how long does it take to get a CDL

A commercial driver’s license opens the door to a wealth of employment opportunities. Pursue financial freedom, travel, and career advancement by earning your CDL so you can qualify for jobs with trucking and transportation companies throughout the U.S. Before getting started, here’s what you should know about getting a CDL in Arizona including the length of commercial driving education programs.


What are the Different Types of CDL Classes?

The length of your CDL program depends on the type of commercial license you plan to pursue. Options include:

  • Class A, which qualifies you to operate a combined truck and trailer with a gross combined weight rating of at least 26,001 pounds with a trailer weight of at least 10,001 pounds
  • Class B, for operating any vehicle with a GVWR of at least 26,001 pounds with a trailer possessing a GVWR of fewer than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C, for those who drive any vehicle with a GVWR of fewer than 26,000 pounds with a passenger endorsement

How long does it take to get a CDL license?

Before passing the Arizona CDL test, drivers should expect to spend 30 to 80 hours in the classroom. Most people can complete this course in three to five weeks, depending on whether you choose a full-time or part-time program. Some classes are five days a week while others take place on nights and weekends.

Class A education takes the longest, although you may spend more time in school if you opt to add endorsements to your CDL. Doing so will increase the available job opportunities once you get your license. Look for a school that offers practice driving time with a licensed CDL driver.

Otherwise, you will be responsible for finding your own truck and driver to complete the required hours. Although Arizona does not mandate driver education for CDL applicants, taking these courses will increase your ability to operate this type of vehicle safely.

If you have operated heavy machinery for at least two years in the military, you can get your Arizona CDL without taking the skills test. Depending on your desired level of preparation, you can earn your Arizona Class A License within about two months of training.

How to Apply for Your CDL?

Drivers who are ready to take their CDL test must first complete the Arizona license application. You must undergo a complete physical with a certified medical examiner and renew your certificate of good health every two years for license renewal.

Applicants must also provide proof of identity and legal status in the United States.

How Much is a CDL Application?

Fees for a CDL are as follows:

  • Class A or B: $25
  • Class C*: $12.50 plus $10 passenger endorsement
  • Doubles/triples trailers endorsement: $10
  • Hazardous materials endorsement: $10
  • Motorcycle endorsement: $ 7
  • Tank endorsement: $10
  • School bus endorsement: No fee

Upon your initial application, you will receive a CDL permit that allows you to practice behind the wheel of a qualifying vehicle for six months. You are allowed to drive on a permit only when accompanied by another driver with an appropriate CDL for the vehicle you are operating.

After having your permit for 14 days, you can return to the Motor Vehicle Division CDL location in your area to take the licensing test. This exam is divided into three sections: the vehicle inspection test, the basic controls test, and the road test.

The first two sections are completed on a computer and require a passing score of 80%. The final section, the road test, requires you to demonstrate your ability to properly and safely operate the specified class of vehicles.

Have Questions? Contact Us Today!

Duncan & Son Lines, Inc. has been the leading container transport provider in the American Southwest since 1943. Learn more about obtaining your CDL, then apply for jobs online with our fourth-generation, family-owned trucking business.

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