Skills test: CDL
Things to know
You must take a skills test anytime you:
- Get or upgrade your CDL
- Add a passenger or school bus endorsement
- Remove the air brake restriction
You may need a skills test if you’re reinstating your CDL:
- It depends on the circumstances surrounding the CDL and endorsements you’re reinstating. Contact us for more information.
A skills test isn’t required for the following endorsements:
The cost of the skills test can vary depending on who you take your test with and the type of vehicle:
- Independent third-party or DOL Tester CDL skills test for Trucks and passenger vehicles. (Excluding school bus): $250
- Reduced skills test fee for Head Start only: $225
- Educational School District skills test or School bus endorsement skills test: $100
- Pass the knowledge test
- Get your Commercial License Permit (CLP)
- Schedule your test
- Take the test
- If needed, schedule a retest
- Get your CDL
1. Pass the knowledge test
2. Get your commercial license permit (CLP) — you must have it 14 days before testing.
3. Schedule your test
- Go to a driver licensing office location and get the skills test form. We’ll assign a tester at that time. If you’re testing with:
- The skills test form allows for 2 test attempts with the same tester.
- Let us know if you’re enrolled at a DOL partnering school or an employee of partnering employer and we’ll assign you to a DOL tester.
4. Take the test
Bring all of the following or you won’t be able to take the test:
- An unloaded commercial vehicle with the CDL class you want (A, B, or C).
- It must be in safe operating condition and free of all hazardous material.
- If needed, proof that the vehicle is clean after transporting hazardous materials.
- For passenger (P) endorsement, bring a bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers with a GVWR of:
- 26,001 or more for P1*
- 26,000 or less for P2*
- For a school bus (S) endorsement, bring any school bus with a GVWR of:
- 26,001 or more for S1*
- 26,000 or less for S2*
- A signed CDL Skills Test Results form.
- Your valid WA driver license with CLP.
- If your CLP has expired you won’t be able to take the test.
- A valid Medical Examiners Certificate if applicable:
- State Waiver
- Skills Performance Evaluation Certificate
- Federal Medical Waiver
- Proof of insurance or letter from the vehicle’s owner that authorizes its use for your test.
*If you take the following combination you’ll be able to get your passenger and school bus endorsements with one skills test:
- Passenger and school bus knowledge tests.
- If you take the skills test in a school bus, the GVWR of the vehicle will determine if your endorsements will be P1S or P2S.
What to expect when you take the test
- It takes about 2 hours and includes the following (in order):
- Pre-trip inspection. If you fail this part, the test is over.
- Basic controls test (backing exercises)
- Road test
- If testing with TPT, you’ll pay them your skills test fee.
- You can’t use help aids or an interpreter. The test is in English.
- Be sure you have studied sections 11, 12, and 13 of the CDL guide.
- You’ll need to:
- Describe and provide criteria for inspections items.
- Describe and show the air supply system check.
- Back the vehicle through a pre-designated course.
- Safely operate the vehicle per criteria in the guide.
When you pass the test
- The tester will complete and sign your CDL Skills Test Results form and return it to you.
- If you lost your form:
- Go back to the CDL/CLP office and get a new form. We’ll mark it “Duplicate.”
- Return to the tester so they can complete the form.
- Take the form and do one of the following:
- If you passed all the tests, return to the CDL/CLP office and have your CDL issued.
- If you’ve failed any parts, return to the office, if applicable pay any fees, and get a new form to retest.
5. If needed, schedule a retest
If you don’t pass all 3 components of the test, you can retest.
- Make sure your CPL is valid. If it will expire before an open test time, you’ll need to get a new permit.
- Your skills test form covers 2 tests. Use the same tester to avoid paying for a new skills test form.
- If you decide to change to a new tester**:
**This doesn’t apply if you tested with DOL and change to a TPT.
- None of your previous scores will transfer.
- You’ll have to retake and pass all 3 parts of the test.
- You need to wait to retake the test:
|If you don’t pass the
||You can retake the test
||In 3 days.
|Basic controls test
||In 3 days.
||In 7 days.
If you passed the pre-trip inspection in a previous test, the vehicle must also pass a safety inspection when you retake it.
- If you fail the 1st test attempt, schedule your retest:
- If you tested with a DOL tester, call the CDL Skills Testing Program at 360.902.3619 option 2 (this number is only for scheduling). When you call, have your:
- WA driver license number,
- site you tested at before,
- date you last tested, and
- red test form number (we can’t schedule without it).
- If you tested with a TPT, contact them.
- If you fail the 2nd test attempt go to a driver licensing office:
- Get a new test form.
- Pay any fees, if applicable.
- Start the testing process over.
- If you test after July 1, 2016 with a test form issued before June 28, 2016 and fail your 1st test attempt:
- If you tested with a DOL tester, call the CDL Skills Testing Program at 360.902.3619 option 2.
- If you tested with a TPT, contact them. You’ll have to pay an extra testing fee due to the increased test fee.
6. Get your CDL
Take all of the following to a driver licensing office to get your CDL:
- Passing and signed CDL Skills Test Results form.
- Your Medical Examiners Certificate.
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency, if you haven’t provided it already. See list of approved documents.
- An original certificate from your school, employer or agribusiness exemption to verify you’ve completed the training requirements. This form isn’t required for CDL upgrades.
Questions? Need help?