Skills test: CDL
You must pass both the knowledge and skills (driving) tests to add a commercial driver license (CDL) to your driver license.
What to expect
The skills test takes about 2 hours and includes a pre-trip inspection, a basic controls test (backing exercises), and a road test. You must take the skills test to:
- Get a CDL.
- Upgrade your CDL.
- Add a passenger or school bus endorsement.
- Remove the air brake restriction.
How to schedule a CDL skills test
- Go to a driver licensing office and request a CDL Skills Test Results form.
- Pay the appropriate fee. You may pay with:
- MasterCard and American Express credit or debit cards, and some Visa debit cards.
- Credit and debit cards not accepted at Coulee Dam, Davenport, Friday Harbor, Forks, Goldendale, Newport, Republic, or South Bend.
- A vendor-charged convenience fee is added to all transactions paid with a debit or credit card at driver licensing offices.
- The driver licensing office staff will schedule you for your CDL skills test with a DOL tester, or give you a list of available third-party testers you may contact to schedule and take the test.
Note: If you’re a current student at a commercial driver training school, check with your school to see if they’re partnering with us for testing and tell the driver licensing office staff if they are. If your school has arranged with us to have the skills test conducted at the school, you’ll be given a CDL Skills Test Results form that assigns you to a Department of Licensing (DOL) tester.
Where to take your test
When you apply for your CDL skills test, you’ll be scheduled with either a DOL tester or a third-party tester depending on tester availability and what is geographically convenient to you.
- Third-party testers set their own testing hours and locations.
- DOL testers conduct CDL skills tests at regional CDL skills test locations.
If you’re an employer or CDL training school, we may be able to partner with you to provide skills testing. Call the CDL Skills Testing Program at 360-902-3619, Ext. 1, for more information.
What to bring to your test
When you arrive for your CDL skills test appointment, you must bring all of the following:
- An unloaded commercial vehicle that is representative of the class of CDL you want (A, B, or C). The vehicle must be in safe operating condition and free of all hazardous material. If you’re applying for a passenger or school bus endorsement, you must provide a bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers including the driver.
- A signed CDL Skills Test Results form issued by a driver licensing office. This is a required form and you won’t be tested or issued a license without it.
- Your valid Washington State driver license.
- Proof of valid insurance or a letter from the owner of the vehicle that authorizes you to use it for your test.
What to do if you lose your Skills Test Results form
If you lose this form you’ll be required to:
- Go back to the driver licensing office and get a new form. It will be marked as a “Duplicate.”
- Return to the tester to have them complete the new form.
- Use your duplicate form to do 1 of the following:
- If you passed all components of the test, return to the driver licensing office and have your CDL issued.
- If you’ve taken the test and failed, return to a driver licensing office, pay the required fee, and get a new form to retest.
What to do if you pass the test
- Once you pass all 3 components of the skills test (pre-trip inspection, basic controls, road test), the tester will complete and sign your CDL Skills Test Results form and return it to you.
- Take all of the following to a driver licensing office to have your CDL issued:
- Your completed, signed CDL Skills Test Results form.
- An original certificate from your school or employer to verify you’ve completed the training requirements.
What to do if you don’t pass the test
If you don’t pass all 3 components of the skills test (pre-trip inspection, basic controls, road test) on your first try, you may schedule another attempt with the tester after the required waiting period:
|If you don’t pass the…
||You can retake the test…|
||In 3 days.|
|Basic controls test
||In 3 days.|
||In 7 days.|
Note: If you previously passed the pre-trip inspection, the vehicle must also pass a safety inspection when you retake the road test.
After a failed attempt:
- You must return to the driver licensing office with the completed CDL Skills Test Results form, and get a new CDL Skills Test Results form.
- The driver licensing office will transfer your passing scores to the new form and collect the required $100 fee.
This cycle can be repeated as many times as it takes for you to successfully pass all 3 components of the skills test.
How to schedule a retest
- If you tested with a DOL tester, you must be retested by DOL. Call the CDL Skills Testing Program at 360-902-3619, Ext. 1, to schedule a retest. When you call, please provide the following information:
- Your full name (last, first, and middle initial)
- Your date of birth
- Your Washington State driver license number
- A contact phone number
- If you tested with a third-party tester, contact the same third-party tester to schedule a retest. If you go to a different tester, you’ll be required to start all over and complete all 3 portions of the skills test again — even if you passed 1 or more components of the test with the 1st third-party tester.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have the option to choose between a DOL tester and a third-party tester when I schedule my CDL skills test?
No. Depending on tester availability and what is geographically convenient for you, the driver licensing office staff will either assign you to a DOL tester or provide you a list of third-party testers you may contact to schedule and take the test.
Will I be provided with a commercial vehicle when I take my skills test with a DOL tester?
No, DOL testers won’t provide a commercial vehicle for you to use during testing. You must provide your own commercial vehicle when taking your skills test with a DOL tester.
How long are test scores valid?
Test scores are valid for 1 year from the date of the test.
Can I get additional endorsements after I get my CDL?
After a CDL is issued, you can get special endorsements or remove the air brake restrictions by taking additional knowledge and driving tests and paying all applicable fees.
Do I have to take the tests to reinstate a CDL or endorsement?
Drivers who surrender their CDL or any endorsement will be required to pay all applicable fees, and may be required to retake knowledge and driving tests depending on the circumstances surrounding the surrender of the CDL or endorsement.
Are there penalties for trying to get a CDL fraudulently?
If you try to get a CDL fraudulently, your driver license may be cancelled and you may be required to wait for up to 1 year before you can reapply for a CDL.