- Location: Arizona
Commercial Driver Education in Arizona
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Applying for a commercial driver license (CDL) from the Arizona Department of Transportation is not overwhelming if you look at it as a process and take it step by step. Anyone can be a commercial driver provided they pass a physical exam, have a fairly clean driving record, pass the written and behind-the-wheel tests, and pay the fees.
The manual will give you a thorough understanding of the laws that govern commercial driving, vehicle-inspection tips, and safety suggestions. In addition, they include information about CDL endorsements, such as those for transporting passengers and hazardous substances.
Studying the written manual is not enough to give you the knowledge and practice you need in order to safely drive a commercial vehicle and operate as a professional driver on the state's highways. For that, you'll need professional classroom and hands-on training at a commercial truck driving school.
You can enroll in CDL classes at a community college, at a private company, or with the employer who's hired you to drive commercial vehicles. The advantage to being trained by your employer is that your education costs will often be covered.
Driver Training and Testing
Arizona's MVD has approved third-party companies to assist you with everything from training to testing for your CDL. The list of companies is divided into two sections: commercial truck drivers and commercial bus drivers. These companies are essential for drivers who are training and testing without the support of an employer, because the MVD cannot provide vehicles for driving practice or testing.
If you don't need training but do need a vehicle to test in, you can contact the MVD's third-party vehicle program at (602) 712-7173 for a list of agencies that can test you in one of their vehicles.
If you decide to take the behind-the-wheel section of the CDL test at an MVD CDL office, you will have to make an appointment.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was enacted to ensure the safety of commercial drivers and those with whom they share the road by establishing federal testing and licensing standards for them. In addition to defining the physical and academic standards for receiving a CDL, the Act limits the number of licenses one person can hold to one so as to prevent drivers from diluting their driving records by distributing violations across multiple states' archives.
States are allowed independent training regulations for their commercial drivers, but those regulations must meet or surpass those of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.