pounds must hold a CDL. Any combination vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 also requires the license.
There are also special requirements for truckers transporting hazardous material (hazmat). In addition to a CDL, background checks on the driver must be conducted (checking for felony convictions and mental incompetency) and the driver’s fingerprints must be taken. A disqualification from hazmat endorsement doesn’t necessarily mean the driver will lose his or her CDL or be unable to transport nonhazardous materials.
However, a disqualification may apply for major offenses while operating a truck with or without hazardous materials. For instance, driving under the influence or leaving the scene of a crash could lead to disqualification.
There is a lot of responsibility placed on drivers who operate semis. But employers bear a great deal of it as well when it comes to ensuring their drivers meet truck training requirements. Allowing an individual who isn’t properly trained or licensed to operate the commercial vehicle could lead to the trucking company being liable if it causes injuries to someone else.
Talk to an attorney at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC to get started with your injury case.