What Is A Class D License?

Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

There are so many different types of driving licenses, and each one offers drivers different rules and regulations regarding which vehicles they can drive, and what they can use the vehicles for. So, what types of driving licenses are there, and what is a D license? Let’s find out.

Types of driving licenses

There are various different classifications when it comes to driver’s licenses, and many states have different driver’s licenses, which can vary depending on your location. However, for the most part, the most common driver’s license is the D license, which is for regular 2 or 4 door vehicles for non commercial uses.

Class D

Despite starting with D instead of A, class D is the most common, basic level of driver’s license that the majority of people will obtain when they learn to drive. These licenses are for driving passenger cars, but some can drive trailers and towing vehicles.

Class DJ (Junior License)

A DJ license is a driver’s license that is designed for new, young drivers who have recently passed their driver’s test. These types of licenses often have more restrictions for newer drivers for safety purposes.

Class A, B and C (Commercial)

Class A, B and C are commercial driver’s licenses, and allow drivers to operate vehicles with higher weight. These tend not to be passenger cars as they can be trucks, 18 wheelers and large coaches.

Most of the time, Class A is for those who want to drive trucks, semi-trucks, 18 wheelers and tractor trailers, whereas Class B is more for those who want to drive passenger buses, construction vehicles and similar larger vehicles. Class C is more for those who want to drive vehicles with more than 15 passengers or to transport hazardous materials.

As commercial vehicle drivers need to be much safer on the road, operating large or dangerous vehicles, or some with multiple passengers, they often need to undertake more training before they can obtain a commercial license.

Class E (Taxi)

In many states, to drive a taxi or a for-hire vehicle, you have to have a special Class E license.


Motorcycles are very different from driving a car. As a result, you may need to obtain a separate motorcycle license to operate a motorcycle, even if you already have a normal driver’s license.

What is a Class D license?

If you have a Class D license, then you are legally allowed and able to drive passenger cars. The Class D license is often referred to as the normal or standard driving license that most people achieve soon after they learn to drive.

What you may not realize is that a D license also allows you to drive trailers and towing vehicles as long as they weigh less than 10,000 pounds, so you can also legally tow a trailer or boat for instance.

What does D mean on a license?

The D on a license is probably one of the most common categories and classifications. It simply refers to the fact that those with a D license are able to legally drive passenger cars, and it is a non commercial automobile license, or a standard driver’s license.

The D license is the same license that most people earn and qualify for as teenagers. Most US states use the term D license just to describe that the driver is able to use vehicles for basic, non commercial use or non-motorcycle use.

What is the difference between Class C and Class D license?
The main difference between a Class C license and a Class D license is that a Class C is required to drive a vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, and it is considered a commercial license. On the other hand, a Class D license is required to operate a passenger vehicle and is a standard license, that is a non commercial driver’s license.

What can a class D driver drive?

Each state has its own laws and regulations for the classification system of driver’s licenses. In some states, there may be only a few types of driver’s licenses, whereas in others, there may be up to nine different classifications.

That being said, generally speaking, the Class D driver’s license allows drivers to drive and operate basic, non commercial vehicles, and it is a standard automobile license. This permits drivers to use their own vehicles for day to day use. A class D driver cannot however operate a motorcycle, as a different license would need to be obtained.

Most states allow Class D drivers to drive non commercial vehicles as long as they are under a certain weight limit. For instance, in many states, the weight limit has to be under 26,000 pounds, whereas others only permit up to 10,000 lbs or 16,000 lbs.

This is because there are additional skills and tests needed for drivers to operate commercial vehicles such as coaches, buses and 18 wheelers, and the operators tend to be trained and highly skilled in their driving ability in order to obtain the suitable license to drive these commercial, larger vehicles.

Can you drive a motorcycle with a D license?

As mentioned above, the Class D driver’s license is just a regular or standard driver’s license. This means that you are only permitted to drive commercial vehicles below a certain weight limit. What this also means is that you are not legally allowed or permitted to ride a motorcycle with just a Class D driver’s license.

To drive or ride a motorcycle, you must obtain a separate motorcycle license or permit in order to drive one without any legal restrictions or repercussions. This is due to the fact that riding a motorcycle takes extra training, and you will need to undertake lessons, tests and have some guidance before you are allowed to legally ride a motorcycle on the road.


To summarize, a Class D driver’s license is one of the most common driver’s licenses as it is the typical, standard and basic license that most drivers obtain after passing their driver’s test as a teenager. It is the standard license that permits you to drive non commercial vehicles under a certain weight limit.

If you wish to drive other vehicles such as motorcycles or commercial vehicles like buses, then you may have to obtain separate licenses with different classifications.