What Kind Of License is Required to Drive a Semi-Truck in Texas?

Texas truck driver driving with a CDL license

To keep all motorists safe, Texas truck drivers must complete stringent testing and earn a specialized driver's license before they can operate a big rig. 

Unfortunately, many truck drivers on our Texas highways don't have a valid CDL. If the truck driver responsible for your accident did not have a valid CDL, you may have a strong case against the driver and their employer and should consult with a Texas truck wreck lawyer.

In order to operate an interstate commercial vehicle, the driver must:

  • Have a commercial driver’s license
  • 21 years of age (Federal); 18 years of age (Texas-intrastate)
  • Be able to read and speak English
  • Not otherwise disqualified to drive a commercial vehicle under 49 C.F.R. 391.15
  • Carrier must obtain the driver’s background information: name, current address, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, list of accidents and moving violations for the preceding 3 years, residences for the preceding 3 years, and employers for the preceding 3 years
  • Carrier must contact and maintain information on the contacts with the driver’s past employers where the driver operated a commercial vehicle for the preceding 10 years, and with all state department of motor vehicles where the driver held a license during the preceding 3 years;
  • Must be medically certified as physically qualified to driver under 49 C.F.R. 391.41-49 and 391.11(b)(4)

In order to be able to drive a commercial Intrastate (Texas) vehicle, the differences from interstate are as follows:

  • 18 years of age
  • No requirement to read or speak English
  • No requirement to pass medical if regularly employed as truck driver prior to 8/28/89.

If you think the truck driver responsible for your accident didn’t meet these qualifications or was negligent in some other way, contact the Texas 18-wheeler accident attorneys at the Anderson Law Firm. Our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of Texas accident victims.

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How can I get access to the at-fault trucker's driving logs?


Mark A. Anderson
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Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas