Operators of certain commercial vehicles (large trucks, passenger buses and the like) must obtain a commercial driver’s license in addition to a standard license. Applicants for an Arizona CDL license should first study the applicable CDL manual to pass the written knowledge test. After passing a knowledge exam, test takers can get an Arizona CDL manual. They can then train for the skills (driving and operating) portion of the exam. Arizona drivers who pass both portions of the exam receive a CDL license from the Motor Vehicle Division of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Access the Arizona CDL manual at Mvd.azdot.gov/mvd/formsandpub/viewPDF.asp?lngProductKey=567&lngFormInfoKey=567. You may also pick up a physical copy of this “Arizona Commercial Driver License Manual” at local DMV offices that administer driving tests.
Study the CDL manual to prepare for and take the knowledge (written) portion of your CDL test. You may not have to study the entire manual. This depends on which endorsements you are seeking. For example, only certain test takers must pass the HAZMAT portion of the exam. If you know you will not be hauling hazardous materials, then you do not need to take this portion of the exam. Similarly, if you are not going to drive a passenger vehicle, you can skip that portion of the CDL exam. To be on the safe side, you could always just study the whole manual. This is especially true if you are not sure which Arizona truck driving job you expect to be performing.
In addition to the Arizona CDL manual, you can also obtain other CDL study resources online. For example, CristCDL has a number of free practice questions for your written driving test. You can also use a search engine to find a “CDL study guide” or use similar search phrases to find CDL test-prep materials and courses for the written exam.
Take the written knowledge test for your CDL at the local Arizona DMV (Motor Vehicle Division). You can then receive a CDL permit that, like a standard driver’s permit, will allow you to train on commercial vehicles on the open road.
Find a school or other resources in Arizona for obtaining CDL training. For example, the Professional Truck Driver Institute certifies Arizona truck driver training courses. Look up a school from the list at Ptdi.org/schools/schoolslist.aspx#arizona. You may need to go to Phoenix to train as an Arizona driver. Note that completion of a truck driving school is not an actual requirement for a CDL license in Arizona. For example, if you have a relative or friend who works as a commercial driver, you can get one-on-one training from that person if you feel that you will get adequate training.
Some Arizona CDL license holders will work as school bus drivers, passenger bus drivers or similar jobs that require a commercial license. In that case, contact school districts in your area for training opportunities for bus drivers or private companies for in-house training programs. Companies like Greyhound actually provide free training for qualified applicants.
Complete your CDL training. You will need to take a skills test, so make sure you are comfortable operating a commercial vehicle by the time you complete your training. You will also have to know how to conduct safety inspections. Refer to the Arizona CDL manual for additional details. However, you should do this in real life to ensure you are comfortable applying your knowledge to a real-life CDL skills and driving test.
Complete your CDL skills test at your local Arizona DMV. In the case of a CDL license, you need to supply your own vehicle. For obvious reasons, you would not generally have your own commercial truck or other vehicle. Training schools or other testing facilities can generally provide a vehicle for you. Consult with your training program or a local CDL rental agency to discuss options for using a vehicle for your Arizona driver test.
If you pass the skills test and necessary medical and vision exams, you will receive an Arizona CDL license from the local DMV. Talk to the local office about necessary medical exams and background checks for a CDL license. In addition to Arizona, requirements, the federal government has special requirements for interstate drivers. Ask your local DMV or training school for all of these requirements.
Arizona CDL Manual
Professional Truck Driver Institute Arizona Certified CDL Training Programs