North Carolina CDL License Requirements

To start your truck driving career in North Carolina, you must first earn a North Carolina commercial driver's license (CDL). In North Carolina, a CDL is required to drive the following types of commercial vehicles:

  • Class A: Combination vehicles that have a gross combined weight rating of more than 26,001 pounds, if the vehicle(s) towed are over 10,000 pounds
  • Class B: A single vehicle weighing over 26,001 pounds
  • Class C: Vehicles able to transport 16 or more people, including the driver, or vehicles carrying hazardous materials that require special placards

According to North Carolina CDL requirements, applicants must be at least 18 years old, pass a vision exam and obtain a medical certificate. Transportation of cargo across state lines is regulated by the federal government and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). USDOT requires all drivers who transport materials across state lines to be at least 21 years old. Applicants must then pass both a written knowledge exam and an on-road driving test. For the driving test, you must use a vehicle in the same class for which you are trying to obtain a CDL license--for example, if you wish to obtain a Class A CDL, you must test in a Class A vehicle.

To drive a truck with double/triple trailers, a truck with air brakes, a tanker truck or a school bus, additional endorsements are required. If you wish to transport passengers or hazardous materials, additional endorsements are also required. To transport hazardous materials (also referred to as a Hazmat endorsement), a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check is needed. North Carolina truck driving schools will provide you with the training and on-road driving experience needed to pass the CDL exams.

Resources for North Carolina CDL Requirements

Visit the North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles website for more information.

Learn more about North Carolina trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in North Carolina

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
North Carolina $29,870 $45,920 $37,500
Asheville, NC $32,740 $47,480 $41,200
Burlington, NC $30,210 $42,760 $35,480
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC $32,080 $47,330 $38,690
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $29,190 $43,130 $35,580
Fayetteville, NC $26,510 $37,010 $29,840
Goldsboro, NC $28,140 $43,920 $34,360
Greensboro-High Point, NC $31,950 $45,870 $40,630
Greenville, NC $27,760 $40,260 $33,180
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC $32,240 $44,940 $38,540
Jacksonville, NC $25,760 $34,890 $29,050
Raleigh-Cary, NC $31,290 $48,250 $38,130
Rocky Mount, NC $26,570 $46,820 $35,720
Wilmington, NC $32,070 $46,090 $39,760
Winston-Salem, NC $32,660 $47,500 $39,800

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (