Do You Need a CDL to Drive Tow Truck?

A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required to operate a tow truck in the United States. This is to ensure that the driver is properly trained, licensed and insured to carry out their duties and responsibilities as a tow truck operator.

In most states, tow truck drivers must obtain a CDL Class A or B license. Depending on the size of the vehicle being operated and the type of freight being transported, additional endorsements may be required.

Before applying for a CDL, it is important to become familiar with the regulations and requirements of the state in which you wish to drive. Different states have different laws regarding CDLs, so it is important to research your state’s specific regulations before pursuing your CDL.

The process of obtaining a CDL starts by completing a driver application form and taking an eye examination. After that, applicants must pass an initial knowledge test which covers topics such as vehicle safety regulations, traffic laws, hazardous materials transportation regulations, pre-trip inspections and more. There are also physical qualifications that must be completed before being issued a CDL.

Once you have passed all necessary tests and examinations you will then need to obtain proper training for operating a tow truck. This usually involves attending classes or seminars which cover topics such as vehicle operation fundamentals, emergency response procedures and customer service.


In summary, if you are looking to become a tow truck driver in the United States then you will need to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class A or B license as well as complete additional training courses related to tow truck operation. The process of obtaining a CDL can be lengthy but is necessary in order for drivers to legally operate their vehicles on public roads.

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Karen Watkins