Find out what you need and how to take your CDL skills test.
Before you get started
Do you need to take a CDL test?
You must wait 14 calendar days after we've issued your original or upgraded commercial learner's permit (CLP) before you can take the skills test. You can't take a skills test until:
- A WA DOL CDL-approved training provider has completed your training AND entered your course completion.
- You’ve met all federal Entry Level Driver Training requirements.
You must prove proficiency in all segments of the skills test to the training provider before taking a skills test. We won’t test you without your state and federal training completions submitted. If you take a skills test before these requirements, we may require you to re-take all 3 components of the skills test.
When you must take a test
You must take a skills test anytime you:
- Get an original CDL
- Upgrade your commercial license for a higher commercial class
- Add endorsements that require a skills test, including:
- Passenger endorsement
- School bus endorsement
- Tank vehicle endorsement (only if testing and/or training in tank vehicle)
- Removing an air brake
- Removing no manual transmission restriction
- Removing non-tractor trailer restriction
- Haven't had a CDL for 1 year or more for any reason other than your license has expired (late fee renewal will apply)
If you need to renew because your license expired, you have up to 8 years to renew your CDL without having to test or show training requirements.
When you don't need to take a test
You do not need to take a skills test for the following endorsements:
- Tanker: If you're training and/or testing in a tank vehicle, you must have the tank endorsement on your commercial permit
- Hazmat: If you held a Hazmat endorsement before, you aren’t required to meet any training requirements as long as you can prove you had the endorsement
The cost of the skills test can vary depending on the type of vehicle and who you take your test with.
- Truck or passenger (excluding school bus) skills test taken with an independent third-party examiner (TPE) or DOL examiner: $250
- Any type of vehicle for Head Start employee: $225
- School bus test taken with Educational School District, DOL examiner or TPE: $100
*A $5.25 convenience fee will be charged if paying with a card.
The fee for skills test covers 2 test attempts. If you change the type of tester (i.e. DOL to TPE or TPE to DOL) on your 2nd test attempt, you'll have to pay the fee again.
1. Schedule your test
You'll test with a DOL examiner or third-party examiner (TPE). We must authorize you to test with a TPE before they can schedule your test. If a skills examiner isn't assigned, call us at 360.902.3785 to get confirmation of who you'll test with.
Testing with a DOL examiner
If testing with a DOL examiner, contact us at 360-902-3785 to schedule your skills test.
You can pay over the phone using credit, debit, or pre-paid card for one or more persons in one transaction. Convenience fee will apply.
You can also pay by mail with the Commercial Driver License Skills Test Mail-In Payment form. You must mail the form with a check, money order, or cashier's check. We do not accept handwritten or incomplete forms.
After paying, please wait for the email confirmation that we got your payment, then contact us to schedule your test.
Note: Processing mail-in payments can take up to 3 weeks. You can complete your scheduling when we receive your payment. If your payment method is declined, we'll invalidate your skills test and/or your CDL.
If paying for your own test or you're not a training provider paying for a student or employee
Enter your first and last name or leave the school/employer ID# blank.
If you're a registered training provider mailing in payment for a student(s) or employee(s)
Enter the school or business name you're approved or registered under or the registration ID# we issued to you.
Testing with a third-party examiner
If you are testing with a third-party examiner (TPE), contact them to schedule your test. You will also pay the test fee directly through them. You must schedule your test at least three days before you want to take it.
2. Take the test
Be on time and bring all the following to a CDL skills test location or you won't be able to take the test:
- Your valid WA driver license with commercial learner's permit (CLP) CLP
- Proof of insurance
- The type of vehicle you have for which you have a CLP
- An unloaded commercial vehicle
- Must be in safe operating condition and free of all hazardous material
- Proof that the vehicle is clean after transporting hazardous materials (if applicable)
- If borrowed: a letter from the vehicle's owner that authorizes its use for your test
- A valid Medical Examiners Certificate, if applicable:
- State Waiver
- Skills Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate
- Federal Medical Waiver
For passenger endorsement
Bring a bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of:
- 26,001 or more for a Class B CDL
- 26,000 or less for a Class C CDL
For a school bus endorsement
Bring any school bus with a GVWR of:
- 26,001 or more for a Class B CDL
- 26,000 or less for a Class C CDL
If you pass the passenger and school bus knowledge tests
You can take a skills test in a school bus and receive both passenger and school bus endorsement
If you have a Class C CDL with a passenger endorsement and you test for a school bus endorsement with a GVWR of 26,001 or more, we'll upgrade you to a Class B CDL
What to expect when you take the test
The test takes about two hours and includes three components, in this order:
- Vehicle inspection (if you fail this part, the test is over)
- Basic controls test (backing exercises)
- Road test
Tips for test taking
- You can't use help aids other than what is in the driver's guide, or mark or label components or memory aids
- The test is in English and you may not use an interpreter
- Be sure you have studied sections 11,12, and 13 of the CDL driver's 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
Dress accordingly. DOL test sites don't have climate-controlled waiting areas. Be prepared to wait in your personal vehicle to avoid extreme weather conditions.
3. Get your CDL
You must wait 24 hours after passing all 3 components of the skills test before we can issue your CDL.
Skills test scores are valid for 180 days. We calculate the 180 days from when you passed the first component of the skills test.
Make an appointment to take the following to a driver licensing office, if you haven't already:
- Your valid driver license
- Your Medical Examiners Certificate*
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency (see list of approved documents)
*Note: licensing offices cannot process state waivers, federal SPEs, or federal medical waivers. We must add these types of CDL medical documents to your drive record before we issue your CDL. Learn more about CDL medical waivers.
How to schedule a retest if you fail
If you do not pass all three components of the test, you will need to schedule a retest.
If you tested with a DOL examiner, call 360-902-3785 (this number is only for scheduling and DOL skills test payments).
When you call, have the following ready:
- Your driver license number
- The site you tested at before
- The date you last tested
If you tested with a TPE, contact them to schedule a retest.
If you test once and decide to change to a different examiner, a testing fee will apply. None of your previous scores will transfer and you'll also have to retake and pass all three parts of the test (this doesn't apply if you tested with DOL and change to a TPE).
If you fail your test, you will have to wait before you retest:
|If you don't pass the:||You can retake the test:|
|Pre-trip inspection||In 3 calendar days|
|Basic controls test||In 3 calendar days|
|Road test||In 7 calendar days|
No wait time and it does not count as a test.
If you passed the pre-trip inspection in a previous test, the vehicle must also pass a safety inspection when you retake
Make sure your CLP is valid
If you don't pass all 3 components of the skills test before your commercial learner's permit (CLP) expires, you'll have to retake any passing components of the test.
Your CLP expires at 12:01 a.m. of the expiration date printed on the CLP. If it will expire before an open test time, you'll need to make an appointment to visit a driver licensing office location to renew or get an original issued. If a renewed CLP is expiring, you will need to retake knowledge test(s) to get another original CLP issued.