| Commercial Driver License |
Frequently Asked Questions
|For more information, see Commerical Driver License Information.|
|See instead DL FAQs and Driver License Information for noncommerical driver license info.|
| 1) What type of CDL do I need? |
To determine if a CDL is required, the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicles must be determined.
- Class A CDL – 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 CDL – 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 CDL – 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-Hazmat endorsement to obtain a Class C.)
| 2) How do I apply for a CDL Instruction Permit? |
First, study the Commercial Driver License Manual (available online or at any CDL office). You must have a current physical examination. This examination may be performed by a licensed doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, advanced practice nurse or doctor of chiropractic.
Arizona requires you to submit a properly completed Medical Examiner Certificate at time of permit or license issuance (form #40-1504A available online, or a DOT Card can be obtained at any CDL office).
Once you have obtained the physical examination, you may begin your application online, then go to any CDL office for the written examinations (see #3 below). You must bring your Social Security card. If you need to print an application, see Commercial Driver License Application.
After successful completion of the written examinations, an instruction permit is issued for you to learn how to drive a commercial motor vehicle. This permit is valid for six months. When you return to apply for your license, you will be required to take a road test in the type of vehicle representative of the class of license for which you are applying.
Note: A Class C CDL must include a Passenger or Hazmat endorsement, although, only those applying for a Class C with a Passenger endorsement will be issued a permit. The Hazmat endorsement is not allowed on a permit. Class C permits can not be issued with a Hazmat endorsement.
| 3) What is required for an Arizona CDL instruction permit? |
- You must be at least 18 years of age to drive intrastate (valid only in Arizona) and 21 years of age to drive interstate. (Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from transporting placarded amounts of Hazardous Materials.)
- You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Individuals who are not U.S. citizens must show proof of authorized presence by presenting a Permanent Resident Card/Resident Alien Card, I-551.
- Proof of having held a driver license (that was not restricted to motorcycles only) for at least one year. (Proof may be a current driver license or a motor vehicle report issued by another state and not older than 30 days. No third party MVR's will be accepted.)
- An Arizona driver license (If coming from out of state, a 5-year limited Arizona driver license must be issued and the out-of-state license cancelled, at the time of application.)
- A properly completed Medical Examiner Certificate (form # 40-1504A available online, or a DOT Card can be obtained at any CDL office).
- Your Social Security card
| 4) What are the fees for an original CDL? |
- $25.00 for a Class A or B
- $12.50 for a Class C (must include a Passenger or Hazmat endorsement)
- $10.00 for each endorsement you require (Hazmat, Tanker, Doubles/Triples or Passenger). Please see the HazMat Background Check FAQs for additional fees.
- $7.00 for a motorcycle endorsement
| 5) What if I don’t have a vehicle for the road test? |
We do not provide vehicles. If you do not have access to a vehicle, you may wish to contact a Third Party Driver License Examiner authorized to give the road test using their vehicle.
Third Party Examiner - Trucks
Third Party Examiner - Buses
| 6) Do I have to take the HazMat test every three years? |
No. The three-year testing requirement is a federal regulation for employers transporting HazMat to test their drivers every three years.
The Arizona HazMat test is required only when: applying for an original CDL, adding the H endorsement to an existing CDL, renewing a CDL or when transferring an out of state CDL to Arizona and you wish to retain the H endorsement. (Please see the HazMat Background Check FAQs for additional information.)
| 7) What is needed to renew a CDL? |
You are required to apply for a renewal in person at any CDL Office. Begin your application online. If you need to print one, see Commercial Driver License Application. You will pay a renewal fee of $15.00 for a Class A or Class B, or $10.00 for a Class C. If you have an H endorsement and wish to keep it, the HazMat written test must be retaken. There is an additional fee of $10.00 for this test.
In addition to the written test, the Transportation Security Administration must notify us that you have successfully completed your Background Records Check (Threat Assessment). (Please see the HazMat Background Check FAQs for additional information.)
Unless a new endorsement is added at this time, no other test is required. A copy of a current Medical Examination Certificate or DOT Card must be submitted, and a vision-screening test is administered.
| 8) If my CDL is medically suspended and revoked for one year or more, how do I apply for reinstatement? |
Pay a reinstatement fee of $30.00 ($10 for the suspension and $20 for the revocation); $10.00 for a limited Class D operator license; the cost of an original CDL instruction permit (A & B - $25.00, C - $12.50) plus $10.00 for each endorsement.
Take all applicable CDL knowledge (written) tests.
A limited Class D operator license is issued and if the CDL written tests are passed, the appropriate class CDL instruction permit is issued.
Skills tests are required for certain endorsements, see #9. If tested by MVD, the fee is $25.00 for a Class A or B skill test and $12.50 for a Class C. Payment of this fee entitles you to three attempts to pass the CDL Skill Tests.
For reinstatement fees: Payment may be made by cash, cashier's check or money order. Some offices accept credit cards. Cash and credit card not accepted by mail. No personal checks accepted.
A new HazMat (HME) background check will be required if you are not reinstated within a year of a suspension or revocation.
| 9) When is a road test required? |
A road/skills test is required:
- To apply for a CDL for the first time
- To apply to upgrade an existing CDL, such as going from a Class C to a Class B, or a Class B to a Class A
- To apply for an endorsement that requires a separate road/skills test, such as in the case of a motorcycle, passenger vehicle and/or school bus.
- To remove an L (air brake) restriction from an existing CDL
- When there is cause to believe an applicant is non-compliant with medical standards and requirements
- Where the driving privilege has been suspended, canceled or revoked for one year or more.
However, a road/skills test may be required at anytime you apply for a license or endorsement.
| 10) What is the fee for road test? |
The fee for a road/skills test is:
- $25.00 for a Class A or B
- $12.50 for a Class C
- $5.00 for a Passenger/Bus endorsement (when adding to an existing CDL)
| 11) Where can I find a CDL office? |
Please see our Commercial Driver License Offices page.
| 12) How many tries do I have to pass the CDL tests? |
CDL Knowledge (written) Tests – Upon payment of all applicable fees, you have three attempts to pass the knowledge tests, within 12 months from the date of the application. For a multi-part test, if you fail a section, but pass another, you receive credit for the passed sections and do not have to repeat them. After three failed attempts to pass the remaining sections of the test, you must pay for a new application. If you also applied for endorsements, you have three attempts to pass each endorsement test.
The CDL instruction permit is valid for six months. It can be renewed one time providing it has been less than 12 months from the initial application date.
CDL Skills Tests – After obtaining a CDL instruction permit, you may take the skills tests, consisting of a Pre-Trip Inspection, Skills Test and Road Test. Upon payment of the skills test fees, you have three attempts to pass the skills tests. The skills test is a three-part test, if you fail a section, but pass another, you receive credit for the passed sections and do not have to repeat them. After three failed attempts to pass all sections of the test, you must pay a new Skills Test fee, which will give you an additional three attempts.
Note: You will be allowed to pay for additional Skills Tests attempts providing your CDL instruction permit remains valid. If the permit has expired, all knowledge tests must be taken again to obtain a new permit, before making another attempt at the Skills Tests.