Arkansas CDL Requirements

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Arkansas CDL Requirements

The state of Arkansas issues commercial driver's licenses (CDL) and commercial learner's permits (CLP) to qualifying drivers in the following three classifications, as outlined by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Motor Vehicle office:

Class A: Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more, inclusive of a towed unit's) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds, whichever is greater.

Class B: Any single vehicle which has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight that does not exceed 10,000 pounds.

Class C: Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F or 49 CFR Part 172 or is or transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.

Drivers who have applied for and received their CLP and have held it for a minimum of 14 days may begin the application and testing process for obtaining a CDL, providing these requirements are met:

  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You are at least 21 years of age if you plan to drive outside of the state of Arkansas
  • You have a valid regular driver's license
  • You have passed the medical and vision tests and can provide documentation
  • You have submitted to a driving history check that covers any state in which you have lived in the past 10 years
  • You have paid the $50 testing fee
  • You can provide proof of citizenship or legal residence

Acceptable documentation for proof of citizenship or legal residence includes: a U.S. birth certificate that bears an official seal, a U.S. passport, a Certificate of Naturalization, a Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, a Certificate of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State, or a permanent resident card.

You will be required to complete and pass your skills test, which includes subject matter in pre-trip vehicle inspection and basic vehicle controls, as well as an on-road driving exam that must be taken in the same type of commercial vehicle you plan to drive. Additionally, if you are applying for any special endorsements with your CDL, you will be required to complete additional testing for knowledge specific to your endorsement(s).