Do You Need a CDL to Drive a Box Truck?

What is the benefit of having a box truck

If you plan on renting or purchasing a box truck for moving or transportation purposes, you may wonder whether you need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate it. This article will explore the regulations around box truck driving and answer the common question, “Can I drive a box truck with a regular license?”

Understanding Box Trucks

Before we dive into the licensing requirements, let’s first understand what a box truck is. A box truck, also known as a cube truck or a straight truck, is a medium-sized commercial vehicle with an enclosed cargo area. They are often used for local deliveries, moving household items, and transporting commercial goods.

Non-CDL Box Truck Driving

You can usually drive a box truck without a CDL if it meets specific criteria. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that a box truck is considered a non-CDL vehicle if it meets the following requirements:

  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds or less
  • Is not carrying hazardous materials

If the box truck you plan on driving meets these criteria, you can operate it with a regular driver’s license.

CDL Requirements for Box Trucks

If the box truck you plan on driving does not meet the non-CDL requirements, you may need a CDL to operate it legally. According to the FMCSA, if the box truck:

  • Has a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds
  • Is being used for commercial purposes, such as transporting goods for hire
  • Is carrying hazardous materials

You will need a CDL to operate it. Additionally, if you are transporting passengers for hire, such as in a passenger bus, you will need a CDL regardless of the vehicle’s weight.

Training and Testing for CDL

You must complete the necessary training and testing if you need a CDL to drive a box truck. The requirements vary by state, but generally, you will need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old for a CDL that allows intrastate (within the same state) driving or 21 years old for a CDL that allows interstate (across state lines) driving.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Pass a written knowledge test.
  • Obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP)
  • Complete a minimum amount of behind-the-wheel training with a CDL instructor.
  • Pass a skills test, which includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and a road test.


In conclusion, the answer to the question, “Can I drive a box truck with a regular license?” depends on the specific details of the vehicle and its use. If the box truck has a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less and is not carrying hazardous materials, you can drive it with a regular license. If it does not meet these criteria, you will need a CDL. Be sure to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for specific regulations and requirements.


Do I need a CDL to drive a rental box truck?

  • It depends on the rental company and the specifics of the vehicle. Check with the rental company and your state’s DMV to determine whether a CDL is required.

Can I drive a box truck with a Class C license?

  • Yes, a Class C driver’s license is a regular license that allows you to drive commercial/non-commercial vehicles that weigh less than 26,000 pounds.