Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act, no person is allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle unless such person has taken and passed knowledge and driving skills tests for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
To obtain a CDL, all drivers must have knowledge of the following 20 general areas:
1. Safe operations regulations
2. Safe vehicle control systems
3. Commercial vehicle safety control systems
4. Basic control
7. Visual search
9. Speed management
10. Space management
11. Night operation
12. Extreme driving conditions
13. Hazard perceptions
14. Emergency maneuvers
15. Skid control and recovery
16. Relationship of cargo to vehicle control
17. Vehicle inspections
18. Hazardous materials
19. Mountain driving
20. Fatigue and awareness
A State must provide a FMCSA pre-approved driver information manual to a CDL applicant. States must use the FMCSA pre-approved pool of test questions. Each knowledge test must be valid and reliable so as to ensure that driver applicants possess the knowledge under the regulations.
To achieve a passing score on each of the knowledge tests, a driver applicant must correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions. To achieve a passing score on each segment of the skills test, the driver applicant must demonstrate that he/she can successfully perform all the skills set forth by the regulations.