U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jun 17, 2024

§ 383.133 - Test methods.

(a) All tests must be constructed in such a way as to determine if the applicant possesses the required knowledge and skills contained in subpart G of this part for the type of motor vehicle or endorsement the applicant wishes to obtain.

(b) Knowledge tests:

(1) States must use the FMCSA pre-approved pool of test questions to develop knowledge tests for each vehicle group and endorsement. The pool of questions must be comparable to those in AAMVA's “2005 CDL Test System (July 2010 or newer Version) 2005 Test Item Summary Forms,” which FMCSA has approved and provides to all State Driver Licensing Agencies.

(2) The State method of generating knowledge tests must conform to the requirements in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (iv) of this section and be pre-approved by FMCSA. The State method of generating knowledge tests must be comparable to the requirements outlined in AAMVA's “2005 CDL Test System (July 2010 or newer Version) 2005 Requirements Document For Use In Developing Computer-Generated Multiple-Choice CDL Knowledge Tests”, which FMCSA has approved and provides to all State Driver Licensing Agencies to develop knowledge tests for each vehicle group and endorsement. These requirements include:

(i) The total difficulty level of the questions used in each version of a test must fall within a set range;

(ii) Twenty-five percent of the questions on a test must be new questions that were not contained in the previous version of the test;

(iii) Identical questions from the previous version of the test must be in a different location on the test and the three possible responses to the questions must be in a different order; and

(iv) Each test must contain a set number of questions with a prescribed number of questions from each of the knowledge areas.

(3) Each knowledge test must be valid and reliable so as to ensure that driver applicants possess the knowledge required under § 383.111. The knowledge tests may be administered in written form, verbally, or in automated format and can be administered in a foreign language, provided no interpreter is used in administering the test.

(4) A State must use a different version of the test when an applicant retakes a previously failed test.

(c) Skills tests:

(1) A State must develop, administer and score the skills tests based solely on the information and standards contained in the driver and examiner manuals referred to in § 383.131(a) and (b).

(2) A State must use the standardized scores and instructions for administering the tests contained in the examiner manual referred to in § 383.131(b).

(3) An applicant must complete the skills tests in a representative vehicle to ensure that the applicant possess the skills required under § 383.113. In determining whether the vehicle is a representative vehicle for the skills test and the group of CDL for which the applicant is applying, the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating must be used, not the vehicle's actual gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight.

(4) Skills tests must be conducted in on-street conditions or under a combination of on-street and off-street conditions.

(5) Interpreters are prohibited during the administration of skills tests. Applicants must be able to understand and respond to verbal commands and instructions in English by a skills test examiner. Neither the applicant nor the examiner may communicate in a language other than English during the skills test.

(6) The skills test must be administered and successfully completed in the following order: Pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control skills, on-road skills. If an applicant fails one segment of the skills test:

(i) The applicant cannot continue to the next segment of the test; and

(ii) Scores for the passed segments of the test are only valid during initial issuance of the CLP. If the CLP is renewed, all three segments of the skills test must be retaken.

(d) Passing scores for the knowledge and skills tests must meet the standards contained in § 383.135.

[76 FR 26891, May 9, 2011, as amended at 81 FR 68347, Oct. 4, 2016]