Texas residents who want to operate a commercial motor vehicle, need a Texas Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). You need CDL endorsements for double/triple trailers, tanker vehicles, passenger vehicles, and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials. You have to pass several knowledge and skills tests to obtain a CDL. For steps on how to get a license, click here.
To pass the general knowledge test, drivers have to be familiar with several aspects of commercial driving, such as basic control of your vehicle, vehicle inspection, shifting gears, seeing hazards and communicating, managing driving conditions, and antilock braking systems. You have to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly to pas the test.
The Texas CDL Skills Test can be taken after you successfully complete the required knowledge tests. There are three different types of skills tests: pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. Skills tests must be taken in the same type of vehicle for which you need a CDL.
During the pre-trip vehicle inspection you will be asked to check the vehicle and see if it is safe to drive. You will have to inspect certain parts of the vehicle and explain why those parts need to be inspected.
The basic vehicle control test will test how you control your vehicle. You have to move your vehicle backwards, forwards, make various turns, on a course with marked traffic lanes, cones, and different barriers.
The on-road test will check whether you can safely operate a commercial vehicle in specific traffic situations, such as crossing an intersection, railroad crossing, driving on highways.
Before you can take the tests, you have to provide the DMV with several documents. You need to present a proof of identity, your Social Security Number, proof of Texas vehicle registration, and submit fingerprints and signature.
In addition to that, you also have to pass a physical examination every 2 years, where you will have your hearing and vision checked. A $61 fee is required for an Original Commercial Driver’s License, in addition to the $11 fee for the CDL examination.