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CDL Knowledge Tests

Important CDL Updates

Entry-Level Driver Training Requirement (February 7, 2022)

Beginning February 7, 2022, entry-level drivers will be subject to the requirements in the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations. This includes drivers applying to:

  • Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;
  • Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
  • Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

The ELDT regulations establish a Federal standard for training CDL applicants. Applicants must successfully complete this training before they will be permitted to take the CDL skills test or, in the case of the H endorsement, the knowledge test. Drivers will search for a training provider using the upcoming Training Provider Registry. For more information, please visit the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) webpage.

Human Trafficking Awareness Training Requirement (July 12, 2021)

Effective July 12, 2021 District law (DCMR Title 18, Section 1303) will require all new drivers seeking a Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) and those looking to convert an out-of-state Commercial Driver License (CDL), to complete mandatory Human Trafficking Awareness training before being issued a CLP or converting an out-of-state CDL.

The training involves watching a brief educational film and takes about 15 minutes to complete. The required training can be completed online, and a printed certificate of completion will be issued upon successful completion of the online training.

To get a DC DMV CDL, you must first take and pass all required knowledge tests to get a CDL learner permit with the class designation and endorsements that you need. All knowledge tests are in English only.

You must download and study the DC DMV CDL Manual to learn what you will need to know for each test you must take. The CDL Manual is available at: DC DMV CDL Manual [PDF].

To take the knowledge tests, you must go to the DC DMV Deanwood Commercial Driver License Center with all of the required personal documentation. Details on documentation are available at: CDL Eligibility and Documentation

You will have to pay a fee to take the knowledge tests, whether you pass or fail. Information on DC DMV fees is available at: DC DMV Fees

If you fail…

If you fail the CDL knowledge test, you must wait 3 calendar days before you are eligible to take it again on the fourth day. For example, if you take and fail the knowledge test on Tuesday, you will not be able to retake the test until Saturday. If you fail the CDL knowledge test 6 times within a 12-month period, you will not be allowed to take the 7th test until 12 months after you fail the 1st test. Please be sure you have studied the CDL Manual before you take the test(s).

If you exceed the time limit for the test you are taking, you will fail the test.

Testing time limits

CDL General Knowledge – 90 minutes

CDL Endorsements – 60 minutes

Listed below are the required knowledge tests for each CDL CMV class and endorsement.

Required Knowledge Tests for Class A

  • General Commercial
  • Combination
  • Airbrakes

Required Knowledge Tests for Class A endorsements

  • T – Double/Triple Trailers
  • P – Passenger
  • S – School Bus
  • H – Hazardous Material
  • N – Tank

Required Knowledge Tests for Class B

  • General Commercial
  • Airbrakes

Required Knowledge Tests for Class B endorsements

  • P – Passenger
  • S – School Bus
  • H – Hazardous Material
  • N – Tank

Required Knowledge Tests for Class C

  • General Commercial

Required Knowledge Tests for Class C endorsements

  • P – Passenger
  • S – School Bus
  • H – Hazardous Material
    Endorsements for Double/Triple Trailers (T), Hazardous Materials (H), and Tank (N) do not require a road skills test. Endorsements for H (Hazardous Materials) and N (Tank) may not be obtained prior to the issuance of the appropriate DC DMV REAL ID CDL (Class A, B or C).
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