Arizona CDL Requirements

With a sunny climate and well maintained roads, Arizona is a great place to drive. Bustling yet well-planned cities like Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Mesa are relatively easy to navigate. Roads like the famed Apache Trail through Arizona's Superstition Mountains is largely left to recreational drivers. In recent years, the state has put millions into the refurbishment of highways and streets throughout, which means that to learn how to become a truck driver here is a straightforward process, however, Arizona is not as populous as other states and rest and refueling stops can be distant, so drivers should be prepared with adequate supplies and refreshments. Read on to learn about becoming a CDL driver in Arizona.

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Arizona, in tandem with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), creates and approves training materials as well as government and third-party testing and training centers in order to provide the best opportunities for CDL driver candidates. Arizona follows the rest of the country in offering the same standardized CDL Classes.

CDL Class A

Any vehicles that, in combination, have a gross weight of more than 26,000 pounds when the towed portion weighs 10,000 pounds or more. This license class is used by tractor-trailer operators. Drivers with a Class A CDL are able to drive class A, B, C, or D vehicles unless endorsements or disqualifications apply.

CDL Class B

Applicable to a single vehicle that has a total weight of more than 26,000 pounds or any combination of vehicles where the one being towed weighs less than 10,000 pounds. Class B drivers might work in intrastate or store delivery of goods. Drivers with a Class B CDL are able to drive Class B, C, or D vehicles unless other endorsements or disqualifications apply.

CDL Class C

Drivers with a Class C CDL are eligible to drive any vehicle that falls outside the scope of Classes A and B and that are designed to transport 15 or more passengers plus driver, and vehicles used to transport hazardous waste, a toxin or select agent as outlined in 49 USC 5103 or 42 CFR Part 73. Drivers who obtain a Class C CDL may drive Class C or D vehicles unless endorsements or disqualifications apply.

If the vehicle's actual weight by scale exceeds the Class weight ratings, it is to be the actual weight used to determine if a violation has occurred.

Class D License

If you possess a license to drive a car, truck or other light vehicle for personal use, you have a Class D license. A Class D license is required to start the CDL process in every state, including Arizona.

CDL Eligibility in Arizona

Since major reforms in 1986, there have been significant changes in how to get your CDL which have resulted in improved safety standards for operators, their cargo, and other drivers.

License and Permits

  • CDL applicants in Arizona must show proof of having had their Class D license for a period of one year or more before applying for a Commercial Driver's License permit (CLP)
  • An Arizona-issued CLP is valid for a period of 6 months.
  • Veteran and military personnel who have a CDL may apply to have the CLP and testing process waived; appropriate, legible, original documentation is required to support your claim.


  • CDL applicants must be 18 years of age or older to drive intrastate (within Arizona) on a CDL.
  • CDL applicants must be 21 years of age or older to drive interstate (from Arizona to other states).

Proof of Residence

Those people wanting to become a truck driver in Arizona are required to provide proof of residence (called ‘domicile') in the state. This proof greatly reduces the instances of fraud from those who would apply for multiple CDL licenses. Be sure to review application requirements and fees carefully.

CDL Requirements for Arizona Residents

  • Personal, current driver's license (Class D)
  • Social Security information
  • Proof of current, adequate vehicle insurance

Arizona CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers

Related to the issue of CDL fraud is ensuring that Out-of-State residents properly go through the transfer process after having moved to the state of Arizona. Be aware that you may be asked for some of the following supporting documentation on your application:

  • Arizona ID card for non-drivers
  • Class D driver's license from your former state of residence
  • Birth certificate
  • Current passport

Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for Arizona CDL

Non-U.S. citizens must have permanent domicile in Arizona, and must have all supporting documents for their current legal status in the U.S. When applying to become a truck driver, it is suggested that non-U.S. applicants bring as much supporting documentation as possible.

  • Naturalization or citizenship documents
  • Non-U.S. birth documentation
  • Resident alien documentation
  • Current non-U.S. passport with immigration documentation

Do I Need a CDL?

If you are a former member of the military, you may be exempt from applying for a CDL. Veterans should take all original, legible documentation that would support their application.

CDL holders on active duty in the armed forces, National Guard or reserves may not have to renew their CDL at 5-year intervals like civilians do. Bring all legible, original documentation to the CDL office to find out.

Medical and Physical CDL Requirements

  • All CDL drivers must have a physical with an examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
  • Arizona Department of Transport reviews the Medical Examination Report, also known as the long form
  • Arizona Department of Transport reviews the Medical Examiner Certificate, also known as the cert card or short form.
  • The cert card has a renewal interval of 2 years.

Background Check for CDL Applicants

Each CDL truck driver that wants to transport hazardous materials will submit to a TSA background check. If the check does not pass, the individual will not be eligible for a CDL. As the process varies between states and jurisdictions, candidates should inquire at their nearest CDL office.

CDL Testing in Arizona

At the minimum, CDL applicants will have to take one knowledge test and one or two road-skills tests in order to receive their CDL.

Arizona has a number of offices and accredited third party providers who can test scheduled applicants. Please come to the testing site with appropriate payment method, and in the class of vehicle that you wish to be tested on.

CDL Knowledge Tests

In addition to the general knowledge test, Arizona applicants may take additional testing to become a certain type of accredited CDL driver:

  • General Knowledge (for all)
  • Passenger Transport test (for bus drivers)
  • School Bus test for bus drivers

CDL Skills Tests

CDL road-skills test are for those applicants who have successfully passed the knowledge test. Components of the road-skills test are:

  • Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection test
  • Basic Vehicle Control test
  • Road test

Arizona CDL Office Locations

All written and road testing take place between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. PLEASE NOTE - Appointments necessary for all CDL testing services.

  • 240 W. Cottonwood Lane
    Case Grande, AZ 85122
  • 1851 S. Milton Road
    Flagstaff, AZ 86001
  • 14370 W. Van Buren Street
    Goodyear, AZ 85338
  • 2108 E. Navajo Boulevard
    Holbrook, AZ 86025
  • 3670 E. Andy Devine Avenue
    Kingman, AZ 86401
  • 4123 E. Valley Auto Drive
    Mesa, AZ 85206
  • 122 E. Highway 260
    Payson, AZ 85541
  • 1105 Commerce Drive
    Prescott, AZ 86305
  • 310 W. Main Street
    Safford, AZ 85546
  • 161 E. Deuce of Clubs
    Show Low, AZ 85901
  • 5224 E. Charleston Road
    Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
  • 621 E. 22nd Street
    Tuscon, AZ 85713
  • 2165 E. Gila Ridge Road
    Yuma, AZ 85365

Arizona CDL Endorsements

Your employer may require a certain extra qualifications, called ‘endorsements' to ensure that you are trained for the type of vehicle you have been hired to drive. Extra testing is required for the following endorsements:

  • School Bus
  • Passenger
  • Hazardous Materials

Arizona CDL Disqualifications

If you violate any number of rules and laws either in your personal vehicle or while driving a truck or passenger vehicle with your CDL, state and federal agencies will exercise their right to suspend or permanently revoke your license. These are known as disqualifications and may range in time from 24 hours to a lifetime revocation.

  • If blood alcohol level is 0.04% or more behind the wheel of a commercially licensed vehicle
  • Operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) while 'under the influence' of alcohol
  • Rejection of roadside alcohol testing
  • Using a CDL 'under the influence' of a controlled substance
  • Not remaining at the scene of an accident in which you were involved
  • Committing a felony in a commercial vehicle
  • Driving a commercial truck while on a suspended CDL
  • Negligence behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle which results in a fatality
  • Speeding at more than 15 mph above the posted limit
  • Reckless or hazardous driving
  • Driving a CMV without the appropriate license
  • Breaking railroad crossing laws for the type and class of vehicle
  • Are not in the United States lawfully
  • Are a wanted felon
  • Have outstanding criminal convictions
  • Pose a security threat as indicated by the TSA
  • Failed the TSA background check
  • Having personal traffic violations excluding parking tickets
  • Committing CDL-domicile fraud (multiple CDLs)
  • Failing to notify your employer about suspensions or revocations in a timely fashion
  • Failing to wear a seatbelt at all times

Please also bear in mind the following:

  • From time to time, individual states update their CDL regulations so best practice is to speak with the CDL office directly
  • Fines and suspensions increase if you are operating a CMV that is placarded for carrying hazardous materials, or one that contains passengers.
  • Fines and suspensions increase with subsequent offences and often culminate in termination of CDL privileges

CDL Salary, Employment and Prospects

Over the next ten years or so, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the job outlook for CDL operators is favorable; growth is expected to exceed 21 percent or much faster than other industries. The BLS classifies truck driver data into heavy, light or passenger transport.

Heavy Trucks

On average, Arizona's heavy transport (interstate) drivers earn about $39,000 per year, with the top 10% of truckers earning just under $60,000, or $28 per hour. These figures are on par with national averages. Heavy transport trucking is predicted to grow by 19% over the next decade.

Light Trucks

Arizona's light transport (intrastate) drivers earn $29,000 per year for their work with cube vans and delivery trucks; the starting wage is about $18,500, or slightly more than national averages. The industry is poised to grow 17% faster than the national average over the next ten years.

Passenger Vehicles

Passenger vehicle and school bus operators in Arizona earn about $28,000 annually, although senior operators can earn as much as $36,000. The growth forecast for job over the next decade is 6% or exactly in line with national forecasts.

Resources for Arizona CDL Requirements


Learn more about Arizona trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in Arizona

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
Arizona $33,730 $47,260 $39,710
Flagstaff, AZ $31,690 $49,750 $38,700
Lake Havasu City - Kingman, AZ $35,320 $53,770 $43,240
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ $34,230 $48,330 $40,280
Prescott, AZ $31,050 $45,080 $39,850
Tucson, AZ $32,290 $45,100 $40,510
Yuma, AZ $30,100 $42,360 $35,340

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (