When you think of a driver’s license, you’re probably thinking about the regular one that almost everyone has.
But there’s more than one type of driver’s license.
And today, we’re going to talk about the types of driver’s licenses in Arizona. This way, you’ll be familiar with the classes, you’ll know which one you need for the vehicle you’ll drive, and so much more.
As a bonus, we’ll even talk about how to get each license class.
So without further ado, let’s begin!
What Are the Driver’s License Classifications in Arizona?
Arizona categorizes its licenses into 2 broad categories – Commercial and Non-Commercial.
Let’s look at each one.
Arizona Commercial Driver’s License Classes
There are 3 types of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) in Arizona:
- Class A
- Class B
- Class C
The type of vehicle you operate often determines which one you need.
Class A CDL
You need a Class A CDL if you drive a combination vehicle (a truck and a trailer). Their Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) should be at least 26,001 pounds. Besides that, the trailer’s weight alone should be 10,001 pounds or more.
If you carry a Class A CDL, you can also operate Class B and Class C vehicles.
Class B CDL
A Class B CDL is necessary if your vehicle meets any of the following conditions:
- It’s a single-motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of at least 26,001 pounds.
- It’s a combination vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more but has a detached cargo vehicle weighing less than 10,000 pounds.
Carrying a Class B CDL allows you to operate a Class C vehicle, but not Class A.
Class C CDL
Like a Class B CDL, you get a Class C license if your vehicle meets either of these requirements:
- Your vehicle transports materials considered hazardous by federal law
- Your vehicle carries more than 16 passengers, including the driver
- A combination vehicle not categorized as Class A or B
Non-Commercial Drivers Licenses
The name is pretty self-explanatory. These licenses are for those that drive vehicles for personal purposes.
Class D License
Remember that regular license that we were talking about at the beginning of this article? Well, that will be the Class D license.
A Class D license is the most commonly known type in Arizona. It’s what the Department of Transportation issues if you operate a vehicle that doesn’t need a motorcycle or commercial license.
Class M License
Finally, there’s the Class M license.
You need this type if driving a motorcycle or a motor-driven cycle (such as a moped or a scooter).
How to Get a Class D License in Arizona
Being the most common type of license in Arizona, it’s crucial to know how to apply for one.
New drivers go through 3 phases when getting a Class D license in Arizona. Let’s go over these phases quickly.
Phase One: Getting Your Permit
You can apply for a permit when you’re 15 and a half. You can walk in at your local MVD or set up an appointment through AZMVDnow.gov. Make sure your parent or guardian is with you.
Get all the necessary documents. It includes a filled-out application form and several supporting documents to prove your identity. An MVD agent must witness your parent or guardian sign your application form.
Next, you’ll have to pass tests. One is a vision test. The other is a knowledge exam.
Once you pass both tests, you can get your permit after you’ve paid the $7 fee.
Your permit allows you to operate a car as long as you’re supervised by a licensed individual at least 21 years old.
Phase Two: Getting Your Class G License
To get your Class G license, you must accumulate 30 hours of supervised driving, 10 of which should be during the night.
However, if you attended Traffic Survival School, your practice hours requirement decreases. You only have to complete 20 hours, 6 of which must be at night.
When you complete that, you will need to schedule a road test at the MVD.
If you don’t want to take a road test, you have the option to complete an approved driver’s education program instead.
Regardless of whether or not you took a road test, you must pay the $25 fee to get your Class G license. You need to carry it until you turn 18 if you want to continue driving in Arizona.
Phase Three: Getting Your Class D License
When you turn 18, you can exchange your Class G license for a Class D.
However, if you’re already 18 when you apply for your license, you don’t have to get a permit and a Class G license anymore. You just need to:
- Fill out an application form and submit the necessary documents.
- Pass the vision and knowledge exam.
- Complete the road test.
- Pay the $25 licensing fee.
- Get your temporary card. You’ll receive your new license within 15 days via mail.
For an even more detailed article on Arizona driver’s license requirements, check out this article.
How to Get a Class A, B, C License in Arizona
Regardless of whether you need a Class A, Class B, or Class C license, there is only one set of steps to follow when applying for a commercial license.
Here are the steps:
- Fill out the Commercial Driver’s License Application form.
- Submit the necessary documents. These include:
- A medical examiner certificate
- A valid driver’s license (you must have had it for at least a year)
- Your Social Security Number
- Pass the knowledge test.
- Pay the licensing fee. The amount varies depending on the type of license and whether you need any endorsements.
- Class A or B without endorsements: $25
- Class C: $12.50 (must have a P endorsement; HME not allowed on Class C permits)
- Duplicate permit: $2
- Doubles/triples trailers endorsement: $10
- Tank endorsement: $10
- HME: $10
- Motorcycle endorsement: $7
- School bus endorsement: No fee
- Passenger endorsement: $10
- Complete a CDL training program.
- Take a road test. Remember that you must bring your own vehicle for this.
For an even more detailed article on Arizona CDL, check out this article.
How to Get a Class M License in Arizona
There are several similarities between getting a Class D and a Class M license. If you are a first-time driver and are below 18, you first need to get a permit. You can begin the process when you’re 15 and a half.
Phase One: Getting your motorcycle permit
- Fill out an application form. It’s the same one you use when applying for a driver’s license.
- Submit all the necessary documents.
- Pass the vision and written exam. If you do not have a driver’s permit, you will need to take a written driving test.
- Pay a $7 permit fee.
Your motorcycle permit remains valid for 6 months. Use this time to accumulate your practice hours. You’ll need it when you apply for a Class M license.
Phase Two: Getting your Class M license
If your parents can certify that you’ve operated your motorcycle for at least 30 hours, you can be exempted from taking the required training course.
If you’re over 18 and are applying for a Class M license for the first time, you don’t need to get a permit. However, you need to take the standard exams for a driver and motorcycle license.
If you already have a Class D license, you can apply for a motorcycle endorsement after completing a motorcycle test and attending a training course. Remember that an endorsement requires an additional fee worth $7.
All applicants need to undergo a skills test before receiving their Class M license.
Wrapping It Up
And there you have it! A walk-through of all license types in Arizona and how to obtain each one.
You probably won’t need them all. But in case you do, now you know the requirements.
If you want more information, you can go to Arizona’s Department of Transportation website.