10.2 – California License Classes

There are nine classes of California driver’s licenses. You must tell the department the type of license you need to drive the vehicles available to you.

Class A

You can drive and tow any type of vehicle or legal combination, including all vehicles listed under classes B and C.

Class A-Firefighter

You can drive only Class A and Class B defined combination fire fighting vehicles and all vehicles listed under Class C. You cannot transport passengers.

Class A-Noncommercial

  • You can tow travel trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or fifth-wheel travel trailers weighing over 15,000 lbs.
  • GVWR when the trailers are not used for hire (pay or other compensation).
  • Class A noncommercial also allows towing a fifth-wheel livestock trailer not exceeding 15,000 lbs. GVWR when the vehicle is owned by a farmer, used to transport livestock to or from the person’s farm within 150 miles, and not used for hire; or towing a recreational boat trailer which weighs at least 10,000 lbs. (the total combination weight of the towing and towed vehicles cannot exceed 26,000 lbs. GVWR) when the towing is for recreational purposes or repair, not used for common or contract carrier operations, does not need an oversize permit (VC 35780), and not used for hire.
  • The towing vehicle must weigh at least 4,000 lbs. or more unlade Study material for this class is contained in the “Recreational Vehicles and Trailers” booklet, available at any Department of Motor Vehicles

Class B

You can drive any vehicle (except a trailer bus) designed, used, or maintained for carrying more than 15 persons including the driver, except a vanpool vehicle, with endorsement; a single vehicle with three or more axles weighing 6,000 lbs. or more fully loaded; any vehicle weighing 26,001 lbs. or more GVWR; any farm labor vehicle, with endorsement; and all Class C vehicle.

Class B-Firefighter

You can drive only a Class B defined single fire-fighting vehicle and all the vehicles listed under Class C. You cannot transport passengers. You can tow the vehicles listed in Class C.

Class C

  • You can drive any two-axle vehicle weighing less than 26,001 lbs. GVWR (except M1, M2 vehicles, or a bus), any three-axle vehicle weighing less than 6,000 lbs. fully loaded, any house car, a motorcycle with a sidecar attached, a vanpool vehicle or van designed to carry no more than 15 persons (as long as it is not used for hire or for a non-profit organization).
  • You can tow one other vehicle (including any type of trailer) weighing less than 10,000 lbs. GVWR; a single vehicle or trailer weighing not more than 10,000 lbs. fully loaded with a two-axle vehicle weighing at least 4,000 lbs. With an endorsement on your driver’s license, you may tow a fifth-wheel travel trailer weighing not more than 15,000 lbs. GVWR, with endorsement (if you are not towing the trailer for hire).

Class C Commercial

  • You can drive any Class C vehicle carrying hazardous materials, which requires placards. The hazardous materials (HAZMAT) endorsement must be on the license. Drivers, who transport hazardous wastes, as defined by sections 25115 and 25117 of the Health & Safety Code, are also required to have the HAZMAT endorsements.

Class M1

You can drive any two-wheel motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, and all Class M2 vehicles.

click-to-downloadFor Motorcycle License Checklist, visit:


Class M2

You can drive any motorized bicycle, or moped, or any bicycle with an attached motor.

Motorcycle Training Course

The Department of Motor Vehicles will not issue a license to operate a two-wheel vehicle to anyone under 21 years of age unless that person has completed a California Highway Patrol approved motorcycle rider training program certified on the DMV form Certificate of Completion of Motorcycle training (DL 389). There are a number of fixed and mobile motorcycle training sites located throughout California. The telephone number for locating the nearest training site is (877) RIDE- 411

Related Courses