Arkansas drivers seeking to drive commercial vehicles must first obtain a CDL license. The Arkansas State Police runs testing centers throughout the state. Testers should first obtain an Arkansas CDL manual from a testing center or access an online copy. They can then use the manual to study for and pass the written exam. Testers passing the written test should then find resources for live CDL training in Arkansas. After completing training, drivers can select a skills testing center for the driving (skills) portion of the license exam. Those who pass the skills portion can then obtain an Arkansas CDL license from the State Police.
Access the directory of Arkansas highway patrol (Arkansas State Police) troop testing centers. Each county has a troop driver’s license testing center. You can visit the directory at Asp.state.ar.us/divisions/hp/hp_drivers.html. The directory gives locations and phone numbers for each driver’s license and CDL test center.
Look to the bottom of the page for the Arkansas CDL manual link. There is also a separate link for bus drivers if you intend to get a CDL license for work as a school bus driver. Arkansas uses the “Model Commercial Driver License Manual.”
Study the manual to prepare for your CDL written exam. Not all parts of the exam apply to all drivers. For example, haulers of hazardous materials must take a HAZMAT test. This is part of the CDL exam rather than a completely separate exam. It is called an “endorsement” exam. Refer to the manual for the full list of endorsements. If you are getting a CDL license without a specific job offer, then take all portions to increase your chances of getting work as an Arkansas commercial driver after obtaining your license.
Look up other CDL exam resources. You can use a search engine to find “CDL study guides” or similar resources. For example, CristCDL offers some sample general and endorsement-based questions for the written exam. You will generally be prepared for the exam if you can absorb all the material in the Arkansas CDL manual.
Call or visit the local Arkansas DMV (highway patrol troop office) to schedule your written exam. Take and pass the exam to get your CDL permit. This will allow you to participate in CDL training on commercial vehicles.
Find a way to receive training for your skills test. For example, the Professional Truck Driver Institute provides a list of certified CDL truck driver training courses at Ptdi.org/schools/schools.aspx. Although there are no specific Arkansas driving schools, there are certified CDL schools in Louisiana, Oklahoma and other neighboring states.
In the case of jobs not involving trucks, you may need to contact area companies that hire commercial drivers for special training programs. The local school district can give you information on training for school-bus driving jobs in Arkansas. Transporation companies like Greyhound also provide free training for qualified job applicants.
Take your Arkansas CDL skills test. The manner of testing will depend on your personal situation. Because you must generally provide your own vehicle, you need to talk to your training course to make vehicle arrangements or a local rental company to get a vehicle for CDL testing. You will receive your Arkansas CDL license from the local Arkansas DMV once you pass the skills test.
Arkansas State Police CDL Test Center Directory
Certified CDL Truck Driving Schools