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Arkansas CDL Test Requirements and Endorsements

Arkansas CDL
  • The various requirements for a CDL
  • Become familiar with CDL fees and expenses
  • The different skills you'll be test on

Get a CDL

Could you benefit from obtaining a commercial driver's license? Depending on what type of vehicle you plan on operating, you may have to secure an Arkansas commercial driver's license. You will have to pass various skills tests and the General Knowledge Test. This guide will allow you to prepare for the DMV.

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You May Need a CDL

If you plan on operating a Class A, B, or C commercial vehicle in the State of Arkansas, then you will need to obtain an Arkansas commercial driver's license. An endorsement will be needed for the following: double/triple trailers, tanker vehicles, passenger vehicles, and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials. The types of CDLs available are:

  • Class A License - This type is a must for operating any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds of more, as long as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the vehicle being towed does not pass 10,000 pounds. You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Class B License - Obtain this license for any vehicle with a Gross Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, as well as any vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds. You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Class C License - This license is for operating a vehicle that can transport 16 passengers, including the driver or a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials which are placarded. You must be at least 18 years old.

Skills and Knowledge Tests

Depending on the type of license and endorsements you wish to gain, you may have to take one or more knowledge tests. Once the knowledge test(s) is successfully completed, you will be permitted to take the CDL skills test. The various skills tested include: pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. You must use the type of vehicle in which you want to be licensed to drive.

  • Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection - You must know if the vehicle is safe to drive. You will need to know what to inspect and why.
  • Basic Vehicle Control - It's important to know how to control the vehicle. During this test, you will move your vehicle forward, backward, and turn. You will be told how each test must be completed.
  • On-Road Test - During this test, you will be scored on how well you adapt to various traffic situations. These situations may include curves, up and down grades, and/or highways.

Other Requirements

It's important to pass a physical exam every two years. To pass this exam, you will need to have good hearing, 20/40 vision with or without glasses or corrective lenses, and a 70-degree field of vision in each eye. You cannot be colorblind.

Items for the DMV

When you go to the DMV, you will need to bring the following items: a current driver's license, a Department of Transportation Physical Examination Form, and a social security card.

DMV Fees

Depending on which county you live in, your DMV fees may vary. The following source will assist you in gaining an estimate of what you will have to pay: Driver's License Info on Arkansas's Official DMV website

Further CDL Information

Arkansas CDL Manual: Download Arkansas CDL Driver's Handbook

For Federal Requirements for a CDL: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm

For Medical Requirements for a CDL: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/medical.htm