Nebraska CDL Information
Beginning in February 2022, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles put into place new federal requirements that affect some commercial driver’s license (CDL) applicants and CDL training providers. Mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the new rule requires drivers who are applying for their first CDL or upgrading their current CDL class to complete federally approved Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT).
Drivers who received their CDL prior to February 7, 2022, are exempt from this requirement. However, those who wish to upgrade their current CDL class or add endorsements are required to comply, regardless of when their license was issued.
To meet regulations, ELDT must be provided by an FMCSA-approved organization. Drivers who seek ELDT from a third-party provider must ensure that the provider is approved by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles as an official Driver Training School.
In the state of Nebraska, a CDL is required for any vehicle with a weight of more than 26,000 pounds, or vehicles that carry hazardous materials or transport more than 16 passengers (including the driver). A CDL is not required for registered farm vehicles, recreational vehicles, emergency vehicles, or military vehicles.
Nebraska residents 18 years and older who wish to drive Class B or C commercial vehicles for farm-related purposes or services may apply for a Restricted Commercial Driver’s License (RCDL). RCDL regulations state that the vehicle may only be driven within 150 miles of the business, farm, or ranch for which the service is being provided. Additionally, the vehicle may only be driven during the seasonal period indicated on the back of the driver’s RCDL, which may not exceed 180 consecutive days in any 12-month period. Those who are employed by the following farm- and ranch-related industries are eligible to apply for an RCDL: custom harvesters, retail agricultural outlets or suppliers, agricultural chemical businesses, and livestock feeders.
The state of Nebraska classifies commercial vehicles as follows:
Class A: any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, to include a towed vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. These vehicles include tractor-trailers, truck and trailer combinations, tractor-trailer buses, tankers, livestock carriers, and flatbeds.
Class B: single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, and/or any vehicle that is towing another vehicle weighing up to 10,000 pounds. Vehicles in this category include straight trucks, large buses, segmented buses, box trucks, and dump trucks with small trailers.
Class C: vehicles that do not meet the criteria for either a Class A or B license and are used to transport 16 or more passengers or haul hazardous materials as defined by federal guidelines. These vehicles include small HAZMAT vehicles, passenger vans, and small trucks towing a trailer.