What Are the Licensing Requirements for Commercial Truckers in North Carolina?

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A licensed truck driver travels down a highway.

Unqualified, irresponsible truck drivers endanger not only other motorists on the road but also the reputation of the trucking sector. Federal and state laws mandate that commercial truck drivers complete intensive training, study and grasp federal and state trucking regulations, and pass challenging tests to receive a Commercial Driving License (CDL).  The attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ have witnessed the damage done by inexperienced and unlicensed truck drivers. Because big rigs and other commercial trucks are so heavy, those involved in collisions frequently suffer devastating injuries that will last a lifetime.

Together with their families, truck accident injury victims are represented by our office in their compensation claims. The team of truck accident attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’ have great expertise in taking on big, national trucking firms in truck collision cases. We are prepared to deliver the tactical support and materials required immediately to demonstrate a driver’s or trucking firm’s negligence. We fight for the rights of truck accident injury victims and their families to seek just compensation for their accident-related injuries. Call (800) 529-0804 or contact us online to schedule your case evaluation with an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer today.

Commercial Trucker Licensing Requirements

It is the responsibility of trucking businesses to make sure that their drivers have fulfilled all state and federal commercial trucker licensing requirements for driving trucks. A driver’s improper licensing and the trucking company’s failure to uphold its obligation to adhere to industry norms may give rise to liability in a personal injury lawsuit. Congress enacted the CMVSA in 1986 in response to the disastrous consequences of having unprepared truck drivers on the road. The CMVSA forbids drivers from possessing multiple licenses. This law was passed to make it simpler to take high-risk drivers off the road since some of them were using numerous state licenses to avoid being caught for moving infractions. Additionally, the CMVSA lays out penalties for motorists who break the law.

After an accident, victims may file a personal injury claim indicating that the truck driver or the trucking firm was negligent or violated protocol. Trucking companies are often represented through commercial insurance firms. These insurers often work to safeguard the reputation and financial stability of the trucking company. To put it another way, they will make every effort to undermine a victim’s claim. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assist a victim in getting through any opposition and defending their right to full compensation after an accident.

Following an accident, a victim who wants to exercise their right to a legal claim for compensation will ask for money to cover their medical bills, lost pay from work, property damage, and other intangible kinds of injury, such as pain and suffering. A trucking company is in violation of federal trucking statutes if it hires drivers who do not possess a CDL license. As a result, they are placing other people in danger of injury that may be avoided. In these situations, trucking companies may be held legally accountable for the injuries they cause to victims after being found to be at fault.

North Carolina Commercial Trucking

North Carolina commercial trucking regulations require anyone driving a vehicle meant to transfer persons or property to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). However, the CDL requirement does not apply to drivers of RVs, farm equipment, emergency vehicles, or military vehicles.

Federal legislation mandates that a truck driver have a valid class A, B, or C driver’s license. Drivers must also confirm the type of commercial vehicle they intend to operate and submit a medical certification to the DMV attesting to their physical fitness in order to legally operate a commercial truck. If there are any concerns regarding the health of the driver, the driver must provide a comprehensive medical report. In addition to this, truck drivers must also:

  • Pay the appropriate CDL fees based on the license type and the kind of vehicle.
  • Complete and pass a skills test that comprises a road test, a vehicle inspection, and a test of basic driving abilities.
  • The North Carolina DOT states that commercial drivers that tow double trailers, transport passengers, transport hazardous materials, operate tanker trucks, or drive school buses must also possess additional special endorsements.

What Speed and Routing Limitations in North Carolina Are Applicable to Large Commercial Trucks?

North Carolina has a number of speed and routing limitations that vary by county and route. Commercial trucks with more than three axles or 26,000 pounds are typically not allowed to use the leftmost lanes on interstates. Trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds must stop at truck information booths in some mountainous areas. Important information about steeply graded inclines or dips, commercial speed limits, and any applicable lane restrictions will be made available to commercial drivers at these locations. Through trucks are absolutely forbidden in some areas. Others forbid the use of trailers greater than 48 feet or trucks with three or more axles.

How Much Insurance Must a Commercial Truck Carry in North Carolina?

Commercial truck drivers that drive vehicles with GVWRs of 10,000 pounds or more, move non-hazardous commodities, and engage in interstate or international trade are required by federal law to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance.

Furthermore, North Carolina mandates that commercial drivers carry the following minimum levels of liability insurance:

  • When transporting hazardous goods, portable tanks or hoppers with a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons, compressed liquefied gasses, compressed gasses, or “highway route-controlled amount commodities,” commercial drivers are required to have coverage of at least $5 million.
  • Drivers of trucks hauling oil, hazardous waste, or other items that are classified as hazardous are required to have a minimum of $1 million in insurance, according to Section 171.8 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Additionally, a CDL driver must have insurance coverage of at least $5 million in accordance with 49 CFR 173.403 if they are transporting any quantity of radioactive materials or Class A or Class B explosives.

Trucking and Alcohol Regulations

The legal limit for the majority of drivers in North Carolina is 0.08 percent blood alcohol content. Only 0.04 percent BAC is permissible for truck drivers. This is due to the greater responsibility and risk associated with commercial driving.

Attorney for Truck Accidents in North Carolina

Despite the confusing and complex transportation laws in North Carolina, experienced truck accident attorneys can help you understand your legal options and fight for the justice you are entitled to. Tatum & Atkinson, often known as “the Heavy Hitters,” are here to help if you were harmed in a severe truck accident. Call us at (800) 529-0804 or contact us online to arrange a free, confidential consultation.