The license you will require to drive a box truck will depend on the box truck. This is so because, in the United States, a box truck can be driven by someone without a commercial driver’s license if it has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds or less.
A vehicle’s GVWR is the most amount it can weight—including cargo—and still be operational. The federal requirement specifies that when a vehicle has a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less, the operator does not need a CDL license.
It is important to check your box truck’s GVWR before you drive it to ensure you are in line with your state’s laws. Unlike semi-trailers, box trucks tend to be one solid piece of equipment. Semis are quite bigger trucks and tend to feature far more wheels to carry larger loads of cargo.
They also have cabs that are entirely separate from the trailers that they carry so that new cargo loads can just attach and detach at shipment points. To find out the GVWR of your box truck, you can simply grab your mobile device and Google it. Aside from using Google, you can call the manufacturer of the truck.
Note that by calling the manufacturer, you can get the GVWR of the truck within seconds or minutes. Lastly, you can inspect both door jambs of the truck for a sticker with information from the manufacturer. Most often, this information includes GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) information for both axles.
Once you find the GVWR of your truck, you only have to ask yourself if it is more or less than 26,000. If it is less, then you won’t be required to obtain a CDL license. But if it is more, then you need to get one and it is probably the Class B CDL. However, most often, a standard Class C driver’s license is typically sufficient to operate a standard box truck in the United States.
It is important to note that even though you don’t need a CDL license to drive a box truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds or less, you will still need a regular driver’s license to drive any vehicle in the United States including box trucks.
How to Obtain a Driver’s License in the United States
To start driving in the US, you must first learn how to drive safely. Once you have learned how to drive safely, you can apply for a driver’s license which allows you to drive by yourself. The minimum age to drive in the U.S. is between 16 and 18 years old, depending on state laws.
- If you are eligible to apply for a driver’s license, you must get a driver’s license from the state where you live.
- The residency requirement for obtaining a U.S. driver’s license is different in each state.
- Check the requirements and find out how to apply by contacting your state’s department of motor vehicles.
Some of the requirements for obtaining a license will include your I.D., proof of residency in your state, proof of social security, a driver’s license from the native country, and a passport. Visit your state’s website to find out the specific requirements for getting your U.S. driver’s license.
There is no set price on an American driver’s license, as the requirements vary from state to state. In the US, costs can range anywhere from $20 to $1,000.
It usually takes about one year from the date you got your permit to get your driver’s license in the US. Most states require you to apply for and drive with a learner’s permit for at least 12 months before you can apply for your license.
How to Obtain a CDL License in the United States
If you are going to be driving a box truck with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, then you would require a CDL license. To obtain a CDL license in the United States, you are required to submit the necessary documents.
The documents accepted as proof of your social security number by most states usually include your social security card, a Medicare ID card, a current ID card from any of the US Armed Forces (active, retired, reserve, or dependent), or a military separation document, otherwise known as a DD-214. Some states may accept some other forms of social security number proof, so check before you go.
- Be at least 21 years of age (at least 18 years of age to drive intrastate)
- If you wish to obtain a Class A or Class B CDL, you must complete driver training from FMCSA-approved training providers.
- Submit your state’s CDL Application and pay the appropriate fee
- Provide identity and Social Security number verification (check your state’s requirements)
- Provide proof of state and US residency
- Submit a completed Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate Form
- Pass a vision test
- Pass a knowledge exam
- After passing, be issued a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)
- Wait a minimum of 14 days before you can schedule your CDL road skills examination
- Pass a pre-trip inspection
- Pass the road skills and driving examination (you must bring your own vehicle)
- After passing, pay the necessary fees for your new CDL (Optionally, submit a 10-Year Record Check, if you’ve had a driver’s license in any state or jurisdiction other than the one where you are applying for your CDL)
Please note that if you wish to obtain a Class A or Class B CDL, you must receive theory training from an approved theory training provider listed in the FMCSA Training Provider Registry (TPR). Once you complete this training, your provider will send your training records to the TPR. Then your state DMV will allow you to take the official written knowledge test for a CLP.
Likewise, you must receive behind-the-wheel (BTW) training from an approved BTW training provider listed in the TPR. Once you complete this training, your provider will send your training records to the TPR. Then your state DMV will allow you to take the official skills test for a CDL.
If you are a military veteran with experience driving military buses or military trucks, your state may waive any or all of the following written tests: CDL General Knowledge, Passenger, Tanker, or Hazmat, with proof of relevant military experience. Every state will also allow you to waive the driving test.
You must make sure you get the right information as regards the most appropriate driver’s license you require before entering the road with your box truck. Trust me, if you break the driving rules in your state, you will be punished.
For example, according to New York’s Vehicle Traffic Code – Section 509, driving without a license in New York is a serious misdemeanor that carries a fine of between $75 and $300 or jail time of up to 15 days or both.