Washington CDL Truck Driving School
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Washington CDL License Test

WASHINGTON TRUCK DRIVER TRAINING

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

If you are not a resident of Washington please ?

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DO I HAVE TO PASS ANY EXAMS TO GET A WASHINGTON 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 WASHINGTON CDL WRITTEN EXAMS?

The "written" exams consist of the knowledge portion of your Washington 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 WASHINGTON CDL SKILLS EXAMS?

The "skills" exams consist of the practical portion of your Washington 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 Washington?

We are including the following links to information that is specific to Washington. We try to include all available official links, however the State of Washington 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 "Washington 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 Washington regulations, forms, locations, contacts, etc.

Quickly Access Official Washington CDL Information

Washington CDL Information
Access to official web pages maintained
by the State of Washington
Washington State CDL Training Requirements

Washington minimum CDL training requirements Before you can get a commercial driver license (CDL), you must successfully complete a training course at an approved Washington CDL training school. The training must include at least the following:

Class A Washington CDL Minimum training required: 160 total hours, including at least:
  • 40 hours of classroom instruction
  • 18 hours of street driving training
  • 16 hours of training in backing maneuvers
  • 16 hours of proficiency development
  • 70 hours of combined lab training, range training and observation

Class B Washington CDL Minimum training required: 48 total hours, including at least:
  • 20 hours of classroom instruction
  • 14 hours of street driving training
  • 4 hours of training in backing maneuvers
  • 4 hours of proficiency development
  • 6 hours of combined lab training, range training and observation

Class C Washington CDL Minimum training required: 36 total hours, including at least:
  • 20 hours of classroom instruction
  • 8 hours of street driving training
  • 2 hours of training in backing maneuvers
  • 2 hours of proficiency development
  • 4 hours of combined lab training, range training and observation
After you complete the minimum training requirements
The training school will give you a certificate of completion that you must present at a driver licensing office when you get your Washington CDL. You don't need the training certificate to schedule and take a Washington CDL skills test, but you must present the original certificate at the licensing office after you have passed all your tests and are ready to get your Washington CDL. You won't be issued a Washington CDL unless you present the original certificate. Photocopied, faxed, handwritten, or mailed certificates won't be accepted.

Types of drivers exempt from Washington State training requirements

Employer-certified drivers
If your employer agrees that you have the skills and training to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely, he or she will complete and sign an employer certification that includes the classes of commercial vehicles you may operate. To be exempt from meeting the minimum training requirements, you must present this typed, signed certification at a driver licensing office when you are issued your CDL.

To qualify as an "employer", the person or organization who completes the certification must:
  • Register with us. (See Employer registration and certification to learn how to register as an employer.)
  • Have hired at least 1 individual to operate a commercial motor vehicle on a regular basis during their normal course of business.
  • Not have the primary purpose of training commercial vehicle operators.

Drivers with military truck driver training
If you received specialized truck driver training in the military, you may be eligible for a Commercial Drivers Military Training Certificate from the Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA). Present this certificate instead of a training school certificate when you apply for your Washington CDL. To learn how to get a military training certificate, see the WDVA website: Military Commercial Drivers License Skills Test Waiver.

Agribusiness
You may get a restricted Washington CDL without meeting the minimum training requirements if you'll be operating a commercial motor vehicle only for agribusiness purposes. When you get your Washington CDL, we will add a restriction that only allows you to drive a commercial vehicle for an agribusiness. To have this restriction removed, you must present a training or employer certificate.

An "agribusiness" is a private carrier who primarily transports the following products during the normal course of business:
  • Farm machinery, farm equipment, and implements of husbandry.
  • Farm supplies and materials.
  • Seed, feed, fertilizer, and crop protection products.
  • Unprocessed agricultural commodities.
  • Any combination of the above.
To get this restricted CDL without meeting training requirements, your agribusiness employer must send us a completed Agribusiness Minimum Training Requirements Exemption form. Then we will assign you a unique ID number and send your employer the approved form. You must present this approved form at a driver licensing office when you are issued your CDL. For more information, see Agribusiness.

I used to have a CDL. Do I have to meet the minimum training requirements if I want to get a CDL again?
Yes, unless you work for an employer who will certify you have the skills and training necessary to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Washington State CDL instruction permit (CDIP)

Who can apply for a Washington State CDIP
Any driver over 18 years old with a valid WA driver license. To operate commercial vehicles from state to state (interstate) you must be at least 21 years old.

How to apply for a Washington State CDIP
  • Apply for a CDIP at a driver licensing office that offers knowledge testing (call to find out).
  • Bring your current license and Social Security number, for ID purposes. This is a mandatory under federal law (49 USC 31308) and WA state law (RCW 46.25.070).
  • Pass the knowledge test.
  • Pay the fees.

How long a Washington State CDIP is valid?
It's valid for 6 months and may only be renewed once in a 2 year period.

CDIP driving restrictions
After you've been issued a Washington State CDIP:
  • You must be accompanied when you drive a commercial vehicle. They must:
    • Hold a valid CDL and have 2 years' experience driving the type of commercial vehicle you are driving.
    • Have at least 5 years' total driving experience.
    • Occupy the seat beside you for the purpose of giving instruction.
  • You can't operate any commercial vehicle classified or placarded for hazardous materials.
Washington CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington 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

Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington CDL Course includes complete "self testing" practice tests and "self scoring" BLANK and CORRECT answer sheets.

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