Commercial Drivers License Help Desk

Ragland Building- Room 1130
1900 W. 7th St.                                             Phone: (501) 682-1400
Little Rock, AR 72203                                 Fax: (501) 683-3530

Assists the public, commercial drivers, and revenue offices with commercial licensing queries. Ensures that commercial license holders meet State and Federal Regulations. Maintains the medical certification database. Issues driver’s license extensions for qualified United States military personnel.

If any commercial driver is suspended, disqualified, revoked, expired or in an eligible status for one (1) year or more, they must retake all phases of the CDL exam to regain commercial privileges.

CDL Classifications
Commercial Driver’s License Documents
CLP-Commercial Learner’s Permit
CDL Endorsements
CDL Restrictions
Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Restricted CDL 
Self-Certification
Medical Certification
SPE/Waiver and Exemptions
Trucker Against Trafficking
CDL Forms
CDL Samples

CDL Classifications

Pursuant to Federal standards, Arkansas issues CDL’s and CLP’s to drivers according to the following license classifications:

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 of 49 CFR Part 172 or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.

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Commercial Driver’s License Documents

All commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders will be asked for proof they are a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident at every renewal of their CDL or application for endorsements.

Select the links below for a list of required documents:

Documents required for Non-Real ID- Proof of Legal Presence and Proof of Identification

Documents required for Real ID- REAL ID Documents

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CLP-Commercial Learner’s Permit

A CLP is considered a valid CDL for purposes of behind-the-wheel training on public roads or highways, if all of the following minimum conditions are met:

(1) The CLP holder is at all times accompanied by the holder of a valid CDL who has the proper CDL group and endorsement(s) necessary to operate the CMV. The CDL holder must at all times be physically present in the front seat of the vehicle next to the CLP holder or, in the case of a passenger vehicle, directly behind or in the first row behind the driver and must have the CLP holder under observation and direct supervision.

(2) The CLP holder holds a valid driver's license issued by the same jurisdiction that issued the CLP.

(3) The CLP holder must have taken and passed a general knowledge test that meets the Federal standards for the commercial motor vehicle that person operates or expects to operate.

(4) The CLP holder must be 18 years of age or older.

The CLP is valid for up to 1 year. After expiration, the CLP holder is required to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests.

The issuance of a CLP is a precondition to the initial issuance of a CDL. The issuance of a CLP is also a precondition to the upgrade of a CDL if the upgrade requires a skills test.

The CLP holder is not eligible to take the CDL skills test in the first 14 days after initial issuance of the CLP.

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CDL Endorsements

Drivers who operate special types of CMVs must pass additional tests to obtain any of the following endorsements placed on their CDL:

CDL Endorsement code Description
T Double/Triple Trailers (Knowledge test only)
P Passenger (Knowledge and Skills Tests)
N Tank vehicle (Knowledge test only)
H Hazardous materials (Knowledge test only)- Additional Hazmat Information below.
X Combination of tank vehicle and hazardous materials endorsements (Knowledge test only)
S School Bus (Knowledge and Skills Tests)

CLP Endorsements - Only 3 endorsements are allowed on the CLP

CDL Endorsement code Description
P Passenger, A CLP holder with a "P" endorsement is prohibited from operating a CMV carrying passengers, other than Federal/state auditors and inspectors, test examiners, other trainees, and the CDL holder accompanying the CLP holder as prescribed by 49CFR383.25(a)(1).
S School Bus, A CLP holder with an "S" endorsement is prohibited from operating a school with passengers, other than Federal/state auditors and inspectors, test examiners, other trainees, and the CDL holder accompanying the CLP holder as prescribed by 49CFR383.25(a)(1).
N Tank Endorsement, A CLP holder with an "N" endorsement may only operate an empty tank vehicle, and is prohibited from operating any tank vehicle that previously contained hazardous materials that have not been purged of any residue.

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CDL Restrictions

Restriction code Description
L If the driver does not pass the Air Brakes Knowledge Test, does not correctly identify the air brake system components, does not properly conduct an air brake systems check, or does not take the Skills test in a vehicle with a full air brake system, the driver must have an "L" no full air brake restriction placed on their license.
Z If the driver takes the test in a vehicle with an air over hydraulic brake system, then they will have a "Z" no full air brake restriction placed on their license. In either case the driver is not authorized to operate a CMV equipped with full air brakes.
E If the driver takes the Skills Test in a vehicle that has an automatic transmission, then an "E" no manual transmission restriction is placed on their license.
O If the driver takes the Skills Test in a Class A vehicle that has a pintle hook or other non-fifth wheel connection, they will have an "O" restriction placed on their license restricting them from driving any Class A vehicle with a fifth wheel connection.
M If a driver possesses a Class A CDL, but obtains his or her passenger or school bus endorsement in a Class B vehicle the State must place an "M" restriction indicating that the driver can only operate Class B and C passenger vehicle or school buses.
N If a driver possesses a Class B CDL, but obtains his or her passenger or school bus endorsement in a Class C vehicle; the State must place an "N" restriction indicating that the driver can only operate Class C passenger vehicle or school buses.
v If the State is notified by the FMCSA that a medical variance has been issued to the driver, the State must indicate the existence of such a medical variance on the CDLIS driving record and the CDL document using a restriction code "V" to indicate that there is information about the medical variance on the CDLIS record.

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Hazardous Materials Endorsement

CDL holders must have a threat assessment to obtain, renew or transfer a hazardous materials endorsement on their commercial license. The assessment includes the collection of fingerprints and a federal background check.

CDL Drivers should allow at least 90 days to complete the assessment process.  An individual who does not successfully complete the Transportation Security Administration security threat assessment process section may not be issued a hazardous materials endorsement.

Individuals are not allowed to transfer the remaining validity period of an HME issued by another state.

Please visit: https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/hazmat-endorsement or call (855) 347-8371 for additional information.

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Restricted CDL

Restricted CDL holders are limited to operating Group B and C vehicles, as described in subpart F of this part.

Restricted CDLs shall not be issued with any endorsements on the license document.

Restricted CDL holders may not hold an unrestricted CDL at the same time.

Restricted CDL holders may not operate a commercial motor vehicle beyond 150 miles from the place of business or the farm currently being served.

Restricted CDLs shall have the same renewal cycle as unrestricted CDL’s but shall be limited to the seasonal period or periods, provided that the total number of calendar days in any 12-month period for which the restricted CDL is valid does not exceed 180. The restricted CDL is valid for commercial motor vehicle operation only during the currently approved season and must be revalidated for each successive season. Only one seasonal period of validity may appear on the license document at a time. The good driving record must be confirmed prior to any renewal or revalidation.

Restricted CDL holders may not drive vehicles carrying any placardable quantities of hazardous materials, except for diesel fuel in quantities of 1,000 gallons or less; liquid fertilizers (i.e., plant nutrients) in vehicles or implements of husbandry in total quantities of 3,000 gallons or less; and solid fertilizers (i.e., solid plant nutrients) that are not transported with any organic substance.

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Self-Certification

Federal regulations require that every CLP or CDL holder must certify to the type of commercial driving they currently perform (or expect to perform). Driver’s must recertify their driving type with every license transaction.

You must determine whether you operate in interstate or intrastate commerce, and are excepted or non-excepted from either the Federal or State requirements. You must certify that you fall into one of the four operation categories listed below:

  • Type 1- (NI) Non-excepted interstate-Federal Medical Card Required.
  1. Engaged in interstate commerce.
  2. You must be 21 or older.
  3. Includes Skills Performance Evaluation (SPE), diabetes and vision variances.

 

  • Type 2- (EI) Excepted interstate- Federal Medical Card is not Required.
  1. Engaged in interstate commerce and operating under one of the following exceptions:
    1. All School bus operations;
    2. Transportation performed by any political subdivision;
    3. Transportation of human corpses or sick and injured persons;
    4. Operation of fire trucks and rescue vehicles while involved in emergency and related operations;
    5. Operation of vehicles designed or used to transport between 9 & 15 passengers not for direct compensation;
    6. Transportation of propane winter heating fuel or responding to a pipeline emergency;
    7. Farm custom operation: custom-harvesting operations, transporting farm machinery, supplies, or both, to or from a farm for custom-harvesting operations on a farm; or transport custom harvested crops to storage or market;
    8. Operation of a commercial motor vehicle controlled and operated by a beekeeper engaged in the seasonal transportation of bees;
    9. Operation of private motor carrier of passengers (non-business);
    10. Occasional transportation of personal property not for compensation or commercial enterprise;
  • Type 3 – (NA) Non-excepted intrastate – Federal Medical Card is Required.
  1. Engaged only in intrastate commerce and therefore is subject to Arkansas’ driver qualification requirements.

 

  • Type 4 – (EA) Excepted intrastate– Federal Medical Card is not Required.
  1. Engaged in intrastate commerce and subject to an exception. Includes all exceptions from Type 

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Medical Certification

To maintain a medical certification status of “Certified,” a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holder, who engages in Non-excepted Interstate or Non-excepted Intrastate commerce, must continue to be medically examined and certified in accordance with 49 CFR 383, 384, 390, 391; as well as Arkansas Code Annotated § 27-23-129.

  • Failure to submit a new medical card by expiration will result in a “Not Certified” status placed on your commercial license or permit.
  • Failure to submit a new medical card within 60 days after expiration will result in the downgrade of your CDL license or permit and you will be prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle.
  • If your commercial license is downgraded or voluntarily surrendered for one (1) year or more, you will be required to retake all phases of the CDL exam.

Submit a new medical card or change your self-certification type in one of the following ways:

 

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SPE/Waiver and Exemptions

The Skill Performance Evaluation program is for CMV drivers who drive in interstate commerce. The SPE certification allows drivers with missing or impaired limbs to drive CMVs across state lines if they have been fitted with (and are wearing) the right prosthetic device, and the driver can demonstrate the ability to drive the truck safely by completing on-and off-road activities. If the driver passes the driving test, he or she will receive a SPE certificate. Over the years, FMCSA has granted more than 3,000 SPE certificates to truck drivers who have shown that they can drive safely on the nation's highways. 

An individual may apply for an exemption from the diabetes, hearing, seizure and vision standard, section 391.41(b)(3) and 391.41(b)(11), 391.41(b)(8) or 391(b)(10) of the regulation, by utilizing exemption programs.

 Go to: https://cms.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/driver-exemption-programs for additional information.

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Trucker Against Trafficking

You must complete this free, 30-minute program and show proof of your certificate (either in printed form or a screen-shot image) to obtain your Class A CDL or to renew your Class A CDL.

To complete the certification program:

1) Go to:  education.TruckersAgainstTrafficking.org 

2) Click “Get Certified,” register, and then complete the course by watching the video and taking the short quiz.

3) Upon passing, you will have the option to print and/or download your certificate. You may also want to take a screenshot of this image, if on your mobile device.

4) Obtain a copy of your certificate and present it to the Department of Finance and Administration when applying for/renewing your Class A CDL.

If your company has already implemented the Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) training program, please ask your employer to contact TAT about creating a co-branded certificate. This will prevent you from having to go through the certification program online.

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CDL Forms

Self-Certification Affidavit

Proof of Legal Presence- Real ID

Proof of Legal Presence- Non-Real ID

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CDL Samples

 

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