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 when you take the skills test

It takes about 2 hours and includes a pre-trip inspection, a basic controls test (backing exercises), and road test. You must take this test to:

  • Get or upgrade your CDL.
  • Add a passenger or school bus endorsement.
  • Remove the air brake restriction.

How to schedule a CDL skills test

  1. Go to a driver licensing office, request a CDL Skills Test Results form.
  2. Pay the fee.
  3. We’ll schedule your test with us, or give you a list of available third-party testers.

Note: If you’re a student at a CDL training school, ask if they’re partnering with us for testing. If they are and they’ve arranged with us to have the skills test conducted at the school, we’ll give you a CDL Skills Test Results form that assigns you to a DOL tester.

Where to take your CDL skills test

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

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

If you’re an employer or CDL training school, we may be able to partner with you to provide skills testing. Call our CDL Skills Testing Program at 360.902.3619, Ext. 1, for more information.

What to bring to your test

Bring all of the following:

  • An unloaded commercial vehicle 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 applicable, proof your vehicle has been purged after transporting hazardous materials).
    • 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 from a driver licensing office.
  • Your valid WA driver license with a valid CDL permit.
    • You must get a CDL permit at least 14 days prior to taking a skills test.
  • A valid Medical Examiners Certificate and if applicable a valid State or Federal Medical Waiver.
  • Proof of insurance or a letter from the vehicle’s owner 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:

  1. Go back to the driver licensing office and get a new form. It will be marked as a “Duplicate.”
  2. Return to the tester to have them complete the new form.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 (pre-trip inspection, basic controls, road test) on your first try, you may reschedule with the tester 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 the road test.

After a failed attempt:

  1. 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.
  2. The driver licensing office will transfer your passing scores to the new form and collect the skills test 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 retest with DOL. Call the CDL Skills Testing Program at 360.902.3619, Ext. 1, to schedule. Please provide us your:
    • Full name (last, first, and middle initial)
    • Date of birth
    • WA State driver license number
    • Contact phone number
  • If you tested with a third-party tester, contact the same tester to schedule. If you go to a different tester, you’ll be required to start over and complete all 3 portions again — even if you had previously passed 1 or more components.

Can I choose between a DOL tester and a third-party tester when I schedule my CDL skills test?

It depends on tester availability and what is geographically convenient for you, we’ll either assign you to a DOL tester or provide you a list of third-party testers.

Will I be provided with a commercial vehicle when I take my skills test with a DOL tester?

No. We don’t provide a commercial vehicles for testing. You must provide your own commercial vehicle when taking your skills test with a DOL tester.

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.

Are there penalties for trying to get a CDL fraudulently?

Yes. 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.

Related information

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