Skills test: CDL

Before you take your skills (driving) test:

  1. Study the Commercial driver guide.
  2. Pass the knowledge tests for the vehicle type you’ll be licensed for.
  3. Get your commercial license permit (CLP) – you must have it 14 days before testing.

The skills test is required when you:

  • get or upgrade your CDL.
  • add a passenger or school bus endorsement, or
  • remove the air brake restriction.

How to schedule a CDL skills test

  • Go to a CDL/CLP office location.
    • If you’re enrolled at a DOL partnering school, tell them and they’ll assign you to a DOL tester.
  • We’ll schedule your test with us, or give you a list of third-party testers. If your CLP is expired you won't be able to schedule a test.
  • We’ll issue you the Skills Test Results form.
  • Pay the fees.

Where to take your CDL skills test

You’ll be scheduled with either a DOL or a third-party tester.

  • DOL testers conduct tests at designated CDL skills test locations.
  • Third-party testers set their own testing hours and locations.

What to bring to your test

Bring all of the following:

  • 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.
      Note: If needed, proof that the vehicle has been purged after transporting hazardous materials.
    • For passenger or school bus endorsements, provide a bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers.
  • A signed CDL Skills Test Results form.
  • Your valid WA driver license with CLP.
    • If your CLP is expired you won’t be able to test.
  • A valid Medical Examiners Certificate (if applicable, valid State or Federal Medical Waiver.)
  • Proof of insurance or letter from the vehicle’s owner that authorizes it’s use for your test.

What to expect when you take the test

It takes about 2 hours. Includes a pre-trip inspection, a basic controls test (backing exercises), and road test.

What to do if you lose your Skills Test Results form

  1. Go back to the CDL/CLP office and get a new form. It will be marked “Duplicate.”
  2. Return to the tester so they can complete the form.
  3. Use the form to do 1 of these:
    • 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 the fee, and get a new form to retest.

When you pass the test

  1. The tester will complete and sign your CDL Skills Test Results form and return it to you.
  2. Take all of the following to a CDL/CLP office to have your CDL issued:
    • Signed CDL Skills Test Results form.
    • Your Medical Examiners Certificate.
    • If you have not shown proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency you must show proof before your CDL can be issued. 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.

If you don’t pass the test

If you don’t pass all 3 components (pre-trip inspection, basic controls, road test), you may retest after the required waiting period:

If you don’t pass the… You can retake the test…
Pre-trip inspection In 3 days.
Basic controls test In 3 days.
Road test In 7 days.
Note: If you previously passed the pre-trip inspection, the vehicle must also pass a safety inspection when you retake this test.
  1. Go back to the CDL/CLP office with the completed CDL Skills Test Results form, and get a new form.
  2. We will transfer any of your passing scores to the new form and if applicable, collect the skills test fee.

This cycle can be repeated until you successfully pass all 3 components of the test.

How to schedule a retest

CLP must be valid. If your CLP will expire before an open test time you will need to get a new permit.

  • If you tested with a DOL tester, you must retest with us. When you go to the CDL/CLP office to purchase the Skills Test Results form, they’ll tell you how to reschedule. When you schedule, have your:
    • WA driver license number,
    • site you previously tested at, and
    • date you last tested.
  • If you tested with a third-party (TPT), go back to the CDL/CLP office to purchase the Skills Test Results form, then contact the TPT to reschedule. If you go to a different TPT tester, or to a DOL tester, you’ll have to start over and complete all 3 portions again – previous scores won’t transfer.

How long are test scores valid?

For 1 year from the date of the test.

Can I get additional endorsements after I get my CDL?

Yes. You can get special endorsements or remove the air brake restrictions by taking additional knowledge and driving tests and paying fees.

Do I have to take the tests to reinstate a CDL or endorsement?

Yes. You’ll need to pay fees, and may be required to retake knowledge and driving tests depending on the circumstances surrounding the surrender of the CDL or endorsement.

Related information

Questions? Need help?

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