DPS Consolidating CDL Skills Test Sites To Comply With Federal Testing Requirements
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be consolidating 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, 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 will request funding to help improve the availability of CDL skills testing in Texas.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted rules in 2011 requiring all states to test CDL applicants using a single national testing standard. States are required to be in compliance for commercial driver licenses to be valid for interstate commerce.
In 2015, the 84th Texas Legislature passed enabling legislation necessary to implement the new federal requirements. Based on existing resources and the significant cost to acquire, equip and staff the new testing sites, DPS determined that the most cost-effective approach – while minimizing the impact to CDL customers – was to consolidate skills testing to the 25 locations that meet the new space requirements. In choosing the designated testing sites, DPS also factored in whether a location provided safe conditions for test administrators and applicants.
For a list and map of the new CDL skills testing locations, visit http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/documents/cdlNotice.pdf.
It is important to note that all other commercial driver license services (written tests, renewals, duplicates and address changes) will continue to be available at any driver license office in the state.
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. In addition, the department is providing government entities, local fire departments and independent school districts the option of requesting CDL skills testing at their facilities – if they are located outside the 50-mile radius of one of the 25 testing sites. In order for a remote location to be considered, the testing site must be capable of accommodating CDL 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, visit http://dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/CommercialLicense.htm.