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CDL Written and Driving Skills Testing


An applicant will take different written knowledge tests depending on the class of CDL applying for and endorsements needed.  All CDL written knowledge tests are closed book, multiple choice questions and need to be passed with an 80% or better.

There are three (3) tests that make up the core testing for a CDL.  These tests are included in the $52.00 license application fee.  Each test may be taken up to two (2) times before a second test fee of $26.00 will be required.

  • General Written Knowledge – This test is taken by all applicants, Class A, B and C CDL.  It encompasses general trucking knowledge, driving safety, transporting cargo and how to perform a pre-trip inspection.  General written knowledge test is 50 questions.  Once the general written knowledge test is passed a commercial learner permit (CLP) will be issued for six (6) months.
  • Combination – This test is only taken by those applying for a Class A CDL.  Involves details between a combination vehicle such as a tractor and trailer.  Combination test is 30 questions.
  • Air Brakes – This test is optional and can be taken by applicants for a Class A, B or C CDL.  An applicant will need to take this test if they are planning on driving a vehicle equipped with air brakes.  If an applicant does not take the written knowledge test and complete a driving skills test in an air brake equipped vehicle, they will have an ‘L’ restriction which restricts the driver to driving a commercial motor vehicle not equipped with air brakes.  Air brake written knowledge test is 25 questions.

Taking endorsement tests are optional.  Each endorsement is $9.00 for two (2) written knowledge tests.  Additional two (2) test chances are $9.00.

Click here to study the CDL driver manual.


Driving skills testing consists of three (3) separate tests.  The pre-trip, basic skills and road test.  An examiner with the Driver License Division can administer these tests for $78.00 (2 attempts), $52.00 for retakes.  For testing with the Driver License Division, you will be required to provide your own vehicle that is registered and road ready.  An applicant can seek out a Third Party Tester to administer the driving skills test.  Many Third Party Testers may provide a vehicle for you to test in.

  • Pre-Trip – The pre-trip tests the applicant’s knowledge on whether the vehicle is safe to drive.  It consists of an inspection of a commercial motor vehicle that must be done before and after a trip is taken.  The test may consist of inspecting the engine, tractor and trailer, lights and safety equipment.  Another element of the pre-trip test is an in-cab inspection.  Which will consist of element inside the cab such as gauges and other electronic equipment, safety equipment and air brakes if the vehicles is equipped.  The pre-trip is graded on which class of license is applied for, whether or not the vehicle is equipped with air brakes and which section of the vehicle is asked to be inspected.
  • Basic Skills Test – The purpose of the basic skills test is to evaluate the driver’s basic skills in controlling the vehicle and judging its position in relation to other objects.  It tests basic skills essential for safe control of a vehicle.  The test consists of three (3) different exercises, the straight line backing, an offset backing left or right and a one (1) of either a sight side parallel park or conventional parallel park or alley dock.  To pass the basic skills test an applicant must accrue 12 or less error points against them.
  • Road Test – The purpose of the road test is to determine if the commercial driver has a minimum level of skills to drive in most traffic situations.  This test is administered on the actual roadway and will have specific maneuvers that need to be completed while driving, depending on the vehicle used for the test.  To pass the road test an applicant must accrue 30 or less error points against them.


The Utah Driver License Division may waive the driving skills tests for military veterans applying for a CDL who meet the licensing qualifications, been honorably discharged in the previous year and have operated a CMV during the immediate two (2) year period preceding discharge.

The applicant must complete all of the following requirements to be eligible to have the CDL driving skills tests waived:

  • Complete the application.
  • Complete the CDL-ST WVR page 1, and the last commanding officer must complete the CDL-ST WVR page 2.
  • Provide a DD214 or discharge papers showing evidence of honorable discharge within the previous year.
  • If the applicant was a reservist, must present your last orders.
  • Provide a copy of a DA348, AF2293 or other equivalent document verifying certification for operating a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Pass all required written knowledge testing.

The transfer of School Bus (S) and/or Passenger (P) endorsements under this Waiver Program are prohibited.

If the applicant did not operate a vehicle with air brakes or a manual transmission, an air brake restriction or automatic transmission restriction will be added to the Utah CDL.

In order to remove these restrictions the driver will need to complete the driving skills test in a representative vehicle.