The commercial driver license (CDL) originated from the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. The act is a nationwide effort to ensure that only qualified drivers receive and maintain a CDL and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from highways.
The Motor Vehicle Division of ADOT serves Arizona residents by issuing CDLs and conducting knowledge and road/skills tests at any CDL office. In addition, MVD works closely with the Medical Review Program, which examines and monitors the physical qualifications of commercial drivers.
To apply for a commercial driver license, you will need to complete a Commercial Driver License Application.
Entry-Level Driver Training Requirement
Beginning Feb. 7, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will require new CDL applicants and those seeking to upgrade their CDL to receive training from a certified organization on the national registry of Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) providers. ELDT training includes curriculum in three areas: theory, range and road. To process and issue a CDL, the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division will need to validate that an applicant has completed this training.
This requirement impacts drivers attempting to:
- Obtain a Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the first time.
- Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL.
- Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.
ADOT MVD will not be adding any requirements above and beyond what FMCSA is requiring. The ELDT regulations are not retroactive and do not apply to individuals holding a valid CDL or an S, P or H endorsement issued prior to February 7, 2022.
To view a list of training providers, visit FMCSA's Training Provider Registry home page, scroll down to "Do you need a training provider?" and click that link.
If your organization or business currently trains its drivers and is interested in becoming a certified training provider on the national registry, visit tpr.fmcas.dot.gov for more information and to register as a provider.
Arizona law and FMCSA regulation 49 CFR 383.71 require that you submit proof that your presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. See CDL Documentation Requirements for a listing of acceptable proof.
- You need at least two documents listed – one must have a clear photo of you
- Or three documents listed with no photo
- One must be listed under the Primary column
- All must be originals or copies, in English, certified by the issuing agency
- Additional documents needed for a name change (e.g., marriage certificate, divorce decree). You must first change your name with the Social Security Administration.
- CDL documentation requirements may change without notice.
Identification and Proof of Age
Arizona state law requires that all applicants for an original driver license or identification card present two forms of identification. One form must have your photo, or you must present three forms of identification if no photo identification is available. See the full list of Identification Requirements. All forms of identification must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. MVD cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. All forms of identification must be in English.
Social Security Number Verification
You are required by A.R.S. §§ 28-3158(D)(5) and 28-3165(F), under the authority of 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(c)(2)(C) and 666(a)(13)(A), to provide your Social Security number. It will be used to verify your identity and to comply with federal and state child-support enforcement laws. It will not be used as your license number.
State of Domicile
To qualify for an Arizona CDL, your state of domicile must be Arizona. The state of domicile is defined as the state of your true, fixed and permanent home and principal residence; it must be where you intend to return after being away.
You have 30 days to change your CDL when you change your state of domicile to Arizona. Federal and state laws require that you surrender all previous license credentials.
Your CDL or permit may be canceled for any of the reasons listed below. MVD may determine other additional reasons to cancel your driver license or permit.
- Failing to give correct information on the application.
- Applying while your license/driving privilege is disqualified, suspended, revoked or canceled in Arizona or another state.
- Falsely stating your age as 21 or over.
- Not meeting the medical requirements.
- Failing, refusing or neglecting to pay fees, taxes or assessments to MVD.