Commercial Driver License Testing

AAMVA offers a Model Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Manual for the current version of the CDL exam and the new, modernized version. The manuals were developed by jurisdiction members who are members of the Test Maintenance Subcommittee (TMS) and the International Driver Examiner Certification (IDEC) Board and approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The manuals are intended to prepare an applicant for the licensing and knowledge/skills testing processes and are not a substitute for a certified commercial motor vehicle driver training program. The model manuals provide uniformity between jurisdictions by ensuring every applicant is provided the same information regarding the CDL Knowledge and Skills tests.  The TMS and IDEC Board, in association with AAMVA staff and other experts, work to ensure that examiners and CDL applicants have the information they need to ensure consistent results and improve highway safety.

AAMVA does not distribute training materials to third parties. You will need to contact your state driver license agency and work through them directly. Each state has its own process.

CDL Skills Test Modernization (2022)

Over the last decade, vehicle technologies and components (such as braking, steering and suspension systems, etc.) have continued to evolve at a fast pace. In 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and AAMVA jointly decided to evaluate the existing vehicle inspection (VI) and basic control skills (BCS) tests. The Modernized tests were evaluated using experienced drivers, new drivers, and student drivers as well as CDL examiners. Testing vehicles included a broad range of Class A and Class B commercial vehicles.   

What’s New

Chapters 11 and 12 in the 2005 CDL Driver Manual were rewritten to reflect the changes discussed in the test development. The new VI and BCS Chapters will be:
  • Module 11M Overview of the VI
  • Module 12M Overview of the BCS
Chapters 4 and 5 in the 2005 CDL Examiner’s Manual were rewritten to ensure that all the guidance for the examiners was correct and complete for the new tests. The updated chapters included scripts for examiners to use to provide test instructions to applicants. The new VI and BCS Chapters for the Examiners Manual will be:
  • Module 4M Overview of the VI slides – edits made to slides 6-10, 18, 22, and 31
  • Module 5M Overview of the BCS slides – edits made to slides 6-9, 22, 34-35, and 67
Jurisdictions may offer the modernized version, the current version, or both versions of the CDL exam as there is no mandate to offer the modernized test. Jurisdictions may determine the version(s) that work best for them. AAMVA will support them with the necessary training and materials. 

For CDL Test System Materials, send a request to Driver Testing.  

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