Commercial Driver's License Class "A"
A Class "A" commercial driver's license is required to operate:
- Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, to include a towed vehicle that is HEAVIER than 10,000 lbs.
- Truck and trailer combinations.
- Double and triple trailers.
- Tractor-trailer buses.
- Tanker vehicles.
- Livestock carriers.
In addition, a Class A license may allow you to drive some Class B and Class C vehicles as long as you possess the correct endorsements.
To qualify for a CDL in New Mexico/Arizona, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid New Mexico/Arizona driver's license and obtain a medical certificate. Transportation of cargo across state lines is regulated by the federal government and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). USDOT requires all drivers who transport materials across state lines to be at least 21 years old. CDL applicants must then pass a written knowledge exam and a three part skills test, which includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic control skills test and an on-road driving exam. The State of New Mexico/Arizona requires that you test in a vehicle that matches the class of CDL you are trying to obtain--for example, you must test in a Class A vehicle if you wish to obtain a Class A CDL.
Additional knowledge and skills tests may be required depending on the endorsements you need. For example, endorsements are needed to drive a truck with air brakes, a tanker or a school bus. They are also needed to transport passengers or to haul hazardous materials. A background check by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is required to transport hazardous materials (also referred to as a Hazmat endorsement).