Taking the CDL Exam at a Truck Driving School or Trucking Company

Tuesday, Mar 26 2019 Randall-Reilly Editor

If you are just beginning your journey in the trucking industry, then you need to get your commercial driver’s license or CDL. The CDL gives you the literal license to drive a big rig. To get your CDL you need to pass your state’s CDL exam. However, you might have heard of trucking companies or truck driver training schools that let you take the CDL exam there instead. Find out whether or not you can take the CDL exam at a truck driving school or trucking company near you.

About Offsite CDL Testing

When it comes to getting a CDL, you can take the CDL exam in more places than just your local Department of Motor Vehicles. While the DMV is fine, you can also take the exam:

  • At a truck driving school
  • During a student training program
  • At a trucking company with paid CDL training

The biggest factor in knowing whether you can depend on this testing is whether the testing provider is certified to offer CDL testing. Learn more about where you can take testing and how this works, along with where CDL testing by a third party is permitted.

Trucking Schools With Onsite CDL Testing

aerial view of the back of a truck on a highwayWhen you attend a truck driving school to train to be a commercial truck driver, you may be able to take the CDL exam on campus. Many locations allow you take your CDL License exam right at the school. Some states, however, require you to take the test at a DMV location. In this scenario, you attend a trucking school and learn everything you need to pass the CDL exam. The school then offers to let you take the CDL exam on campus.

For example, at Roadmaster Drivers School locations nationwide, student drivers are able to use third-party testing in states that allow it. This way Roadmaster Drivers School students can test at the same place where they are learning behind the wheel skills. They have access to a big rig for taking the skills test, which is a major roadblock that most would-be drivers have to deal with the first thing.

  • Question: Is this allowed in your state and is it legal according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration?

The FMCSA states you can use third-party skills testing in some instances. There are some states that let you use a third-party administrator for completing the behind the wheel skills test for the CDL. In any state that allows this type of testing, the agency must meet certain conditions.

The CDL exams that are provided to test takers must be the same exams that the DMV uses. They must also be trained according to the same standards as DMV examiners. If this involves getting certified or licensed, then this is a requirement for third-party testing providers as well.

The third-party testing provider must also be open to getting audited or inspected. This is conducted randomly by the FMCSA and state DOT. At a minimum, all of these testing providers are required to get inspected once a year. Any examiners that fail to meet these guidelines will be penalized by the FMCSA. So you can rest assured that when you are dealing with a third-party testing provider, they will be able to provide this service legally.

States that Allow Onsite CDL Exams

Another way to know whether or not you can use onsite CDL testing is to see if you live in a state where the testing is available. There are 38 states and Washington DC that have third-party examiners and testing sites available to provide CDL testing. The following is the list of states offering third-party testing. It includes, as of September 2018, the number of qualified examiners and testing sites in each state according to FMCSA data:

  1. Alabama, 155, 23
  2. Alaska, 137, 43
  3. Arkansas, 53, 40
  4. California, 514, 148
  5. Colorado, 230, 90
  6. Connecticut, 25, 3
  7. Washington DC, 4, 1
  8. Florida, 396, 200
  9. Georgia, 262, 94
  10. Indiana, 9, 7
  11. Iowa, 262, 47
  12. Kentucky, 40, 34
  13. Maryland, 145, 28
  14. Massachusetts, 26, 18
  15. Michigan, 90, 69
  16. Minnesota, 190, 80
  17. Missouri 84, 22
  18. Nebraska 177, 61
  19. Nevada, 73, 33
  20. New Hampshire, 9, 5
  21. New Jersey, 110, 12
  22. New Mexico, 90, 64
  23. North Carolina, 359, 217
  24. North Dakota, 40, 11
  25. Ohio, 49, 11
  26. Oklahoma, 30, 23
  27. Oregon,128, 230
  28. Pennsylvania, 451, 143
  29. Rhode Island, 5, 1
  30. South Carolina, 65, 113
  31. South Dakota, 21, 40
  32. Tennessee, 122, 71
  33. Texas, 160 and not reported
  34. Utah, 201, 228
  35. Virginia, 197, 165
  36. Washington, 123, 106
  37. West Virginia, 26, 26
  38. Wisconsin, 224, 103
  39. Wyoming, 61, 78
  40. Indiana did not report the data
  41. Idaho did not report the data
  42. Mississippi did not report the data

The other states don’t allow third-party testers or testing sites for CDL skills testing, according to the FMCSA. If you do not live in one of these states or in DC, then you are not eligible for third-party testing services when getting your CDL.

Learn More About CDL Exams

You are going to want to learn a lot more about getting your commercial driver's license. From how to study for the CDL exam to finding a truck driving school near you, Trucker Classifieds has you covered. We support truck drivers by offering free CDL information and trucking industry news. Find out more about training to be a trucker, as well as how to find a trucking job. We even give you free tools for finding truck driving jobs and applying to them. This way you can continue on your way to a successful trucking career without spending a fortune in time or money on doing so. Let our free truck driver resources help you today at Trucker Classifieds.

Source: FMCSA - Info

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