CDL Endorsements in Arizona

The commercial drivers license (CDL) in Arizona may be enhanced by a number of CDL endorsements that require applicants to apply and qualify for as well as take a separate knowledge exam. The different types of CDL endorsements that become available to an applicant will depend on the type of vehicle he or she self-certified on the initial application. These CDL license endorsements types will align with a specific weight class and will require additional training and skills requirements. For some endorsements, such as those for hazardous materials or school bus operation, the federal government requires additional training and background checks as well. Arizona applicants should review the CDL endorsement list and use this information to prepare for the CDL application as well as the required tests.

Types of CDL Endorsements in Arizona

The CDL license endorsement types will affect what type of vehicle and haul the applicant can drive. Many petitioners ask, “Which CDL endorsements should I get?” when completing the initial license application. It is important to look at the type of vehicle as well as its weight class so that they will choose endorsements that align with the vehicle type. The weight classification (A, B or C) the applicant selects will affect the type of vehicle he or she has credentials to operate. In the state of Arizona, the list of CDL endorsements comprises of the following letters:

  • “H” – If you are a driver who wants to add endorsements to your CDL for transporting hazardous material, then letter “H” will be the one to choose. Hazardous materials include any explosive, poisonous or otherwise dangerous items that are often transported in a tank. Therefore, this endorsement is commonly combined with level “N,” which allows for tanked-vehicle operation.
  • “N” – A driver will require the CDL endorsement level “N’ to operate a tanked vehicle that fits Arizona rules, which is used specifically to operate a tanker. The state of Arizona defines a tanker as a vehicle transporting either a temporarily or permanently mounted tank at a particular weight rating both individually and in combination with other tanks. This endorsement for CDL vehicles equipped with tanks is typically used for heavy-weight rated vehicles.
  • “T” – Drivers need to know which CDL endorsement to get if they will be operating heavier-weight rated vehicles. The CDL endorsement “T” is exclusive to combination vehicles. This is because it is a double and triple trailer authorization that will only be applicable to those drivers who indeed operate combination vehicles. Given that many CDL operators do not drive a combination truck, they may be exempt from getting a CDL with this endorsement type denoted.
  • “P” – This type of CDL endorsement is used to qualify drivers who have completed the necessary skills testing for operating a passenger vehicle, except for school buses. This is required for drivers who intend to transport 16 or more people on a vehicle that is not a school bus. If the vehicle is not a school bus, then this is the only endorsement needed to begin driving a commercial passenger vehicle.
  • “S” – Arizona law dictates that the CDL endorsement an applicant needs to drive a school bus is an “S” level endorsement in combination with a “P” denotation. The difference between these two endorsements lies in the federal regulations for background checks and skills testing that goes into receiving an “S” endorsement.
  • “X” – As a combination of the CDL endorsements “H” and “N,” level “X” allows for drivers to operate both types of vehicles without needing to apply for each individually. This is because hazardous materials are transported in liquid and gas forms, which are best moved in tanker storage. Applicants should note that the same regulations necessary for obtaining a hazmat endorsement will be required for the “X” designation.

Find out more about applying for a CDL license in our detailed guide.

CDL Endorsements for Hazardous Materials in Arizona

Those applicants getting a CDL in the state of Arizona who are also interested in transporting hazardous materials will need to fulfill a number of state and federal regulations. This affects the number of tests an applicant will need to take when adding endorsements to a CDL application and will also affect the amount of time needed to obtain it. CDL applicants should review the requirements for CDL endorsement types “H” and “X” so that they will be prepared to adjust their CDL application timeline accordingly.

The process for applying to a hazmat type of CDL endorsement is essentially the same as the standard CDL license process. This application must be completed by specifically denoting that the applicant is interested CDL endorsement types “H” or “X.” This is because the required tests will be added to the initial knowledge exams upon submitting the application. These must be turned in to an Arizona Department of Transportation office in person. Upon doing so, the applicant will be required to pay the applicable fees and be prepared to take a written test.

However, before submitting the application applicants to these kinds of CDL endorsements must first register with the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) through their official website or over the phone. When getting a CDL, this will require the applicant to complete an additional hazmat application form that will ask questions specific to hazardous materials transport. With this application, the TSA will also complete a background check before attaching hazardous materials endorsement to the general application.