Arizona CDL Requirements
Arizona CDL Classes
You must obtain an Arizona CDL in order to operate any commercial vehicle that falls into one or more of the following classifications:
Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the towed vehicle is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as any vehicle towing another vehicle that does not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds.
Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that does not meet the criteria of either Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or is used in transporting materials classified as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Each applicant must also have a passenger or hazardous materials endorsement in order to obtain a Class C commercial driver’s license.
Commercial Driver’s License and Commercial Learner’s Permit
In order to qualify for an Arizona CDL or an Arizona CLP, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age for intrastate driving (within the state of Arizona only).
- Be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving (outside the state of Arizona).
- Be a fixed and permanent resident of Arizona.
- Pass a medical examination.
- Provide a completed and signed Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Medical Examination Report.
- Provide a Social Security card.
- Provide a current CDL credential or motor vehicle record.
- Fulfill the necessary CDL Documentation Requirements.
- Provide documented proof of your Arizona residency that shows your name and address (i.e., a utility bill, vehicle registration, rental agreement)
- Provide documented proof of at least 1 year of driving experience.
- Have had at least 1 year of driving experience in a vehicle other than a motorcycle.
- Pass the CDL general knowledge test.
- Pass any tests required for the class and type of CMV you plan to operate.
- Pass the knowledge tests required for any CDL endorsements you wish to obtain.
- Schedule an appointment to take the CDL Road/Skills Test.
- Successfully complete the Road/Skills Test.
- Pay the $10 fee for each CDL endorsement knowledge test (there is no fee for a School Bus endorsement test).
- Pay the $25 fee for a Class A or Class B commercial learner’s permit.
- Pay the $12.50 fee for a Class C commercial learner’s permit.
- Pay the $25 fee for the Road/Skills Tests for a Class A or Class B CDL.
- Pay the $12.50 fee for the Road/Skills Test for a Class C CDL.
- Pay the $25 fee for the Class A or B commercial driver’s license.
- Pay the $12.50 fee for the Class C commercial driver’s license.
- Have your photo taken for the commercial driver’s license.
All Class C applicants must obtain a “P” (passenger) or “HME” (HAZMAT Endorsement) CDL endorsement on their commercial driver’s license. These two fees must be added onto the Class C commercial driver’s license fee.
The CDL Knowledge Tests
The CDL written knowledge tests are administered at the Arizona MVD CDL Offices. Some CDL Offices require applicants to schedule an appointment to take the written knowledge tests. All commercial driver’s license applicants must pass the general knowledge test in order to be eligible to receive a CDL. Applicants must also take the knowledge tests whenever they add a class of vehicle to their CDL, add special endorsements to their CDL, or to remove an air brakes restriction that has been placed on their CDL.
The CDL general knowledge test consists of 50 questions in multiple choice form. In order to receive a passing score, each applicant is required to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly in the time allotted for that test. All knowledge tests require a score of at least 80% to pass.
Any applicant that exceeds the time limit or incorrectly answers too many questions on the general knowledge test will fail the test. Any applicant that uses any kind of test aid during the test will automatically fail the test. Anyone caught talking to another person during the test will automatically fail the test. Use of cell phones and camera devices is prohibited in the testing area. Applicants are only given one attempt per day to pass a knowledge test.
All applicants should arrive at the CDL Office at least one hour prior to closing when taking the knowledge tests. Most CDL Offices are busier during the afternoon hours so, applicants should keep this in mind when planning their CDL Office visit.
Once you successfully pass the required knowledge tests, the Arizona Department of Transportation will issue you a commercial learner’s permit so that you can practice operating a commercial motor vehicle. The commercial learner’s permit will be valid for six months from the date of issuance.
You may only operate a CMV under the supervision of a front seat passenger who is at least 18 years old and carries a valid Arizona CDL of the same class as the class of vehicle you are operating. You may not operate any vehicle that is transporting materials deemed hazardous.
Over 60% of first time CDL applicants fail the written test! Be sure to download and study the Arizona Commercial Driver License Manual, as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL knowledge tests, including some sample test questions. Any applicant who is planning on taking the HAZMAT endorsement knowledge test should study the Arizona CDL Manual – HAZMAT Section 9.
Our Free CDL Practice Tests will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.
Click here to find an Arizona CDL Office near you that administers the CDL written knowledge tests.
The CDL Skills Test
Once you have held your commercial learner’s permit for at least 14 days, you will be allowed to take the CDL Road/Skills Test. The Road/Skills Test fee is $25 (the fee is $12.50 for the Class C Road/Skills Test). The Road/Skills Test is given by appointment only and is administered by the Arizona CDL Offices and state certified CDL Third Party Testers. Walk-ins are not permitted.
To schedule a test appointment, contact your nearest Arizona CDL Office or state certified CDL Third Party Tester. If you take the Road/Skills Test at a CDL Office, you must provide your own test vehicle. The CDL Office will not provide a vehicle for you to test in. Some CDL Third Party Testers may provide a vehicle for you to test in for a small fee.
The Road/Skills Test is a three part test that consists of a Pre-trip Inspection, a Basic Vehicle Controls Test, and an On-Road Driving Test. You will be required to take the test in the same class and type of motor vehicle that you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.
If you take the Road/Skills Test in a commercial motor vehicle that is not equipped with air brakes, then you will have an air brakes restriction attached to your commercial driver’s license. If you fail any one part of the Road/Skills Test, you will be required to retake the entire test again. Only one Road/Skills Test can be taken per day. If your test vehicle is not legally equipped and safe to drive, you will not be able to proceed with the Skills Test.
- Pre-trip Inspection: Before you can take the CDL driving tests, you will first be tested on your knowledge of the class of vehicle you plan on driving once you obtain your CDL. The Pre-trip inspection also determines if your commercial vehicle is safe enough to drive on public roads. If you fail the Pre-trip Inspection, you may not be allowed to take the Road Skills Test.
- Basic Controls Test: Before you can take the Road Skills Test, you will first need to prove that you have the skills to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads. This test consists of various off-road maneuvers such as backing up your vehicle, moving your vehicle forward, and making turns within a defined area.
- Road Skills Test: Once you pass the first two tests, you will be required to drive your commercial vehicle on public roads in various traffic situations. You will be required to operate the same class of commercial vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.
The Basic Controls Test will most likely include the following maneuvers:
- 90 degree alley docking
- Straight line backing
- Parallel parking (driver side)
- Parallel parking (conventional)
- Offset back to the right
- Offset back to the left
The Road Skills Test will be administered on a route predetermined by the examiner. The test route will most likely include the following:
- Observing traffic signs
- Observing traffic signals
- Observing other traffic
- Using vehicle controls
- Maintaining proper lane positions
- Downgrade stopping
- Upgrade stopping
- Railroad crossings
- Bridge clearance
- Underpass clearance
- General observance of traffic laws
- General safe driving practices for trucks or buses
On the day of your CDL Skills Test appointment you must:
- Arrive on time.
- Bring your validated commercial learner’s permit.
- Bring your valid D.O.T. medical card (cannot be more than 2 years old).
- Bring a passenger (age 21 or older) that is qualified to drive a CMV with the same class of CDL or greater than the test vehicle.
- Bring a test vehicle that is the same class of license that you are testing for that is safe to drive.
Failure to do any of the above may result in an immediate cancellation of your CDL Road/Skills Test appointment! The Arizona Department of Transportation MVD advises applicants to schedule their Road/Skills Test appointment a few weeks in advance and to arrive early for their test appointment. If you decide to cancel your Road/Skills Test appointment, you must cancel the appointment no later than 24 hours in advance.
The Arizona Department of Transportation MVD has the right to cancel any CDL Road/Skills Test appointment due to bad weather, under sourced staffing, or any other unforseen circumstances. Be sure to call the CDL Office or CDL Third Party Tester on the day of your Road/Skills Test to see if your appointment has been cancelled.
Be sure to download and study the Arizona Commercial Driver License Manual , as it contains pertinent information that will help you pass the CDL Skills Test.
Commercial Driver Self-Certification
In the state of Arizona, all commercial driver’s license holders must verify whether they meet or exceed the medical and physical standards put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to legally and safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. All CDL applicants must verify once they obtain their commercial driver’s license.
You are required to verify whenever you:
- Apply for a commercial driver’s license.
- Renew a commercial driver’s license.
- Apply for a higher class of commercial driver’s license.
- Apply for a new CDL endorsement.
- Transfer a commercial driver’s license from another state.
All commercial drivers who intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for the following purposes only, do not require a commercial driver’s license and are considered “exempt” and therefore are waived from medical verification:
- Fire and emergency vehicles used to preserve life and property or to carry out governmental operations.
- Vehicles operated by non-civilian operators of military equipment.
- Recreational vehicles that are being used for personal recreational use only.
- Any farm vehicle used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies within 150 air-miles of the owner’s farm and not used in the operation of a common or contract motor carrier.
If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you are considered “non-exempt” and are required to hold a valid CDL. You may also need to provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
If you operate a commercial motor vehicle in either intrastate or interstate commerce solely for the following purposes, then you are under “excepted” status, and therefore do not need to provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, but may need to undergo a medical evaluation:
- Transporting school children and/or school staff members between home and school.
- Operating any vehicle as an employee of either Federal, State, or Local government.
- Operating fire and rescue vehicles for emergency purposes and other related events.
- Transporting sick, injured, or deceased persons.
- Primarily transporting propane heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring an immediate response.
- When responding to a pipeline emergency requiring an immediate response such as a pipeline leak or rupture.
- When custom harvesting on a farm or to haul farm machinery and supplies to and from a farm or when transporting crops between a farm and a market or storage facility.
- When operating a farm vehicle that is not a combo vehicle (power unit and towed unit), and is used to haul agricultural products, farm supplies (cannot be materials deemed hazardous), or farm machinery to and from a farm and within 150 air miles of the farm.
- Transporting bees as an apiarist during beekeeping season.
- When transporting migrant workers.
- As a private motor carrier of passengers for non-business activities.
If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you operate in either “non-excepted” intrastate commerce, “non-excepted” interstate commerce, or both. “Non excepted” interstate drivers and “non-excepted” intrastate drivers must provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate along with a completed and signed copy of the Medical Examination Report . The Medical Examiner’s Certificate cannot expire within 60 days from the date of submission.
If you are renewing your Medical Examiner’s Certificate, then you must submit your documents before they expire. “Excepted” drivers do not need to submit any medical documents or waivers but, may have to undergo a medical evaluation. Commercial drivers can review their medical verification status online by using the CDL Medical Verification Status Portal. You can submit your documents by mail, fax, email, or in person no matter what your medical verification status is.
If you have any questions regarding medical verification, you can speak to a customer service representative at the ADOT Medical Review Program by calling (602) 771-2460 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you call. You can also email the Medical Review Program at MedicalReview@azdot.gov.
For more information about the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, please continue reading below.
Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License
- Licensed U.S. doctor of medicine (M.D.)
- Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)
- Licensed physician assistant (P.A.)
- Advanced practice registered nurse
The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be attached to the Medical Examination Report and dated within the previous two years if you are renewing your commercial driver’s license. If you are a first time CDL applicant submitting your Medical Examiner’s Certificate, then the certificate must not expire within 60 days from the date of submission.
The Arizona Department of Transportation MVD will only accept your medical forms if they have been completed by a qualified physician who has been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can search for a FMCSA certified physician by using the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
The FMSCA requires you to have at least 20/40 vision in each eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees (70 degrees in each eye) in order to be certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under certain conditions, you may be able to be waived from these and other medical requirements. You must have a completed and signed Intrastate Waiver Application and Medical Waiver Evaluation Summary before you can qualify.
- Fax your completed and signed documents to (623) 925-9323.
- Email your completed and signed documents in the pdf format (files cannot exceed 5 MB).
- Submit in person or mail your completed and signed documents to:
Medical Review Program
PO Box 2100
Phoenix, AZ 85001-2100
Please include your name, address, and contact number on all mailings and faxes. Make sure your information is legible and be sure to double check and, if needed, correct any errors before submitting your documents. All CDL applicants are advised to keep copies of these documents for their own records. Failure to comply with state and federal self-certification regulations will result in a suspension, downgrade, or cancellation of your commercial driving privileges.
If you have any questions about submitting your medical documents, you can speak to a customer service representative at the ADOT Medical Review Program by calling (602) 771-2460 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you call. You can also email the Medical Review Program at MedicalReview@azdot.gov.
Any person that is applying for a Hazardous Materials CDL endorsement is required to undergo a federal background check and federal fingerprint check according to guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration. All applicants must also provide the required documents to verify their identification and legal U.S. status. For more information, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s F.A.Q. page.
You can apply for the security threat assessment on the TSA Hazardous Material Endorsement Enrollment Website. You must begin applying at least 30 days before the expiration of your CDL. You can start the application process on the HTAP Online Application Website. To apply by phone call (855) 347-8371. Use the TSA Enrollment Center Locator to find the nearest TSA approved fingerprint office.
In the state of Arizona, if you are currently serving in the military or have been honorably discharged within the last 90 days, and you have driven military vehicles that would require a CDL to operate as a civilian with a 2 year safe driving record, then you may qualify for the waiver of the CDL Skills Test and may be exempt from taking the commercial driver skills test. You will still be required to take the written tests. Certain restrictions apply. Download, print, and complete the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver to start the process.
Arizona CDL Endorsements
H Placarded Hazmat Required to transport hazardous materials under DOT regulations.
N Tank Vehicles Required to transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.
X Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination Required to transport hazardous materials in tank vehicles
T Double/Triple Trailers Indicates CDL holder is certified to operate multiple trailer haulers.
P Passengers Indicates the CDL holder is certified to operate passenger vehicles.
S School Bus Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus.
Important Arizona Commercial Driver’s License Resources
Arizona Commercial Driver License Manual
Arizona CDL Manual – HAZMAT Section 9
Arizona CDL Practice Tests
Arizona Driver License/Identification Card Application
CDL Documentation Requirements
Arizona CDL Third Party Testers
Arizona CDL Third Party Testers for Trucks
Arizona CDL Third Party Testers for Buses
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Intrastate Waiver Application
Medical Waiver Evaluation Summary
Vision Examination Report
CDL Medical Verification Status Portal
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
Medical Examiner’s Certificate
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
Check out our list of truck driving schools in Arizona that will provide you with the necessary skills to obtain your commercial driver’s license and start your career in the exciting field of commercial truck driving! You may also want to check out our nationwide list of truck driving schools.
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Map of Arizona CDL Testing Locations
Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information.
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