To learn about the individual tests
The best way to learn about the individual tests is to download our CDLPass software and try it out for yourself. This will let you get a sense for the tests and the requirements for your state.
Also, you can visit the page for each test individually:
CDL Written and Road Tests
CDL computerized tests, road and skills tests are only administered in the English language. To request an oral CDL computerized test at a facility equipped with automated written testing equipment, you must contact the facility manager.
You will have to take one or more knowledge tests depending on what class of license and what endorsements you need. There are nine (9) different CDL written tests. An applicant is required to correctly answer 80% of the questions to pass the written CDL tests.
The CDL knowledge tests include:
(note: the following information is generic - your state may be slightly different. Again, for the best information for YOUR STATE, please download the software, which configures itself specifically to the state that you select).
- The general knowledge test is required for all applicants wishing to obtain a CDL. There are 30 questions.
While the rules for retakes may vary by state, the following is typical for many states: CDL applicants, who fail any CDL examination(s) three (3) times, will be required to wait 30 days from the date of the 3rd failure, three additional failures (a total of 6 failures) of the same test(s) will result in a 90 day waiting period. Three additional failures ( a total of 9 failures) of the same test(s) after the 90 day waiting period will result in a one year waiting period from date of last fail. The waiting periods only apply to the test(s) failed three times.
- Out of State applicants must take all relevant CDL written tests to secure a CDL in your state.
- A CDL instruction permit expires after 1 year from issuance. All CDL written tests will need to be retaken to renew the instruction permit.
- The Air brakes test is required if the vehicle is equipped with air brakes. There are 25 questions. (Study Section 5 of the CDL buy Guide.) NOTE: An "L" restriction is placed on a CDL when an individual is not able to operate a vehicle that is equipped with airbrakes. To qualify to operate a vehicle equipped with airbrakes, an applicant must successfully pass the written air brake test and take the CDL skills test in a vehicle equipped with airbrakes. To remove an "L" restriction from a CDL, an airbrake written test and a drive test in a vehicle equipped with airbrakes is required.
- The combination vehicle test is required if you wish to drive combination vehicles. There are 20 questions.
- The passenger endorsement test is required if you will drive a vehicle designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver). There are 20 questions.
- The school bus endorsement test is required if you will drive a yellow school bus transporting students to and from school and to and from school related functions. There are 20 questions.
- The charter bus endorsement test is required to operate a bus transporting students involved in school sponsored activities. There are 20 questions.
- The hazardous materials test is required if you wish to operate a vehicle transporting hazardous material that requires placarding. There are 30 questions. NOTE: The hazardous materials endorsement written test must be successfully completed each time you renew your CDL.
- The tank endorsement test is required to operate a vehicle designed to carry any liquid or gaseous material within a tank that is permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis. There are 20 questions.
- The doubles/triple endorsement test is required if you will operate double or triple trailers. There are 20 questions.
After passing the required written tests, an applicant may be required to complete the CDL skills tests which consist of a vehicle pre-trip inspection test, basic controls skills test and a road test.
- The Pre-trip inspection is a walk-around inspection to make sure the vehicle is safe to operate. You will not be required to crawl under the vehicle or reach into the engine.
- The basic controls skills test contains four maneuvers: straight line backing, stop at line, measured right turn and angled backing/simulated docking.
- The road test is administered on an established drive route. The examiner scores you on specific driving maneuvers, use of mirrors, blinkers, clutch (if applicable), and your handling of the vehicle in traffic.
Each portion of the skills tests must be taken in a vehicle representative of the license classification you wish to obtain. Proof of insurance is required for every vehicle before the performance tests may be administered.
for more information, read the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS document on the CDLPass homepage.