Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a CDL?

If you drive a combination of vehicles, that have a manufacture's weight rating weight rating (GVWR or GCWR) over 26,000 lbs, you need a Class "A" CDL.

If you drive a combination vehicle towing a unit over 10,000 GVWR, you need a Class "A" CDL.

If you drive a single vehicle that has a GVWR over 26,000 lbs., you need a Class "B" CDL.

If you drive a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more people, including the driver, you need a Class "C" CDL.

You are exempt if you are driving a recreation vehicle for personal use, military vehicles, emergency vehicles, farm vehicle (not used for hire or drive 150 miles from the farm), local government (used for snow and ice removal).

Do I need to get a CDL Permit?

We highly recommend you get a CDL permit, for several reasons:

  1. It keeps your written scores good for 1 year.
  2. When you pass the written test the examiner will ask if you want a permit or just take the drive test. If you say permit, they will tell you that you have to wait 30 days to take the drive test. What you may not understand is that the drive test will have to be scheduled and they are often scheduling for more than 3 weeks out, so the difference may only be a couple of days and the value of the permit is so much better, it cost nothing and the examiner will issue it to you.
  3. With a permit this enables us to let you practice on the roadway with one of our CDL drivers, without the permit you will only be allowed to drive in a off road area.
Do I need a DOT health card before taking the CDL road Test?

No, you will not need the DOT card until you go to work or start driving as a CDL driver.

What if I fail?

Even though failures do occur from time to time. It is important to understand the CDL Drive Test is not an easy test and is designed to weed out unsafe drivers. A lot can go wrong in 45 minutes to even the best driver, look at it as learning experience within itself, try not to make the same mistakes twice, brush up on your defensive and safe driving skills, and practice the part that you failed before returning to re-test.

The examiner will critique your driving at the end of the testing, pass or fail; listen closely as you will need this information if you have to repeat the test.

If you do fail, before you leave the exam site make another appointment and we will reserve a truck for your next drive test. A free re-test is included in the rental of our truck.

What are the examiners like?

All of the examiners are employees of the Department of Public Safety and have attended CDL Training and are CDL licensed. They are some the nicest people we have had a pleasure of knowing. Remember they have a duty to perform in keeping our highways safe.

What are some of the things I can do to get ready for the test?

Practice, practice, practice, and more practice. A practice is included in the price of our truck rental, however; in order to keep our prices low, time is limited, this not a time to learn driving a truck or learn to backing, it's a time to sharpen you skills and get ready for the test. If you need more practice our tucks can be rented by the hour.

Will they give the CDL Drive Test in the rain?

Yes, they will give it in the rain and even in light snow. The only time they will not is when they feel the roadway is unsafe. Last year they did not cancel testing due weather. Remember in inclement weather to always drive with you headlights on!

What does the testing involve?
Written Test

A Texas driver upgrading from a Class C license to a higher class license must take the Texas Commercial Rules Test.

A driver applying for a Texas driver's license for the first time must complete an original application for a Texas driver license and any knowledge or skills tests required and meet the requirements for a CDL.

All drivers must pass certain knowledge and skills tests depending on the type of CDL and endorsements they want.

The knowledge tests are multiple choice-type tests. CDL applicants must answer 80 percent of the questions correctly before they can take the skills test.

Safety Inspection

Before the driver begins the skills test, the examiner will conduct a safety inspection of the vehicle, including equipment requirements, liability insurance requirements and registration requirements. If the vehicle does not pass inspection, the skills test will be postponed.

The vehicle will be inspected for the following: current liability insurance, inspection certificate, two tail lamps, headlamps, two stop lamps, turn signals, horn, exhaust system, license plates, windshield wipers, rearview mirror, safety belts, side marker lights, side reflectors, mud flaps, full service brakes, hydraulic brake, parking brake, clearance lamps, hazard warning lights.

Also, if applicable: reflective triangles, fire extinguisher and approved glass coating material. School buses must have two red alternately flashing lights and a "School Bus" sign 8 inches in height on the front and rear of the bus.

Skills & Pre-Trip Inspection Test

The first part of the skills test is the pre-trip inspection, which is a pass/fail written test. Drivers who cannot pass this part of the skills test will not be allowed to take the road test. Drivers must demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skill needed to operate the vehicle safely.

The second part of the skills test is the airbrake inspection test. Drivers must pass this part of the test to proceed to the road test. The air brake safety inspection includes:

  • Leak in the system
  • Warning signals
  • Emergencybrakes

Road Test

Drivers must take a road test in the vehicle they plan to drive or one representative of the same class. The road test will consist of the following maneuvers: Start, smooth stop, backing, upshifting, parallel parking, merge, downshifting, lane change, use of lanes, right-of-way, posture, traffic signals, left turns, traffic signs, right turns and approach to corner.

The official conducting the test will guide the driver through the road test. Drivers successfully performing the required maneuvers are eligible for a CDL.

The following factors are some reasons that would result in failure of the Road Test: having too many errors; causing deductions (more than 30 points); having or causing an accident; driving dangerously; not cooperating; or violating the law.

Do I need to take the Road Test where I took the written Exam?

In general yes, you must take the driving section of the CDL test at the same location you took the written exam. There have been exceptions however.