Changes to CDL Skills Testing

05 April 2019

As a result of updates through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), there are some changes to the scoring criteria for the pre-trip, basic control skills, and road testing for Commercial Drivers. As part of the internal inspection test, applicants will need to inspect the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) warning light (if equipped) on the dash to ensure it is working properly. It will also be a requirement to inspect the hydraulic brake system on non-air brakes or it will be an automatic failure.

For the external inspection, applicants will be required to inspect the hydraulic master cylinder for non-air brake vehicles as well as the DEF tank fluid level (if equipped).  An external light operations check must be done on all vehicles.  An unsafe act during the pre-trip will result in an automatic failure. 

In regard to the Basic Control Skills, test applicants could be scored an automatic failure for an unsafe act.  Drivers must carefully listen to the Examiner’s instruction and ensure they complete the Basic Control Skills as directed.

For the on-road driving portion of the CDL skills test, there have been five additional boxes under all general driving behavior categories raising the possible points in each category from five to ten.  Additional general driving categories of speeding (within posted limits and for existing conditions) and improper following distance (allows enough space) have been added.  The passing score for the road test remains at 30 points or less.     

Newly revised CDL manual is available in any DMV office or download a PDF here

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Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05603-0001

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