Your Arizona CDL License – Why and How
A CDL license is a little more complicated than a normal driver’s license. CDL stands for “Commercial Driver License” and has a few very specific requirements beyond those for a general license to operate a motor vehicle. First, you should make sure you even need a CDL license.
In Arizona, there are three classes of CDL: A, B, and C. If the gross vehicle weight rating of the trailer is greater than 10,001 pounds and the combined weight of the truck and trailer you’re supposed to drive is greater than 26,001 pounds, you’ll need a class A. If the truck and trailer weighs over 26,001 pounds but the trailer is under 10,001 pounds, a class B is required. If the truck has a combined weight of under 26,001 pounds and is being used to transport hazardous materials or more than 15 passenger (including the driver), class C will be required but will only be awarded with a P-Passenger or H-Hazmat endorsement.
If you’re sure you need a CDL license, you’re going to need to take care of a few more odds and ends before applying.
You must be at least 18 to drive a CDL-required vehicle within Arizona state borders and at least 21 to travel between states. Drivers under 21 may not transport placarded quantities of materials which may be hazardous. You must be a US resident or have proof of permanent legal residency in the United States. You must have held a driver’s license for at least one year, and that license may not be motorcycle-only. You must have an Arizona driver’s license at the time of application. If you’re from out of state, you may obtain an Arizona license and destroy the out-of-state license.
Additionally, a physical examination by a licensed physician or doctor is required. In Arizona, a Medical Examiner Certificate must be submitted when you get your permit or license.
After getting your physical, you can go online and fill out an application for an Arizona CDL permit here: http://www.azdot.gov/mvd/application/index.asp. Upon completing your application, get to a physical CDL office with your Social Security Card to take the written test. When you pass, you’ll be awarded an Arizona CDL permit. Keep in mind that if you’re applying for a Class C CDL, you’ll need a passenger or hazmat endorsement, but only those with a passenger endorsement will be granted a permit. Hazmat-endorsed permits are not allowed.
An Arizona CDL permit is good for six months, a timeframe within which you must a form of Arizona CDL license training. After receiving your training, you may return to apply for for your Arizona CDL license and take a road test.
The Arizona CDL license cost varies between classes: if you’re applying for class A or B, the license fee is $25.00. For class C, the license fee is $12.50, but only with a proper passenger or hazmat endorsement. To obtain these or other endorsements, and additional $10.00 fee per endorsement will be levied, with the exception of a motorcycle endorsement, which carries a $7.00 fee.
Arizona State does not offer any sort of lending or renting program for CDL-required vehicles; you must have your own vehicle when taking the state test. If you do not have your own vehicle for the state test, you might look into a Third-Party Driver License Examiner that would be authorized by the state of Arizona to give the road test in a vehicle they own.
A road test is required when applying for your first CDL license, moving from a Class C to a Class B or Class B to Class A, removing an airbrake restriction from your CDL, or if your license has been canceled or revoked for a year or longer. The cost for a Class A or B road test is an additional $25.00 and for a Class C, an additional $12.50. There may be additional road test for specific Class C endorsements such as a passenger, bus, or motorcycle endorsement, and each endorsement’s road test is an additional $5.00.
If you are a Class C CDL driver, your employer will be required by US law to test you every three years on safety and regulation. This is not the same as the Arizona CDL hazmat test. You are required to retake the hazmat test for Arizona when applying for a new Class C with hazmat endorsement, adding a hazmat endorsement to an existing CDL license, transferring a CDL license with hazmat endorsement from another state, or renewing your hazmat-endorsed CDL license.
You must renew your Arizona CDL license every five years. You may renew online or at any CDL office. If you are renewing a Class A or B CDL, there is a renewal fee of $15.00. For Class C, the renewal is $10.00, and if you are renewing with a hazmat endorsement and wish to keep it, you’ll need to pay an additional $10.00 to take the hazmat written test.