Privileges to Drive a Variety of Vehicles
Understand the Different License Endorsements
California regulates driving by issuing driver’s licenses, endorsements and special certificates. A license grants a motorist the privilege to drive certain types of motor vehicles, while an endorsement to the license adds certain driving privileges and appears on the license itself. A certificate is a separate document that a motorist must have in addition to their license in order to drive certain vehicles. It can be confusing to keep track of all the endorsements and the licenses to which they can be added.
The endorsements are:
- M1 License (formerly “endorsement”) and M2 Endorsement — the M1 license is required for motorcycles with engines of 150cc or greater; the M2 endorsement is for mopeds and motor-driven cycles with engines smaller than 150cc.
- The Fifth Wheel Endorsement — this endorsement is for recreational vehicles between 10,000 and 15,000 lbs meant to be towed.
- The Housecar Endorsement — this endorsement to the Class B noncommercial license is created specifically for housecars between 40 and 45 feet in length.
- The HazMat Endorsement — this endorsement to a commercial license permits the transportation of hazardous materials.
- The Doubles & Triples Endorsement — this endorsement to a commercial license allows the pulling of two or three trailers.
- The Passenger Transportation Endorsement — this endorsement to the basic Class C license permits the transportation of up to 10 passengers in a vehicle that does not require a commercial license.
- The Tank Vehicle Endorsement — this endorsement to a commercial license allows the operation of vehicles carrying tanks over 1000 gallons.