News release

August 31, 2011

State updating commercial driver skills test

OLYMPIA —As part of traffic safety improvement efforts, the Department of Licensing is updating the driving test taken by people seeking a commercial driver license (CDL) in Washington on September 1.

The major change to the test will require drivers to complete a third backing-up exercise. Along with this, the test’s scoring system is being updated to expand a tester’s ability to evaluate the driver’s performance during the road test.

New testing procedures that will better measure a commercial driver’s ability to perform a commercial vehicle inspection will be adopted in 2012.

These changes are being adopted to bring Washington in line with national CDL knowledge and skills testing standards. The standards were developed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and endorsed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The new testing procedures have been added to DOL’s Commercial Driver Guide and more information about the changes also is posted on the Department of Licensing website at

There are about 200,000 commercial drivers or commercial permit holders in Washington and approximately 10,000 CDL skills tests are conducted annually in our state.

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