Commercial Driver License Information
See instead Driver License Information for noncommercial driver license info.
The Commercial Driver License (CDL) originated from the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. It is a nationwide effort to ensure that only qualified drivers receive and maintain a CDL, and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from our highways.
We serve Arizona residents by issuing CDLs and conducting knowledge and road/skills tests at any CDL office. In addition, we work closely with the Medical Review Program which examines and monitors the physical qualifications of commercial drivers.
For more information, also see our CDL FAQs.
Tips for Faster Service
- Begin your application online
- Avoid the first and last two days of the month, and the day after a holiday or other office closure.
- Payment may be made by cash, check, traveler’s check or money order (payable to Motor Vehicle Division) for most fees; Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most offices. Returned check and reinstatement fees may not be paid by check.
Begin your application online. If you need to print one, see Commercial Driver License Application.
Proof of Identification, Age and Authorized Presence
Arizona law and FMCSA regulation 49 CFR 383.71 require that you submit proof that your presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. See CDL Documentation Requirements or a listing of acceptable proof.
You need at least two documents listed – one must have a clear photo of you
Or three documents listed with no photo
One must be listed under the Primary
All must be originals or copies, in English, certified by the issuing agency
Additional documents needed for a name change (e.g., marriage certificate, divorce decree). You must first change your name with the Social Security Administration.
CDL documentation requirements may change without notice.
Social Security Number Verification
You are required by ARS 28-3158 (D)(5), 28-3165 (F) and 42 USC 405 (c)(2)(C) to provide your Social Security Number. It will be used to verify your identity and to comply with federal and state child support enforcement laws. It will not be used as your license number. Must show a valid Social Security card at time of application.
State of Domicile
To qualify for an Arizona CDL, your state of domicile must be Arizona. The state of domicile is defined as the state of your true, fixed and permanent home, and principal residence; where you intend to return after being away.
You have 30 days to change your CDL when you change your state of domicile to Arizona. Federal and state law require that you surrender all previous license credentials.
Classes of Licenses
CDL is divided into three classes:
|Class A –
||Required to operate a combination vehicle (truck and trailer) if the GVWR of the trailer is 10,001 pounds or more, and when added to the GVWR of the power unit (truck), the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is 26,001 or more pounds.
|Class B –
||Required to operate any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. A trailer may be towed if the GVWR of the trailer is 10,000 pounds or less.
|Class C –
Required to operate any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less, if the vehicle is required to be placarded to transport hazardous materials or transports 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
Must also have a P-passenger or H- hazardous materials endorsement, (HME) to obtain a Class C.
See Section 1 of the CDL Manual for more information on deciding what class of CDL you may need.
CDL Instruction Permit
If you are a first time CDL applicant, you must obtain a CDL instruction permit to operate a vehicle requiring a CDL on the highway. The CDL instruction permit is valid for six months. The minimum age for a CDL is 21. If you are at least 18, you may apply for an intrastate CDL that is valid only in Arizona. Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from transporting hazardous materials.
- You must have the following documents before you pay any fees or take any tests:
- You must prove one year driving experience in a vehicle other than a motorcycle. For drivers with an Arizona license, this information is already available on our database. For out of state applicants, your out of state license must have been issued more than one year ago or you must provide a motor vehicle record (MVR) issued by another state that is less that 30 days old, that shows proof of at least a one year driving history. No third party MVRs will be accepted.
- You will be required to successfully complete all applicable knowledge testing. For CDL offices outside of the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas, an appointment is required to take the knowledge tests.
- You must pay for the class of license prior to taking the test. The fees are:
- Class A or B permit, no endorsements – $25.00
- Class C permit – $12.50 (must have a passenger endorsement; hazardous materials, HME, not allowed on Class C permits)
- Doubles/Triple Trailers endorsement – $10.00
- Tank endorsement – $10.00
- HME – $10.00
- Motorcycle endorsement – $ 7.00
- School Bus* endorsement – No fee
- Passenger* endorsement – $10.00
* In order to add a passenger and/or school bus endorsement, you must obtain a CDL instruction permit with the passenger and/or school bus endorsement for the class of bus you intend to drive.
Then, you must take CDL pre-trip, basic controls and road/skills tests in the appropriate class of bus/school bus.
Applying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement
To apply for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) you must first:
- Submit a completed CDL application at a CDL office
- Pass all required knowledge tests (A new knowledge test is required for all Original or Renewal applicants)
- Apply to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with all of the information requested on the Driver’s License Hazardous Materials Endorsement Application to be submitted either:
- Online through the TSA at www.hazprints.com or
- By phone (toll-free) through the TSA HazMat Call Center at 877-429-7746
TSA will not accept handwritten HME applications.
- After completing the road/skills tests, you may choose to receive a CDL without the HME for use until TSA approval is received.
Note: All first time HME applicants must complete the TSA Background Check (BRC) before the HME is issued on the credential. (The HME is not allowed on a CDL permit.)
- After receiving a TSA BRC approval letter, you will return to a CDL office for issuance of the HME.
- The BRC is valid for five years from the date of completion. We will notify you 60 days before the expiration of the BRC, not the expiration of your license. In some instances the dates of expiration of the license and the BRC will not match.
Arizona requires all CDL drivers, including those in the military, to maintain a current Medical Examiner Certificate (form #40-1504A available online, or a DOT Card obtained at any CDL office) completed as required by 49 CFR 391.43. These physical forms are good for not more than two years.
Failure to maintain a current certificate on file with MVD, will result in the suspension and revocation of your CDL.
To check on your Arizona medical certification, see CDL Medical Status Verification.
Your vision may be checked for compliance with CDL standards. If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses for distance vision, be sure to wear them.
You must have uncorrected vision of 20/40 or better in each eye in order to obtain an unrestricted license. If you cannot meet this requirement without corrective lenses, you will be given a license with an A restriction. An A restriction means you must always wear your glasses or contact lenses when driving.
A test of visual field may also be given to check how far you can see to the side while keeping your eyes straight ahead.
Drivers who visit an MVD office for vehicle title and registration services may be required to update this vision exam.
You must correctly answer at least 80% of the questions on each knowledge test in order to achieve a passing score. Applicants must wait at least until the next business day to retake any tests. Appointments for retesting may be made by contacting a CDL office where required.
Note: Once you have answered 80% of the test questions correctly, or once you have missed the maximum amount allowed, the test will automatically stop.
The following are not allowed in the testing area:
- Cell phones
- Electronic dictionaries
- Any person other than the applicant (Children are not allowed in the test room area and must wait in the lobby, supervised by an adult who is accompanying you.)
Note: Backpacks, bags, purses, books, paper, pens, pencils, etc., may be brought into the testing area, but you will be instructed to store them in a designated area away from the testing computer.
Before taking the driving portion of the test please practice and review chapters 11, 12 and 13 of the CDL Manual.
You will be required to complete a road/skills test in the class of vehicle you intend to drive. If testing for the passenger or school bus endorsement, you must test in the size of bus or school bus you intended to drive.
You may take the test at an MVD CDL office or at an authorized third party office.*
* There are many public and private organizations in Arizona that have MVD certified testers who are authorized to administer the road/skill test to CDL applicants.
These third parties include school districts, government agencies, businesses and truck driving schools. Visit our Driver Services page for lists of organizations.
If you wish to go an MVD CDL office, call to schedule the required road/skills tests. You must provide your own vehicle. The fees are:
- Class A or B vehicle – $25.00
- Class C vehicle – $12.50
- Passenger or School Bus endorsement – $5.00 (when adding to an existing CDL)
Renew Your CDL
Arizona issues a 5-year CDL. Drivers are responsible for renewing their CDL before the expiration date.
Bring the following documents to any CDL office:
- Your Arizona CDL
- Properly completed Medical Examiner Certificate (form #40-1504A available online), or a DOT Card (available at any CDL Office)
Fees for renewing a CDL are as follows:
- Class A or B – $15.00
- C CDL – $10.00
- HME – $10.00 (knowledge test required)
Renew Your HME/BRC
For most CDL holders, the CDL expiration date is separate from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Background Records Check (BRC) expiration date. Therefore, you will be required to follow two separate procedures, one to renew the CDL credential with the Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) and another to renew the BRC. To do so, you must:
- Apply to renew CDL with HME at a CDL office (you will be required to take the HME knowledge test at this time)
- Pass the HME knowledge tests (you are given three attempts to pass this test. You can use no more than one attempt per day).
- Apply to the TSA at least 60 days prior to the expiration of your current BRC on file with us. Provide all of the information requested on the Driver’s License Hazardous Materials Endorsement Application to be submitted either:
- Online through the TSA at www.hazprints.com or
- By phone (toll-free) through the TSA HazMat Call Center at 877-429-7746
TSA will not accept handwritten HME applications.
- Upon TSA approval notification, we will validate the HME, and no return visit is required
- Return to MVD only if the TSA approval letter is not received within 90 days
- The BRC is valid for five years from the date of completion
Match Expiration Dates: If you would like to arrange it so that the HME and BRC expire on the same date, follow these steps:
- Complete a BRC at least 60 days before your CDL expires
- Apply to renew your CDL with HME at a CDL office (you will be required to take the HME knowledge test at this time).
- Once you receive your TSA approval, return to MVD and obtain the renewed CDL credential.
Note: If you complete your TSA and HME knowledge test at least 60 days prior to the CDL expiration date, it will make it easier for you to renew in the future by matching up both (HME and BRC) expiration dates. If you do not wish to do this, you can continue to follow the first instructions above and renew each separately.
Remember, in order to issue a renewed CDL with the HME, you must have a current TSA approval on file at time of issuance.
You should receive an HME/BRC renewal notice 60 days prior to the expiration date of the HME/BRC. However, if you do not receive a notice, you are still responsible for renewing prior to the expiration date. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your driving privileges.
Transferring a CDL from Another State
You have 30 days to change your CDL if you have changed your state of domicile to Arizona. Federal and state law require that you surrender all previous license credentials.
You must visit CDL office (some offices require an appointment). You must have the following documents before you pay any fees:
- Properly completed Medical Examiner Certificate (form # 40-1504A available online, or a DOT Card can be obtained at any CDL office).
- Social Security Card
- Valid CDL credential
- Arizona law and FMCSA regulation 49 CFR 383.71 require that you submit proof that your presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. See CDL Documentation Requirements for a listing of acceptable proof.
Fee for transferring a CDL are:
- Class A or B license, no endorsements – $25.00
- Class C license – $12.50 (must have a passenger or HME)
- Doubles/Triple trailers endorsement – $10.00
- Tank endorsement – $10.00
- HME – $10.00
- Motorcycle endorsement - $ 7.00
- School Bus endorsement – No fee
- Passenger endorsement – $10.00
Drivers with the HME (H or X) must have a current and approved TSA BRC at time of application. If you do not have one, follow the instructions under Applying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) section above.
Bus/School Bus Drivers
New applicants must take the CDL test in a bus or a school bus to obtain a passenger and/or school bus endorsement. School bus drivers must have both the P and S endorsements to operate a school bus.
Existing CDL holders who wish to add a passenger and/or school bus endorsement to a current CDL, you must obtain a CDL instruction permit with the passenger and/or school bus endorsement for the class of bus you intend to drive (fees for the class of bus will apply).
Once you are ready, you must then take a CDL pre-trip, basic controls and road/skills tests in the appropriate class of bus/school bus. ($5.00 skills testing fee will be due at that time.
Note: If you test in a passenger vehicle/school bus with a GVWR under 26,001, you will receive a restriction on your license. This restriction prohibits you from operating a passenger vehicle/school bus with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds and over.
You are required by law to notify us of a name or address change within 10 days.
We are required to verify your Social Security Number before your record can be updated. Therefore, you must first contact the Social Security Administration online or at 800-772-1213 for information on how to change your name on their records.
After you have changed your name with SSA, wait two days for their computer system to be updated. You should then visit a CDL office to present identification in both your new and previous names. You must present an original or certified copy of one of the following:
- Marriage or Domestic Partnership Certificate/License
- Citizenship/Naturalization Document
- Divorce Decree
- Adoption Decree
- A Court Order
You are required by law to notify us within 10 days of any change to your address.
If your current address is not on file, you may not receive renewal notices or other correspondence concerning your driver license or vehicle records. You may be cited by law enforcement if you do not change your address within the 10 days.
You can change your address online. You will be asked to provide your name, date of birth, and driver license or identification card number. Address changes are free. There is a $12.00 charge if you request a replacement driver license or ID card.
When you change your address on our records, it will automatically change the address on your driver license record and on each vehicle record where you are designated to receive the registration.
Your driver license or permit may be canceled for any of the following reasons:
- Failing to give correct information on the application
- Applying while your license/driving privilege is disqualified, suspended, revoked or canceled in Arizona or another state
- Falsely stating your age as 21 or over
- Not meeting the medical requirements
- Failing, refusing, or neglecting to pay fees, taxes or assessments to MVD
- Other reasons as determined by MVD
You may obtain a duplicate license for $12.00, if:
- Your Arizona driver license or identification card is lost, stolen or becomes unreadable (If your license has been lost or stolen and you have reason to believe someone else is using it, the incident should be reported to your local police department as a possible identity theft.)
- Your address or name changes
- You wish to update your photo
- You wish to remove your Social Security Number from your license
- You wish to convert an under 21 license to a regular driver license
You must provide two acceptable items of identification. If your name has changed, you will need to follow the procedures under Name Change section above
In most cases, a duplicate license may be obtained online or by phone using a major credit card.
- Motor Vehicle Record, 39-Month – $3.00
- Motor Vehicle Record, Certified 5-Year or 10-Year – $5.00
- Abandoned Vehicle Fee – $500.00
- Abandoned Vehicle Fee (on federal land) – $600
- Returned Check Fee – $25.00
If your license is revoked, disqualified, suspended or canceled, you may be required to pay another application fee, in addition to a reinstatement fee.
Payment may be made by cash, check, traveler’s check or money order (payable to Motor Vehicle Division) for most fees; credit cards may be used at some offices. Returned check and reinstatement fees may not be paid by check.
Federal Information Online
For more information on federal CDL requirements visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov.
National Driver Register and CDLIS
Arizona is a member of the National Driver Register, a nationwide computer system providing information about problem drivers. When you apply for an Arizona driver license, the information from your application is checked against this system. If you have outstanding or unresolved actions in any other state, or you provide false information on your application, the application process will stop, or if issued, your Arizona driver license will be canceled. There are no refunds of application fees once a credential has been issued.
The Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) is a nationwide computer system providing information about holders of a CDL. When you apply for a new CDL or transfer a CDL from out of state, your application is checked against this system. Just like the National Driver Register, if you have outstanding or unresolved actions in any other state or you provide false information on your application, your Arizona CDL will be canceled.
Selective Service Registration
Federal law requires that every male United States citizen and male alien residing in the United States and its territories must register with the U.S. Selective Service System within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Arizona law requires that by submitting an application for an original, renewal or reinstatement driver license or ID card, male applicants under 26 years of age will be registered with the Selective Service as part of the application process.
When submitting an application for a duplicate driver license or identification card, male applicants under 26 years of age have the option to consent to registration as part of the application process. Registering with Selective Service does not mean that you are joining the military. Registration provides the federal government with an accurate list of males who might be called to military service if a return to the draft is authorized by Congress and the President.
For more information call Selective Service toll-free at 888-655-1825 or visit www.sss.gov.
Military Personnel Information
If you are a CDL holder on active duty serving in the United States Armed Forces, including a member of a National Guard or Reserve Unit, you may be granted an exemption from the five year license renewal requirement.
To request this exemption, you (or designee) must provide us with a legible copy of the military orders, which show effective date and the length of service member’s deployment.
The request may be mailed, faxed or e-mailed. An exemption request cannot be accepted at an MVD or authorized Third Party office.
MAIL DROP 813Z
CDL MILITARY EXEMPTION
MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION
PO BOX 2100
PHOENIX AZ 85001-2100
CDL holders granted an exemption, will be allowed to renew their credential up to 60 days after the end of their deployment date. To inquire on the status of their request, customers or their designee may contact the Goodyear CDL office by e mail or by phone at 602-771-2955.
You may submit a voter registration at the same time you apply for a driver license by completing the voter registration area on the application. You may also register to vote online. Your voter registration must be received by the county recorder at least 29 days before the election, for you to be eligible to vote.
There is no fee to register to vote. You are not required to register to vote in order to obtain a license. To register you must be all of the following:
- 18 years of age on or before the next General Election
- U.S. citizen
- Arizona resident
- Additionally, if you have been convicted of a felony, your civil rights must have been restored.
Organ Donor Program – Offers Life to Thousands
Many Arizonans will never know the people who gave them a new chance at life, but these people said "yes" to becoming organ and tissue donors when they received their driver license. The driver license application includes a box to check if you would like to be added to the registry.
For many years, there was no central registry to check a person's wish to donate vital organs. The Arizona Donor Registry now provides a centralized place to document all Arizonans who are committed to saving and improving lives through donation.
For more information, visit www.azdonorregistry.org or call 800-94 DONOR.