License Classes

What Are the Different Types of Driver’s License Classes?

by Zutobi · Updated Feb 23, 2022

Obtaining a driver’s license is a privilege that many Americans consider to be a special accomplishment. In addition to the freedom to drive legally, the driver’s license also provides a way for drivers to prove their identity, address, as well as birthdate and age.

If you’ve spent any amount of time on US roadways, you’ll notice a number of different vehicles, including buses, motorcycles, trucks, and more. Many different driver’s license classes exist in the United States, allowing drivers to operate several different types of motor vehicles within the country.

  • Class M
  • Class MJ
  • Class DJ
  • Class C
  • Class B
  • Class A

Class M – Motorcycle

Class M driver licenses are for drivers looking to operate motorcycles and mopeds. This class also includes other motorized two-wheel vehicles that require operator’s licenses. Most states require drivers to be at least 16 years old to apply for a Class M license. However, every state has its own laws pertaining to getting a Class M license.

You need a class M license to ride a motorcycle.

Class MJ – Junior Motorcycle

Like the Class M license, the Class MJ driver’s license is only for motorcycles, mopeds, and certain other motorized two-wheel vehicles. However, it is only eligible for junior drivers, hence the ‘J’. Class MJ licenses are also only available in the State of New York.

Class DJ – Junior Driver

Class DJ driver licenses are similar to Class MJ licenses in that they are only for junior drivers. Rather than motorcycles, they are for all passenger cars and trucks. Whether you need to obtain one depends on your age and where you live. For example, all underage drivers in the state of New York will be required to obtain one of these licenses at some point in their driver’s license process. While the license class comes with restrictions, it is many students’ first introduction to driving on their own.

student driver
If you’re under 18, most states require you to get a learner’s permit before you can get your class C or D license.

Class E – Taxi & Livery

Class E licenses are generally issued to individuals 18 and over who are looking to work in the taxi and livery fields. Those with Class E driver’s license designation are able to operate passenger cars, trucks, and large vans with up to 14 passengers. In most states, rideshare drivers are exempt from the Class E requirement and will only need to obtain a standard operators license to perform this service.

Class C & Class D – Standard Driver’s License

If you’re looking to simply drive a regular car or truck around for school and work purposes, a class D or class C license is likely for you. The two are fairly interchangeable depending on where you are in the country. The required age varies by location as well. In states such as Maine, drivers are eligible to apply for a license as young as 16.

man driving a car alone
A class C license allows you to drive unrestricted.

Class B – Buses and Recreational Vehicle

Buses and recreational vehicles are operable with a class B commercial driver’s license. It also allows drivers to tow another vehicle that does not exceed 10,000 pounds.

Class A

The class A license offers drivers the benefit of both class B and class C/D.

The requirements and process for obtaining different classes of driver’s license varies from state to state. However, you are able to own more than one, if necessary. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new car, motorcycle, or moped, be sure to check out our guide to determine which license class is right for you.

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