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Virginia CDL License Test

VIRGINIA TRUCK DRIVER TRAINING

Commercial Drivers License
2021 CDL License TEST Requirements
Home Study Course
For Tests Beginning December 1, 2021

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DO I HAVE TO PASS ANY EXAMS TO GET A VIRGINIA CDL?

Yes . . . You will have to pass written exams and skills exams. Just how many exams you will have to take and pass will depend upon the type(s) of commercial vehicles you will be driving and what type of "cargo" you will be transporting.

WHAT ARE THE VIRGINIA CDL WRITTEN EXAMS?

The "written" exams consist of the knowledge portion of your Virginia CDL exams. There are seven different written exams. Which ones you will be required to take and pass depends upon the type of commercial vehicle that you will be driving. A description of these written exams follows . . .

  • General Knowledge Test . . . Must be taken and passed by ALL CDL applicants no matter what Class of CDL or Type of Endorsement(s) are needed. You WILL take this written test. You WILL pass this written test if you are to obtain a CDL.
  • Air Brakes Test . . . Must be taken and passed if any vehicle you drive has air brakes.
  • Combination Vehicles Test . . . Must be taken and passed if you drive combination vehicles requiring a Class "A" CDL.
  • Passenger Transport (P) Test . . . Must be taken and passed by all bus driver applicants. An additional written test may be required if transporting children to and from school.
  • Hazardous Materials (H) Test . . . Must be taken and passed if you transport hazardous materials requiring "placarding".
  • Tank Vehicles (N) Test . . . Must be taken and passed if you drive a "tank" with a capacity of more than 1000 gallons.
  • Doubles & Triples (T) Test . . . Must be taken and passed if you pull double or triple trailers.
WHAT ARE THE VIRGINIA CDL SKILLS EXAMS?

The "skills" exams consist of the practical portion of your Virginia CDL exams. They consist of three parts as follows . . .

  • Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test . . . You will be tested to see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. The examiner will score each item that you correctly inspect and explain.
  • Basic Vehicle Control Test . . . You will be tested on your basic skills in controlling the vehicle . . . including moving your vehicle forward, backward, and turning within a defined area. You will be scored on how well you stay within the exercise boundaries and how many pull-ups you make.
  • On-Road Test . . . You will be tested on your skill to safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic situations.

The skills exams are taken in the same "type" vehicle that you will be licensed in.

AFTER I PASS ALL OF MY CDL EXAMS . . . THEN WHAT?

You can apply for your CDL. You must provide proof that you possess a valid DOT medical certificate (you will need to get a physical in accordance with MCSR 49 CFR 391.41. . . . the medical forms are included with the CDL Course package), fill out the forms, provide documentation, and pay the appropriate fees.

HOW DO I FIND SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR Virginia?

We are including the following links to information that is specific to Virginia. We try to include all available official links, however the State of Virginia often change their webpages and/or the addressing of those webpages. We constantly update these links, but from time to time they are not available due to recent changes. If you are having problems with any of these links, try typing "Virginia Official Website" into your Google, Bing or Yahoo search engine and you should be able to find your "starting point" on their website. You should be able to find the Commercial Drivers License information by typing in "CDL" into their internal search (if available) or by following the Drivers License Services links within their website. This is a great source of Virginia regulations, forms, locations, contacts, etc.

Quickly Access Official Virginia CDL Information

Virginia CDL Information
Access to official web pages maintained
by the State of Virginia
Applying for a Virginia Commercial Driver's License or Virginia CDL Instruction Permit

A commercial driver's license (CDL) allows you to operate a commercial vehicle in Virginia and possibly other states, depending on your qualifications. To obtain a Virginia CDL or CDL instruction permit in Virginia, you must meet all requirements for a Virginia driver's license.

You must apply for your CDL or CDL instruction permit in person at a Virginia DMV customer service center. For additional information about CDL licensing, please refer to CDL classifications, endorsements and restrictions.

Age Requirements

You must be at least at 18 to obtain an intrastate CDL and age 21 to obtain a CDL.

Identification and Residency Requirements

Each time you apply for a Virginia CDL or Virginia CDL instruction permit and DMV records show you have not held a Virginia driver's license or ID card in the past, you must present documents proving your identification and residency.
  • If you are age 19 or older, you must show two proofs of identity, one proof of legal presence, one proof of Virginia residency, and proof of your social security number.
  • If you are under 19 years of age, you will be required to show one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, one proof of Virginia residency, and proof of your social security number. http://wsdweb/drivers/applyingcdl.html

Use the interactive Document Guide to determine which documents you will need to bring to DMV when you apply.

Documents accepted by Virginia DMV as proof of identity, legal presence, Virginia residency and social security number may change without prior notice.

You may hold either a driver's license or a CDL, but not both. If you hold a license of any kind, you are not eligible for an ID card.

Medical Certification Requirements

All Virginia CDL applicants must certify either that they are in compliance with the federal and Virginia motor carrier safety regulations or that they do not have to comply with them. You may refer to the Code of Federal Regulations for an explanation of these requirements or refer to Medical Certification Requirements.

If you must meet the federal or Virginia motor carrier safety regulations, you must provide a valid Department of Transportation Medical Examiner's Certificate. This form should be completed by a licensed medical examiner.

Completing the Virginia CDL Application

When applying for a Virginia CDL or Virginia CDL instruction permit, you must complete an application for a Virginia driver's license (form DL 1P). You may complete this form before or after coming to DMV. Use your full legal name, as abbreviations and nicknames will not be accepted. For your convenience, you also may apply to register to vote, change your voter registration address, or indicate your desire to become an organ donor when you apply for your CDL.

Falsifying information on any driver's license or identification card application is a criminal offense. Altering or assisting a person with improperly or fraudulently obtaining a driver's license, learner's permit, CDL, CDL instruction permit or ID card are also criminal offenses.

HAZMAT Endorsement

Applicants for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HAZMAT) must be fingerprinted for a background check. The non-refundable fee is $83.00.

Applicants using Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) comparability for a reduced fee hazardous materials (HAZMAT) endorsement do not have to be fingerprinted. The non-refundable fee is $41.00.

Duration of a Virginia CDL or Virginia CDL Instruction Permit

Normally, your Virginia CDL is valid for eight years and expires on your birthday. Your first license will expire on your birthday in the eighth year of license validity.

Individuals required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry (Virginia Code Chapter 9 of Title 9.1) (Registry) will be issued licenses valid for five years. They are not eligible for a Virginia commercial driver's license/instruction permit with an "S" endorsement during any period in which registration with the Registry is required. In addition, they are also not eligible for a Virginia CDL or CDL instruction permit with a "P" endorsement unless it bears a restriction code prohibiting the driver from transporting children for school and/or daycare activities.

For many individuals authorized to be in the U.S. temporarily, a CDL will be valid only for the amount of time that the individual is legally permitted to stay in the U.S. These individuals will not be eligible to receive a limited duration CDL if their authorized stay in the U.S. is less than 30 days from the date of their application. The expiration of the CDL will be the same as the expiration date shown on the document used to prove legal presence. If the document does not show an expiration date, the CDL will be valid for one year.

CDL instruction permits expire in one year and are not renewable. Individuals authorized to be in the U.S. temporarily for up to one year receive a CDL instruction permit with the same expiration date shown on the document used to prove legal presence. For customers legally permitted to stay in the U.S. longer than one year, the expiration date of the CDL instruction permit is valid for one year.

Virginia CDL Fees

Commercial driver's license fees are based on how long your license will be valid (refer to the Virginia DMV Fee Chart for details). A standard CDL with no endorsements costs $64.00 and is valid for 8 years.

Endorsement(s) cost an additional $1.00 per year. A Virginia CDL instruction permit (CIP) costs $3.00.

Virginia CDL Testing

Tests may include a vision screening, Virginia CDL knowledge exams and a Virginia CDL road skills test. You may also need to take the two-part driver's license knowledge exam. A Virginia DMV representative will tell you which tests you need to take.

Virginia CDL Knowledge Exams

Virginia CDL General Test Information

The knowledge exams determine your familiarity with the operation of commercial vehicles, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques. Exam questions are taken from the information in the Virginia Commercial Driver's Manual, which is available at all Virginia DMV customer service centers.

To prepare for the knowledge exam, familiarize yourself with all information in the Virginia Commercial Driver's Manual and take the Commercial Driver's License exam online.

To pass the exam, you must answer at least 80% of the general knowledge questions correctly. When taking the knowledge exams, select one best answer. Once you pass the required knowledge exams, you can take the Virginia CDL skills tests.

The Virginia CDL knowledge exams are given in English or Spanish on a computer (except the Hazardous Materials exam, given only in English).

You may take the Virginia CDL knowledge exam(s) only once per business day. If you fail any knowledge exam, you must pay a $2 re-examination fee if you retake the exam within 15 days. If you use a cell phone while taking an exam, the exam will be terminated and you must wait until the next day to re-test.

Three-Time Failure If you fail the general knowledge exam three times at a customer service center, you must complete the classroom portion of a Virginia approved Driver Training School program for commercial motor vehicles and bring the certificate of completion to a customer service center to satisfy eligibility requirements for re-examination. You must have completed the course after the date of the third exam failure.

Notice - It is unlawful to:
  • Attempt to get or provide to others a copy of any knowledge exam or any questions or answers on the exams
  • Have assistance or assist others while taking an exam
  • Have unauthorized possession of an examination or exam answers.
Virginia CDL Skills Test Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to take the Virginia CDL skills tests, you must:
  • Meet the minimum age requirements:
    • At least 18 years of age for an intrastate Virginia CDL
    • At least 21 years of age for an interstate Virginia CDL
  • Hold a valid Virginia driver's license. In addition, your driving privileges must not be currently suspended or revoked by any licensing jurisdiction.
  • Have successfully completed all applicable Virginia CDL knowledge exams for the type of class and endorsement you wish to hold.
  • Pass the required vision screening for commercial drivers.
  • Provide a properly registered vehicle of the type you wish to drive for the on-road driving test.
  • For the type of vehicle you wish to drive, you must:
    • Have held a Virginia CDL instruction permit for a minimum of 30 days,
    • Provide evidence that you have previously held a CDL, OR
    • Provide a valid certification from a driver training school designed specifically for commercial drivers.
  • Be able to read and speak the English language sufficiently to:
    • Converse with the general public,
    • Understand highway traffic signs and signals,
    • Respond to official inquiries, AND
    • Make entries on reports and records.

Virginia Commercial Driver License (CDL) Skills Tests

The Virginia CDL skills tests consists of a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. Make sure to review the Virginia CDL Skills Test Eligibility Requirements prior to taking the test.

You must take the skills test in the type of vehicle in which you want to be licensed. Translators cannot be used.

A Virginia DMV representative administers the skills tests in a vehicle provided by you that is in safe working condition. The vehicle must have a valid safety inspection sticker, license plates, local decals as required, registration card and working brakes, safety belts, horn, lights, turn signals, mirrors and speedometer.

Only the applicant and the Virginia DMV representative are allowed in the vehicle during the road skills test. The test may be taken only once per business day.

Scheduling a Virginia CDL Test Appointment

To schedule an appointment for a CDL skills test, select your nearest Virginia Customer Service Center for contact information. The approximate time required to take the 3-part skills test is 90 minutes.

Missed Test Appointments

Virginia DMV will charge a $50 fee for any missed CDL skills test appointment. You are encouraged to advise test examiners in advance if you are unable to make your scheduled appointment. If you fail to notify the examiner, DMV will bill you for the $50 fee.

You will have 31 days to pay any missed appointment fee. If you do not pay within 31 days, you will be charged a $10 administrative fee and lose the ability to process any Virginia DMV-related transactions. Unpaid bills will be subject to further collection efforts and may be reported to the Virginia Department of Taxation.

Three-Time Failure - If you fail the road skills test three times at a customer service center, you must complete the in-vehicle portion of a Virginia approved Driver Training School program for commercial motor vehicles and bring the certificate of completion to a customer service center to satisfy eligibility requirements for re-examination. You must have completed the course after the date of the third exam failure.

Receiving Your Virginia CDL License

Once you pass your required testing, your Virginia CDL or Virginia CDL instruction permit will be mailed to the address in DMV's records. DMV has converted to a new secure process for issuing driver's licenses and ID cards, and has discontinued issuing them over the counter. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward driver's licenses, so make sure that Virginia DMV has your current, correct address on record. If you have moved, notify Virginia DMV right away.

Virginia CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Virginia Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE Virginia CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.
  • Class A - 70 Questions (50 GK + 20 Combination Vehicles) - Skills test required.
  • Class B - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Class C - 50 Questions - Skills test required for bus, school bus and air brakes vehicles..
  • Passenger Endorsement - 20 questions - Skills test required in bus.
  • School Bus Endorsement - 25 questions - Skills test required in school bus.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Tank Vehicle Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement - 30 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Air Brake Restriction Removal - 25 questions - Additional skills test in vehicle with Air Brakes.

Classes of Virginia CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
(Combination
vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

Virginia CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # of Correct Answers Needed to Pass
General Knowledge 60 50 40
Air Brakes 25 25 20
HazMat 30 30 24
Tank 20 20 16
Passenger 20 20 16
Doubles/Triples 20 20 16
Combination Vehicles 20 20 16
School Bus 20 20 16

Access Official Federal CDL General Information

WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS ARE ASKED ON THE CDL WRITTEN EXAMS?

A tiny sampling of questions from each of the written CDL exams follows . . .

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE EXAM (Required for ALL CDL's)

Steering tires must have a tread depth of at least . . .
A. 2/32 inch.
B. 3/32 inch.
C. 4/32 inch.
D. 5/32 inch.

When driving on wet roads, you should reduce your speed by . . .
A. half the distance from the vehicle in front of you.
B. 1/3.
C. 1/2.
D. 2/3.

You're performing your pre-trip inspection for your CDL test. Where should your ignition key be?
A. In the ignition.
B. In your pocket.
C. With your logbook.
D. In the cab.

TRANSPORTING PASSENGERS, (P) ENDORSEMENT

You must stop at least how far from a drawbridge, if there is no traffic light or attendant?
A. 10 feet.
B. 20 feet.
C. 50 feet.
D. 100 feet.

When stopping for railroad tracks, you must stop no closer than 15 feet before the nearest track.
A. True.
B. False.

AIR BRAKES ENDORSEMENT

The air leakage rate for a combination vehicle with the engine off and the brakes applied should be no more than . . .
A. 1 psi in 15 seconds.
B. 3 psi in one minute.
C. 4 psi in one minute.
D. allowed at lower altitudes.

You "put on the brakes" by . . .
A. pushing down on the brake pedal.
B. pushing down on the foot valve.
C. pushing down on the treadle valve.
D. all of the above.

COMBINATION VEHICLES (Req'd by ALL Class A's)

Every combination vehicle with air brakes has two air lines, the service line and the return line.
A. True.
B. False.

How much visible space should be between the upper and lower fifth wheel plates?
A. None.
B. At least 1/4 inch.
C. No more than 1/2 inch.
D. Approximately 1 inch.

DOUBLES AND TRIPLES, (T) ENDORSEMENT

Driving conditions are good. A 100 foot long combination vehicle traveling at 35 MPH would need how much safe following distance?
A. 8/10 of a minute.
B. 10 seconds.
C. 11 seconds.
D. Two vehicle lengths.

Triple trailers are legal in your State of Residence.
A. True.
B. False.

TANK VEHICLES, (N) ENDORSEMENT

Because liquids expand and contract under different temperatures . . .
A. you must be familiar with the difference between bulkheads and baffles.
B. you must know the outage requirements.
C. you must be prepared for possible surge.
D. you must have a HAZ MAT placard in place.

Bulkheads in a tank and baffles in a tank are the same.
A. True.
B. False.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, (H) ENDORSEMENT

The driver may keep hazardous materials shipping papers . . .
A. behind the left side HAZ MAT placard.
B. in a pouch on the drivers door or on the driver's seat when out of the vehicle.
C. with the shipper until acceptance at the destination.
D. in a secure place that is locked.

What is the minimum distance from a Class 3 (flammable liquids) or Division 2.1 (gases) placarded cargo tank that you may smoke or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe?
A. 10 meters.
B. 25 feet.
C. 100 feet
D. 300 feet.

There is a total of 670 questions on the actual Virginia CDL Course tests, which covers the entire POOL of questions used on the actual CDL examinations. Questions on your ACTUAL TESTS will come from this POOL of questions. Each "CLASS" of CDL and each "ENDORSEMENT" is covered in a separate section. You are required to take only those exams that apply to your driving requirements. The Virginia CDL Course includes complete "self testing" practice tests and "self scoring" BLANK and CORRECT answer sheets.

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