Arizona Commercial Driver License Exams

The commercial driver license test in Arizona comprises of two major portions: the written exam and the driven test. Applicants should note that the CDL written exam comprises of first a general knowledge test and then an assortment of specialized knowledge tests depending on the CDL endorsements an applicant has selected. The driven CDL test portion comprises of a three-part examination conducted first on a closed course and then on a predetermined driving route. Both of these commercial driver license tests surround rating an applicant on his or her ability to skillfully operate a commercial vehicle and will make up the body of the application process. In order to learn how to pass the CDL exam, applicants should review both exam-types and the kinds of exercises within them in order to facilitate the testing process and begin driving in Arizona.

Arizona CDL Written Exam

The CDL knowledge test in AZ is also considered the written portion of the exam. This exam asks the applicant to demonstrate his or her knowledge of a specific endorsement type. There is a different exam for CDL license types that do not share the same endorsements. Despite this variation across CDL exams, one aspect of written portion of the CDL testing process that will remain the same is the general knowledge test. No commercial driver can begin the process of obtaining a CDL without passing the general knowledge exam. Drivers of any vehicle class need to complete the CDL general exam in addition to the specialized knowledge tests which are the following:

  • Passenger Transport – This CDL knowledge test focuses on transporting passengers and is administered to any driver who plans on transporting over 16 people at a time. This knowledge test will be administered in conjunction with the school bus knowledge test which is a separate examination needed to receive a school bus endorsement designation.
  • Air Brakes – When completing a commercial driver license test, most applicants will need to take this written CDL test although it applies to most drivers. This is because any vehicle utilizing air brakes or air-over-hydraulic brakes will fall under the specialization and therefore require a knowledge examination.
  • Combination Vehicles – This kind of CDL knowledge test will be required for any drivers who plan on operating a commercial vehicle with more than one trailer at a time.
  • Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) – This knowledge test for CDL licensure will require more than just a singular examination. Due to state and federal regulations, there are a number of other requirements associated with obtaining a hazmat endorsement. These may involve background checks, fingerprinting and other safety precautions taken by the federal Transportation Security Administration. This is because hazmat endorsees, after taking and passing a commercial driver license test, will be expected to transport explosive, toxic and otherwise dangerous materials.
  • Tankers – A CDL written exam must be completed and passed by all drivers who plan on operating a tanked vehicle. This is because the state of Arizona closely links tanked vehicles to hazardous material transport vehicles, which are commonly one in the same. Therefore, most tanked drivers will also take a CDL test for hazmat endorsement as part of a CDL application.
  • Double/Triples – This knowledge test for CDL license is not to be confused with the test for combination vehicles. In order to haul double and triple trailers, this endorsement will be required.
  • School Bus –All school bus operators will need to complete a knowledge test for CDL licensure in passenger transport, alongside this knowledge test for school bus operation. This is because school bus exams for CDL license type “S” build upon the knowledge gleaned from the passenger transport test and require additional federal requirements.

Find more detailed information on each CDL written exam by downloading our free comprehensive guide today.

Arizona Driven Commercial Driver License Test

For those drivers wondering how to pass the CDL exam after all of the written requirements have been fulfilled, the answer will lie in their performance on the driven portion of the exam. This is a final CDL test that will be conducted on a closed course and then on a predetermined, driven route. Three portions make up this driven test: the vehicle inspection, a basic vehicle control test and an on-road driving test. Applicants should note that they may only complete this test after 14 days of obtaining their learner’s permit and passing all of the previously mentioned CDL written exams and specialized knowledge tests.

  • Vehicle Inspection – This portion of the final CDL test will be conducted on a vehicle provided by the examinee. Applicants will must to point out the vehicle’s most significant features and conduct a safety inspection. Applicants will be able to pass the CDL exam by demonstrating a meticulous attention to detail and thoroughly explaining their rationale. This inspection should extend to the interior, exterior and hood compartments of the vehicle as well as encompass a test of the brakes, lights and other safety features.
  • Basic Vehicle Control Test – The next portion of the exam for CDL license types of any kind will be conducted on a closed course where examinees will exemplify mastery of basic vehicle maneuvers. Each testing site will vary in the tightness of spaces, layout of cones and other markers, but overall, passing the CDL exam will require a knowledge of starting, stopping, parking and braking in a variety of situations as simulated on the test site.
  • On-road Driving Test – The final portion of the commercial driver license test will be the on-road driving test. This will be conducted after passing a basic control test and will take place on a route as determined by the test administrator. Drivers will know how to pass the CDL exam should they already have practice experience on the road, as this route will encompass three to six driven exercises on a variety of road situations such as railroad crossings, single and multi lane roads, traffic merging and intersections.

Get more information by downloading our comprehensive guide.