Commercial Driver License RequiredUnder the Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act, commercial vehicle drivers, including semi-trucks and bus drivers, are required to have a commercial driver’s license, or a commercial driver learners permit.  Commercial drivers are only permitted to have one driver’s license. This requirement helps to ensure that individuals operating commercial vehicles are fully licensed and have met the necessary training and qualification standards to operate commercial vehicles.  This law helps protect the public from accidents by requiring further training and qualifications to operate these vehicles.  For example, a driver’s training may include guidance on how to avoid an accident when driving the commercial vehicle.

There are a few exceptions to these requirements if certain circumstances are met for farmers, emergency personnel, and others which can be found in RCW 46.25.050(1)(a-d).

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If you’ve been injured in an accident by a semi truck driver, you need an experienced and professional personal injury attorney on your side. Contact the law office of Parke Gordon to handle your case. Call our Tri-Cities office today for a free consultation at (509) 582-7274.

RCW 46.25.020: One license limit.

No person who drives a commercial motor vehicle may have more than one driver’s license.

RCW 46.25.050: Commercial driver’s license required—Exceptions, restrictions, reciprocity.

(1) Drivers of commercial motor vehicles must obtain a commercial driver’s license as required under this chapter. Except when driving under a commercial learner’s permit and a valid driver’s license and accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver’s license valid for the vehicle being driven, no person may drive a commercial motor vehicle unless the person holds and is in immediate possession of a commercial driver’s license and applicable endorsements valid for the vehicle they are driving. However, this requirement does not apply to any person:

(a) Who is the operator of a farm vehicle, and the vehicle is:

(i) Controlled and operated by a farmer;

(ii) Used to transport either agricultural products, which in this section include Christmas trees and wood products harvested from private tree farms and transported by vehicles weighing no more than forty thousand pounds licensed gross vehicle weight, farm machinery, farm supplies, animal manure, animal manure compost, or any combination of those materials to or from a farm;

(iii) Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; and

(iv) Used within one hundred fifty miles of the person’s farm; or

(b) Who is a firefighter or law enforcement officer operating emergency equipment, and:

(i) The firefighter or law enforcement officer has successfully completed a driver training course approved by the director; and

(ii) The firefighter or law enforcement officer carries a certificate attesting to the successful completion of the approved training course; or

(c) Who is operating a recreational vehicle for non-commercial purposes. As used in this section, “recreational vehicle” includes a vehicle towing a horse trailer for a noncommercial purpose; or

(d) Who is operating a commercial motor vehicle for military purposes. This exception is applicable to active duty military personnel; members of the military reserves; members of the national guard on active duty, including personnel on full-time national guard duty, personnel on part-time national guard training, and national guard military technicians (civilians who are required to wear military uniforms); and active duty United States coast guard personnel. This exception is not applicable to United States reserve technicians.

(2) No person may drive a commercial motor vehicle while his or her driving privilege is suspended, revoked, or canceled, while subject to disqualification, or in violation of an out-of-service order. Violations of this subsection shall be punished in the same way as violations of RCW 46.20.342(1).

(3) The department must, to the extent possible, enter into reciprocity agreements with adjoining states to allow the waivers described in subsection (1) of this section to apply to drivers holding commercial driver’s licenses from those adjoining states.

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