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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 30, 2014

Title 49: Transportation
PART 383—COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE STANDARDS; REQUIREMENTS AND PENALTIES


Subpart H—Tests


Contents
§383.131   Test manuals.
§383.133   Test methods.
§383.135   Passing knowledge and skills tests.

Source: 53 FR 27657, July 21, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

§383.131   Test manuals.

(a) Driver information manual. (1) A State must provide an FMCSA pre-approved driver information manual to a CLP or CDL applicant. The manual must be comparable to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators' (AAMVA's) “2005 CDL Test System (July 2010 Version) Model Commercial Driver Manual”, which FMCSA has approved and provides to all State Driver Licensing Agencies. The driver information manual must include:

(i) Information on how to obtain a CDL and endorsements;

(ii) Information on the requirements described in §383.71, the implied consent to alcohol testing described in §383.72, the procedures and penalties contained in §383.51(b) to which a CLP or CDL holder is exposed for refusal to comply with such alcohol testing, State procedures described in §383.73, and other appropriate driver information contained in subpart E of this part;

(iii) Information on vehicle groups and endorsements as specified in subpart F of this part;

(iv) The substance of the knowledge and skills that drivers must have, as outlined in subpart G of this part for the different vehicle groups and endorsements; and

(v) Details of testing procedures, including the purpose of the tests, how to respond, and directions for taking the tests.

(2) A State may include any additional State-specific information related to the CDL testing and licensing process.

(b) Examiner information manual. (1) A State must provide an FMCSA pre-approved examiner information manual that conforms to model requirements in paragraphs (b)(1)(i-xi) of this section to all knowledge and skills test examiners. To be pre-approved by FMCSA, the examiner information manual must be comparable to AAMVA's “2005 CDL Test System (July 2010 Version) Model CDL Examiner's Manual,” which FMCSA has approved and provides to all State Driver Licensing Agencies. The examiner information manual must include:

(i) Information on driver application procedures contained in §383.71, State procedures described in §383.73, and other appropriate driver information contained in subpart E of this part;

(ii) Details on information that must be given to the applicant;

(iii) Details on how to conduct the knowledge and skills tests;

(iv) Scoring procedures and minimum passing scores for the knowledge and skills tests;

(v) Information for selecting driving test routes for the skills tests;

(vi) List of the skills to be tested;

(vii) Instructions on where and how the skills will be tested;

(viii) How performance of the skills will be scored;

(ix) Causes for automatic failure of skills tests;

(x) Standardized scoring sheets for the skills tests; and

(xi) Standardized driving instructions for the applicants.

(2) A State may include any additional State-specific information related to the CDL testing process.

[76 FR 26891, May 9, 2011]

§383.133   Test methods.

(a) All tests must be constructed in such a way as to determine if the applicant possesses the required knowledge and skills contained in subpart G of this part for the type of motor vehicle or endorsement the applicant wishes to obtain.

(b) Knowledge tests:

(1) States must use the FMCSA pre-approved pool of test questions to develop knowledge tests for each vehicle group and endorsement. The pool of questions must be comparable to those in AAMVA's “2005 CDL Test System (July 2010 Version) 2005 Test Item Summary Forms,” which FMCSA has approved and provides to all State Driver Licensing Agencies.

(2) The State method of generating knowledge tests must conform to the requirements in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (iv) of this section and be pre-approved by FMCSA. The State method of generating knowledge tests must be comparable to the requirements outlined in AAMVA's “2005 CDL Test System (July 2010 Version) 2005 Requirements Document For Use In Developing Computer-Generated Multiple-Choice CDL Knowledge Tests”, which FMCSA has approved and provides to all State Driver Licensing Agencies to develop knowledge tests for each vehicle group and endorsement. These requirements include:

(i) The total difficulty level of the questions used in each version of a test must fall within a set range;

(ii) Twenty-five percent of the questions on a test must be new questions that were not contained in the previous version of the test;

(iii) Identical questions from the previous version of the test must be in a different location on the test and the three possible responses to the questions must be in a different order; and

(iv) Each test must contain a set number of questions with a prescribed number of questions from each of the knowledge areas.

(3) Each knowledge test must be valid and reliable so as to ensure that driver applicants possess the knowledge required under §383.111. The knowledge tests may be administered in written form, verbally, or in automated format and can be administered in a foreign language, provided no interpreter is used in administering the test.

(4) A State must use a different version of the test when an applicant retakes a previously failed test.

(c) Skills tests:

(1) A State must develop, administer and score the skills tests based solely on the information and standards contained in the driver and examiner manuals referred to in §383.131(a) and (b).

(2) A State must use the standardized scores and instructions for administering the tests contained in the examiner manual referred to in §383.131(b).

(3) An applicant must complete the skills tests in a representative vehicle to ensure that the applicant possess the skills required under §383.113. In determining whether the vehicle is a representative vehicle for the skills test and the group of CDL for which the applicant is applying, the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating must be used, not the vehicle's actual gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight.

(4) Skills tests must be conducted in on-street conditions or under a combination of on-street and off-street conditions.

(5) Interpreters are prohibited during the administration of skills tests. Applicants must be able to understand and respond to verbal commands and instructions in English by a skills test examiner. Neither the applicant nor the examiner may communicate in a language other than English during the skills test.

(6) The skills test must be administered and successfully completed in the following order: Pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control skills, on-road skills. If an applicant fails one segment of the skills test:

(i) The applicant cannot continue to the next segment of the test; and

(ii) Scores for the passed segments of the test are only valid during initial issuance of the CLP. If the CLP is renewed, all three segments of the skills test must be retaken.

(d) Passing scores for the knowledge and skills tests must meet the standards contained in §383.135.

[76 FR 26891, May 9, 2011]

§383.135   Passing knowledge and skills tests.

(a) Knowledge tests. (1) To achieve a passing score on each of the knowledge tests, a driver applicant must correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions.

(2) If a driver applicant who fails the air brake portion of the knowledge test (scores less than 80 percent correct) is issued a CLP or CDL, an air brake restriction must be indicated on the CLP or CDL as required in §383.95(a).

(3) A driver applicant who fails the combination vehicle portion of the knowledge test (scores less than 80 percent correct) must not be issued a Group A CLP or CDL.

(b) Skills Tests. (1) To achieve a passing score on each segment of the skills test, the driver applicant must demonstrate that he/she can successfully perform all of the skills listed in §383.113 and attain the scores listed in Appendix A of the examiner manual referred to in §383.131(b) for the type of vehicle being used in the test.

(2) A driver applicant who does not obey traffic laws, causes an accident during the test, or commits any other offense listed as a reason for automatic failure in the standards contained in the driver and examiner manuals referred to in §§383.131(a) and (b), must automatically fail the test.

(3) If a driver applicant who performs the skills test in a vehicle not equipped with any type of air brake system is issued a CDL, an air brake restriction must be indicated on the license as required in §383.95(a).

(4) If a driver applicant who performs the skills test in a vehicle equipped with air over hydraulic brakes is issued a CDL, a full air brake restriction must be indicated on the license as required in §383.95(b).

(5) If a driver applicant who performs the skills test in a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission is issued a CDL, a manual transmission restriction must be indicated on the license as required in §383.95(c).

(6) If a driver applicant who performs the skills test in a combination vehicle requiring a Group A CDL equipped with any non-fifth wheel connection is issued a CDL, a tractor-trailer restriction must be indicated on the license as required in §383.95(d).

(7) If a driver applicant wants to remove any of the restrictions in paragraphs (b)(3) through (5) of this section, the applicant does not have to retake the complete skills test. The State may administer a modified skills test that demonstrates that the applicant can safely and effectively operate the vehicle's full air brakes, air over hydraulic brakes, and/or manual transmission. In addition, to remove the air brake or full air brake restriction, the applicant must successfully perform the air brake pre-trip inspection and pass the air brake knowledge test.

(8) If a driver applicant wants to remove the tractor-trailer restriction in paragraph (b)(6) of this section, the applicant must retake all three skills tests in a representative tractor-trailer.

(c) State recordkeeping. States must record and retain the knowledge and skills test scores of tests taken by driver applicants. The test scores must either be made part of the driver history record or be linked to the driver history record in a separate file.

[76 FR 26892, May 9, 2011]



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