All drivers applying for their first commercial driver license must take CDL
knowledge tests and skills tests. Drivers with a CDL from another state must
take the appropriate knowledge tests if upgrading their group designator or
adding endorsements. They may need to take the CDL skills tests if upgrading
their group designator, removing restrictions or adding the passenger (P) or
school bus (S) endorsement to their CDL (page xv of the Michigan Commercial
Driver License Manual).
CDL Knowledge Tests
You will take one or more knowledge tests. It is recommended that you
study the Michigan Commercial Driver License manual very carefully as it
contains the information you need to pass the CDL tests including sample test
All CDL knowledge tests are administered in written form. If you have limited
reading skills, you may request to take the oral tests which are available on
audio cassettes for all the tests except the hazardous materials endorsement
test. The school bus endorsement test is not yet available on cassette. Anyone
applying for the hazardous materials endorsement must pass a written hazardous
materials knowledge test, present proof of
Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident, and present a Federal Security
Threat Assessment. Follow
this link for more information about the Federal Security Threat.
includes a 20-question combination vehicle test
|S - School
T- Double Trailer
P - Passenger
N - Tank Vehicles
H - Hazardous Materials
|If you want
to be licensed to drive vehicles with air brakes, you must pass a
25-question air brake knowledge test. The vehicle you use for the skills
test must be equipped with air brakes. If either of these conditions
have not been met, you will be restricted from operating vehicles
with air brakes.
CDL Skills Tests
You will also need to pass a CDL skills test which includes three parts:
- A vehicle inspection test to measure your ability to perform a vehicle
safety check. (A Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection Memory Aid is available on the
last page of the CDL Manual [Appendix C] and may be used during the test.
- A basic control skills test.
- A driving test.
All three tests are conducted during the same testing session, in the order
listed above. Each test must be passed before continuing on to the next test. A
failure of any one of the skills tests terminates testing. On subsequent
attempts, you must start over from the beginning of the test (vehicle inspection
test) regardless of which test you previously failed. You are allowed
one attempt per day.
Follow this link for
more information about third party testing sites in your area. Or you may
contact your local
Secretary of State branch office.
You must supply an empty vehicle with a GVWR representative of the type you
plan to drive (including a trailer if required), with at least two permanently
mounted seats. Safety belts are required for both the driver and examiner
(except for the examiner on buses).
Applicants applying for the P-Passenger endorsement must pass skills tests in
a bus-type vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 or more passengers, including
Applicants applying for the S-School bus endorsement must pass skills tests
in a school bus-type vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 or more passengers,
including the driver.
Sections 10-12 of the Commercial Driver License Manual contains additional
information on the CDL skills tests.
Related Documents> Michigan Commercial Driver License Manual - 3647849 bytes