A semi-truck on a highway using an Arizona CDL
February 7th, 2022 | Blog

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is necessary to start a career as a truck driver. This replaces your standard Arizona driver’s license and allows you to drive large commercial vehicles. To earn your CDL, you will need to meet certain requirements, some of which are federal while others are specific for Arizona.

Here is what you need to know about Arizona CDL requirements:

Which Vehicles Require a CDL

Federal agencies regulate the trucking industry, namely the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA), which is one of its subagencies. These organizations determine when which vehicles require a CDL to operate and these rules apply in Arizona and across the country.

There are different types of commercial licenses that allow you to drive different vehicles. Our schools can help you earn a class A or class B license. We recommend a class A CDL in most cases, as this allows you to drive both class A and class B vehicles.

With a class A CDL, you can drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or 26,001 pounds or more with a towing capacity of over 10,000 pounds. With a class B license, you can drive a vehicle with a GCWR or GVWR of 26,0001 pounds or more with a towing capacity of less than 10,000 pounds.

Earning a CDL

Federal Commercial License Requirements

To drive a commercial vehicle across state lines, you must be at least 21 years old. If you are at least 18 years old, you can earn a CDL with an intrastate restriction, meaning you can only operate a CMV within state lines.

Before earning your license, you will need to pass a background check. Various offenses can permanently or temporarily disqualify you from holding a CDL. The FMCSA lists these on its website.

There are also national standards for the process of obtaining a CDL, which Arizona follows. You will need to first earn your commercial learner’s permit (CLP) by passing a written exam. This is multiple choice and covers information about safe CMV operation. After this, you must pass a skills test using a vehicle of the class that you intend to operate (e.g. a semi-truck for a class A CDL).

Arizona Commercial License Requirements

All CDL holders in the State of Arizona need to have a certificate from a DOT physical on file with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). You will need to complete a physical examination every 24 months at a minimum to keep your CDL. If you have any medical conditions, your doctor may require more frequent physicals.

In order to get your Arizona CDL, you also need proof of residency. The Arizona MVD lists acceptable documents here. You will also need to establish that you are a United States citizen or legal permanent resident through the documents listed in the CDL manual.

Earn Your License and Start Your Career

At Yuma Truck Driving School, we can help you earn your commercial license in as little as four weeks. We offer job placement assistance to help you get your career started as quickly as possible.

Contact us today to learn more about earning your Arizona CDL.