To get your Commercial Driver License (CDL), you need to pass the vision test, knowledge test, and a road test. You should review all the steps to getting a CDL here. For help preparing for the knowledge test, see the CDL manual.
CDL knowledge test
Below is a bullet point outline of the Exam Test Receipt and Commercial Learner Permit Process. The points are listed in a manner that will assist you in the process to obtain a CDL.
- You must get an examination test receipt prior to taking the knowledge test(s). To do this, make an appointment and bring your 6 Points of ID to obtain an Examination Test Receipt.
- To be sure that you get the correct tests, you must indicate the type of commercial vehicle you will drive and the endorsement(s) you will use.
- The test fee is $125.
- The knowledge test is a 50-question general test with additional separate tests for each endorsement. To pass the test you must answer at least 80% of the questions correctly.
- Pass the knowledge exams and have the Test Receipt validated at a licensing center
- Present the validated Test Receipt and present it along with the CDL Holder Self-Certification Form – and a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate if required – to the MVC technician to receive your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP).
- Test scores are valid for 360 days.
- You should have a current and validated CLP present whenever practicing for the skills test. The Test Receipt does not have to be present when practicing.
- You will need to practice for 14 days accompanied by another CDL licensed person before you can take the road test (unless this requirement is waived).
- EFFECTIVE 2/7/22: Applicants for a HAZMAT endorsement must complete Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) from a provider listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry prior to taking their knowledge test.
If you fail the knowledge test you must wait seven days before taking it again. You may re-take the test as many times as you like, but if you have not passed it after 180 days, you will need to renew your Test Receipt.
CDL Skills Test
All CDL Applicants are required to take the CDL Skills Test, otherwise known as the road test. This test requires an appointment.
- You can take your CDL Skills Test 14 days after you pass your knowledge test, unless this requirement is waived.
- EFFECTIVE 2/7/22: Prior to taking your skills test for your CDL or any endorsements, you must complete Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) from a provider listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry.
A safety specialist will ride with you during your Skills Test and judge you on three parts:
- Basic Skills
- Road Skills
Make sure you bring these items to the road test:
- Valid Test Receipt and CLP.
- A Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) appropriate for the license/endorsement you are applying for. Note: The MVC does not supply vehicles for road tests. Your vehicle must have:
- Current inspection sticker.
- Valid registration.
- Valid insurance card (unless covered by PUC or federal DOT regulations).
- Legible GVWR placards affixed to the test vehicle(s).
- No cargo of any kind.
- A licensed driver qualified to operate the CMV being used for the test.
Once you pass the CDL Skills Test, you may take your permit and authorization slip to a Licensing Center to obtain your license.
If you fail the CDL road test, you must wait at least two weeks before re-taking the test. If you fail the test several times, the MVC may require that you wait six months before taking the road test again.
Banking of Commercial Driver License Skills Test Scores
The banking of CDL skills test scores is permissible under the following guidelines:
- Applicant must pass the pre-trip portion of the road test to be eligible to bank test scores.
- Banking of CDL skills test scores will be site specific.
- Applicant’s CDL skills retest can be administered at any CDL test site.
- Applicant must present the fail/denial form indicating the results of the previous CDL skills test(s).
- Banking of CDL skills test results are valid for one Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) cycle, equal to 180 days from issuance of the CLP.