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Washington CDL Info | WA CDL Requirements

Washington CDL Practice Test Prep Program
WA CDL  School Bus

Washington State CDL Training Requirements

Washington minimum CDL training requirements Before you can get a commercial driver license (CDL), you must successfully complete a training course at an approved Washington CDL training school. The training must include at least the following:

Class A Washington CDL Minimum training required: 160 total hours, including at least:
  • 40 hours of classroom instruction
  • 18 hours of street driving training
  • 16 hours of training in backing maneuvers
  • 16 hours of proficiency development
  • 70 hours of combined lab training, range training and observation

Class B Washington CDL Minimum training required: 48 total hours, including at least:
  • 20 hours of classroom instruction
  • 14 hours of street driving training
  • 4 hours of training in backing maneuvers
  • 4 hours of proficiency development
  • 6 hours of combined lab training, range training and observation

Class C Washington CDL Minimum training required: 36 total hours, including at least:
  • 20 hours of classroom instruction
  • 8 hours of street driving training
  • 2 hours of training in backing maneuvers
  • 2 hours of proficiency development
  • 4 hours of combined lab training, range training and observation
After you complete the minimum training requirements
The training school will give you a certificate of completion that you must present at a driver licensing office when you get your Washington CDL. You don't need the training certificate to schedule and take a Washington CDL skills test, but you must present the original certificate at the licensing office after you have passed all your tests and are ready to get your Washington CDL. You won't be issued a Washington CDL unless you present the original certificate. Photocopied, faxed, handwritten, or mailed certificates won't be accepted.

Types of drivers exempt from Washington State training requirements

Employer-certified drivers
If your employer agrees that you have the skills and training to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely, he or she will complete and sign an employer certification that includes the classes of commercial vehicles you may operate. To be exempt from meeting the minimum training requirements, you must present this typed, signed certification at a driver licensing office when you are issued your CDL.

To qualify as an "employer", the person or organization who completes the certification must:
  • Register with us. (See Employer registration and certification to learn how to register as an employer.)
  • Have hired at least 1 individual to operate a commercial motor vehicle on a regular basis during their normal course of business.
  • Not have the primary purpose of training commercial vehicle operators.

Drivers with military truck driver training
If you received specialized truck driver training in the military, you may be eligible for a Commercial Drivers Military Training Certificate from the Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA). Present this certificate instead of a training school certificate when you apply for your Washington CDL. To learn how to get a military training certificate, see the WDVA website: Military Commercial Drivers License Skills Test Waiver.

Agribusiness
You may get a restricted Washington CDL without meeting the minimum training requirements if you'll be operating a commercial motor vehicle only for agribusiness purposes. When you get your Washington CDL, we will add a restriction that only allows you to drive a commercial vehicle for an agribusiness. To have this restriction removed, you must present a training or employer certificate.

An "agribusiness" is a private carrier who primarily transports the following products during the normal course of business:
  • Farm machinery, farm equipment, and implements of husbandry.
  • Farm supplies and materials.
  • Seed, feed, fertilizer, and crop protection products.
  • Unprocessed agricultural commodities.
  • Any combination of the above.
To get this restricted CDL without meeting training requirements, your agribusiness employer must send us a completed Agribusiness Minimum Training Requirements Exemption form. Then we will assign you a unique ID number and send your employer the approved form. You must present this approved form at a driver licensing office when you are issued your CDL. For more information, see Agribusiness.

I used to have a CDL. Do I have to meet the minimum training requirements if I want to get a CDL again?
Yes, unless you work for an employer who will certify you have the skills and training necessary to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Washington State CDL instruction permit (CDIP)

Who can apply for a Washington State CDIP
Any driver over 18 years old with a valid WA driver license. To operate commercial vehicles from state to state (interstate) you must be at least 21 years old.

How to apply for a Washington State CDIP
  • Apply for a CDIP at a driver licensing office that offers knowledge testing (call to find out).
  • Bring your current license and Social Security number, for ID purposes. This is a mandatory under federal law (49 USC 31308) and WA state law (RCW 46.25.070).
  • Pass the knowledge test.
  • Pay the fees.

How long a Washington State CDIP is valid?
It's valid for 6 months and may only be renewed once in a 2 year period.

CDIP driving restrictions
After you've been issued a Washington State CDIP:
  • You must be accompanied when you drive a commercial vehicle. They must:
    • Hold a valid CDL and have 2 years' experience driving the type of commercial vehicle you are driving.
    • Have at least 5 years' total driving experience.
    • Occupy the seat beside you for the purpose of giving instruction.
  • You can't operate any commercial vehicle classified or placarded for hazardous materials.
Washington CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Washington Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE Washington CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.
  • Class A - 70 Questions (50 GK + 20 Combination Vehicles) - Skills test required.
  • Class B - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Class C - 50 Questions - Skills test required for bus, school bus and air brakes vehicles..
  • Passenger Endorsement - 20 questions - Skills test required in bus.
  • School Bus Endorsement - 25 questions - Skills test required in school bus.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Tank Vehicle Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement - 30 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Air Brake Restriction Removal - 25 questions - Additional skills test in vehicle with Air Brakes.

Classes of Washington CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
(Combination
vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

Washington CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # of Correct Answers Needed to Pass
General Knowledge 60 50 40
Air Brakes 25 25 20
HazMat 30 30 24
Tank 20 20 16
Passenger 20 20 16
Doubles/Triples 20 20 16
Combination Vehicles 20 20 16
School Bus 20 20 16

Quickly access the most complete and accurate Official Washington CDL Information

Washington CDL Manual, CDL Washington Handbook
Washington CDL Requirements

Access Official Federal CDL General Information

Access Official Federal CDL Medical Requirements Info

Access Official Federal CDL Hazardous Materials Info

Click on the items above to find answers to your Washington CDL questions

  • What is a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)?
  • How to get a Washington CDL (Commercial Driver's License)
  • How old do you have to be to get a Washington CDL (Commercial Driver's License)
  • How to get a Washington CDL HazMat (Hazardous Materials Endorsement) Permit
  • What is the difference between Interstate and Intrastate?
  • How to get a free Washington CDL Study Guide
  • How to get a Washington School Bus CDL
  • How much does a Washington CDL cost?
  • Where is my nearest Washington DMV CDL office located?
  • Where can I find Washington CDL (commercial drivers license) forms?
  • What are the Washington CDL Medical Requirements?

. . . and answers to many more Washington CDL questions!

Washington CDL Class A, B, C plus Endorsements Selector Tool
If you need help . . .
determining what Class of CDL you need based upon the type of vehicle you will drive (A, B or C) or are not sure which CDL Endorsements you need based upon the type of loads you will carry use the free CDL Selector Tool . . .
Washington
Go to CDL Selector Tool
(Use only for a new CDL)
Not sure which WA CDL Tests you need to pass? Use this tool to determine what Class of CDL and which CDL Endorsements you require.

Are YOU ready to get YOUR Washington CDL?
Prepare for YOUR Washington CDL Tests NOW . . .

 Washington CDL License
In addition to the Washington CDL (commercial driver's license) information found in our website covering the Washington CDL and in the free Washington CDL Handbook (which is quite boring and a bit confusing - and doesn't have a single multiple-choice question in it that is asked on the actual tests), the complete online Washington CDL Practice Test prep program will prepare you to easily pass your Washington CDL written exams to get your Washington CDL permit. The skills test modules are invaluable to give you a head start before doing your behind the wheel work, possibly saving you a lot of money. The Washington CDL test prep program includes the following features . . .
  • Covers ALL Eight Washington CDL written tests.
    • In separate study modules - you won't need all of them - don't waste time on what you don't require.
  • Covers ALL Three Washington CDL skills tests.
    • In separate study modules - you won't need all of them - don't waste time on what you don't require.
  • 670 practice Washington CDL test questions with actual answers.
  • Access to CDL videos covering written and skills tests.
  • CDL study guide in both text and audio - listen as you read along.
  • CDL study Quick Reviews.
  • Interactive online CDL Quizzes.
  • and much more!
May your new CAREER be prosperous!!!

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Michael Hamilton
Director