How to Renew a Commercial Drivers License in Arkansas
To perform a CDL renewal in Arkansas, you need to complete an application and present legal proof of residence in the United States. The state of Arkansas allows a grace period for expired licenses, but the renewal process may be started before the license expires. Drivers who plan to renew their endorsements should also allow time to take the knowledge tests that are required for each endorsement, in addition to the new certifications required by law.
In addition to the steps to renew commercial drivers license credentials in Arkansas, drivers need to renew their DOT medical certification and pay the renewal fees. Drivers who plan to renew a license with a hazardous materials endorsement are also required to new their TSA validation, or the DMV will not issue a new CDL. After renewing your CDL, remember to complete the Arkansas self-certification, or you risk the cancellation of your license.
When to Renew Your CDL License in Arkansas
A CDL license renewal is required after eight years, and expires on the driver’s birthday. Drivers should apply for their new licenses at least one month out from their CDL expiration dates to accommodate the processing time. Drivers who plan to reapply for a hazardous materials endorsement should leave enough time for their TSA background checks to process.
There is a 31-day CDL expiration grace period in Arkansas, and residents have an additional month after expiration during which their license can be renewed.
CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Arkansas
In addition to the CDL renewal requirements common to other states, such as endorsements tests, Arkansas requires all drivers to complete a human trafficking awareness course. The Truckers Against Trafficking course was made a requirement by state law in 2017, and it is available for free from a variety of sources.
Class A CDL holders may attend a training course by the Arkansas State Police or a private program recognized by the ASP. Alternatively, a 30-minute video course is available on the Truckers Against Trafficking website. Any driver applying for, or renewing, a Class A CDL is required to pass a short quiz, and present his or her certification to the DMV.
Drivers applying for Class B or Class C CDLs will not be required to complete the Truckers Against Trafficking course, but are still required to complete the written tests, skills tests and vision test required to renew CDL credentials, and any accompanying endorsements.
Note: If an employee has already enrolled in a human trafficking awareness program, he or she should receive certification proof from an employer to be exempt from the state training.
What do you need to renew your CDL license in Arkansas?
To renew a CDL license, the DMV requires proof of your legal presence in the United States. The DMV also requires the certificates from the testing requirements above, your current CDL and an updated CDL application. The full list of items you need to renew a CDL includes:
- A DOT Medical Card.
- A current CDL.
- A Truckers Against Trafficking certificate.
- A Commercial Driver License Application.
- A 10-Year Driving History.
- Proof of domicile: A recent bank statement, utility bill, mortgage or loan agreement, or any official, recent document showing your address.
- Proof of legal residence: A U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship or an unexpired Permanent Resident card.
CDL Renewal Process in Arkansas
The first step to renewing a CDL in Arkansas is to complete a CDL medical card renewal. The Medical Examiner Certificate must be completed in its entirety, after you take a CDL physical performed by a licensed medical professional, recognized by the national registry.
A list of nearby doctors is available on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Once the full document is completed, the DOT medical card may be submitted online.
Make an appointment at the DMV to file your paperwork, take your photo and complete the written tests required for your endorsements. Once your new CDL has been issued, use the online portal to self-register your commercial driver license number and driving type. The Arkansas DMV will issue you a warning, and potentially cancel your license, should you fail to complete the self-registration.
Arkansas CDL Permit Renewal Requirements
How long is a CDL permit good for? An Arkansas commercial learners permit (CLP) is valid for 180 days, but, upon CDL permit expiration, can be renewed one additional time, for an extra 180 days.
If the permit holder does not complete his or her road test to obtain a CDL within the extended 180 days, the permit will expire, and may not be renewed again. In that instance, the driver will be required to restart the permit application process, including the originally required written tests.
To complete a CDL learners permit renewal, you must visit the DMV, but are not required to retake the general knowledge test.
Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Arkansas
To complete a hazmat endorsement renewal, you must resubmit the TSA hazmat application and allow time for the background check to process. You may submit the application online or in person, at an application center in Arkansas.
Hazmat renewal applications centers are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and the centers do accept walk-ins. However, appointments take priority, and scheduling time to visit the center will cut down on your waiting time. Make an appointment online, or by calling 855-347-8371.
An in-person visit to an application center will be required to complete the fingerprinting and present the required documentation. The same documents that are required to prove legal presence at the DMV for CDL renewal are required to prove citizenship or legal presence to the TSA.
Most applicants can use a U.S. passport or birth certificate, but an online portal is available for other applicants to check which documents are required.
The TSA background check is valid for five years, and most likely will not expire at the same time as your Arkansas CDL. TSA will send you a notice 60 days before the expiration of your background check, and will process your application between 30 to 45 days.
CDL Renewal Fees in Arkansas
The CDL renewal price in Arkansas is $42. Further, there is a $50 charge for commercial driver road tests. Some additional charges may include:
- $50 for required retests.
- $10 for each endorsement test.
- $86.50 for the TSA hazmat application.
The CDL renewal cost may be paid by the driver, or the driver’s employer. The DMV will accept cash, check or credit, but a driver may also pay online, at the Arkansas DMV website.