The Texas Department of Public Safety announced Friday that it will consolidate commercial driver license (CDL) skills testing locations July 1 in order to comply with federal regulations that will be taking effect in Texas in the fall.
Based on existing resources, DPS said CDL skills testing will be only administered at 25 locations to meet the federal mandates for larger testing areas to accommodate backing maneuvers, equipment inspections and a standardized layout. During the 2017 legislative session, DPS said it will request funding to help improve the availability of CDL skills testing in Texas.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration set rules in 2011 requiring all states to test applicants for CDL using a single national testing standard. Each state is required to be in compliance for commercial driver licenses to be valid for interstate commerce.
In 2015, the 84th Texas Legislature passed legislation necessary to set the new requirements in motion. Based on existing resources and the significant cost to acquire, equip and staff new testing sites, DPS decided the most cost-effective approach, while minimizing the impact to CDL customers, is to consolidate skills testing to the 25 locations that meet the new space requirements. When choosing the designated testing sites, DPS also factored whether a location provided safe conditions for test administrators and applicants.
All other commercial driver license services (written tests, renewals, duplicates and address changes) will continue to be available at any driver license office in Texas.
According to DPS, approximately 92 percent of CDL skills tests administered during 2014 and 2015 were within a 50-mile radius of one of the 25 designated testing sites. Additionally, the department is providing government entities, local fire departments and independent school districts the option of requesting CDL skills testing at their facilities provided they are located outside the 50-mile radius of one of the testing sites.
In order for a remote location to be considered, the testing site is required to be capable of accommodating testing in accordance with the new federal requirements. DPS has also been communicating with affected constituencies and industry organizations in advance of this consolidation.
For more information regarding the new requirements, which applicants will be affected and general commercial driver license information, go to dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/CommercialLicense.htm.
Click the link for the new testing sites: cdlNotice