Third-Party CDL Testers
Getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) requires knowledge-based tests and a three-part skills test. In Iowa, these tests are offered at DOT driver’s license service centers, select county treasurer locations, or third-party testers.
Third-party testers are companies or agencies that are authorized and trained by the Iowa DOT to administer CDL knowledge and skills tests. The tests given by third parties are identical to tests given by the DOT and county treasurers, however, there may be fees and/or class enrollment requirements associated with third-party testers. The standards governing third-party CDL testing can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations and the Iowa administrative rule 761—607.30(321).
How to become a third-party CDL tester
A company that wants to become a third-party CDL tester must:
- Have facilities located within the state of Iowa to perform the testing.
- Complete the Iowa Third-Party Tester Application. (coming soon)
- Sign and adhere to agreements with the Iowa Department of Transportation.
- Have a basic controls skills testing site that meets the requirements for dimensions (260 feet long x 60 feet wide).
- Have a proposed road test route that is compliant with FMCSA including maps and written steps. To be compliant, most of the test route must be accomplished on an actual public roadway, while two may be simulated:
- Expressway or a limited access highway
- Straight section of an urban business street
- Urban business section
- Four Left and Four Right turns
- Two lane change maneuvers
- Two through intersections
- Two intersections where a stop must be made
- Two curves, one left and one right
- Roadside stop and start
- Low clearance, weight restriction or traffic sign
- Railroad crossing (can be simulated)
- Student discharge (may be simulated)
- Have all your testing examiners pass the AAMVA credentialed Certified Commercial Examiner course.
Want to learn more about becoming a third-party CDL tester?