What’s The Difference Between an AZ and DZ Commercial License in Ontario?

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If you’re thinking about becoming any sort of professional working driver – such as driving trucks, or municipal vehicles like fire trucks – you’ll need training and a specialized license to qualify you for the job.  In most cases, the easiest option is to attend an accredited school that offers AZ and DZ license courses.  That way, you’ll get excellent hands-on training, and be well-prepared to move into a lucrative field where drivers are constantly in demand.

But what is the difference between an AZ and DZ license, and which would be right for your career plans?  Let’s take a look.

Understanding The Differences Between AZ and DZ License Courses

First, one note – the “Z” in the licenses means that you’ve received training and certification in air brakes, which are common in nearly all heavy commercial vehicles.  The requirements for air brake certification are the same for both licenses – 8 hours of training.

While it is possible to get just a Class A or Class D license, this is a bad idea because it would lock you out of driving many different vehicles.

I. AZ Licenses

If you’re looking to become a professional truck driver, especially a long-haul trucker, you’ll want to take an Ontario AZ license course.  The AZ license allows you to drive any motor vehicle, or truck and trailer combination, weighing more than 4,600kg or 10,000lb.

The only exception are large passenger vehicles, such as busses, which require a separate C-Class certification.

II. DZ Licenses

DZ license courses are easier to pass than AZ because it has weight restrictions which allow you to challenge the test without backing up a trailer.  A DZ license allows you to operate heavy vehicles up to 4,600kg/10,000lb, but not exceeding it.

Drivers with DZ licenses are typically looking for a career in municipal work.  Having a DZ license would qualify you to drive fire trucks, garbage trucks, cement mixers, street snowplows, rescue vehicles, and similar vehicles.  This can also be a highly lucrative field, plus it means you’re never far from home.

To apply for either an AZ or DZ license, you must already have a standard Ontario G licence.  Training licenses or motorcycle licenses don’t count.  If you don’t have a regular license, you’d need to get that before beginning CDL license training.

5th Wheel Training Institute

If you want to get started in a great new career, 5th Wheel Training Institute can help!  Our AZ and DZ license courses are respected across the industry and will make it much easier to find a job once you have your license.  Click here to learn more about us!



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