Georgia adopts redesigned and streamlined process for getting CDL

Updated Jan 5, 2024
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Georgia Department of Driver Services

The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) has adopted a new commercial motor vehicle skills testing process, which the department said updates and modernizes the testing procedure.

Redesigned by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the result is a simpler and what the DDS said is a "more effective skills testing process that best assesses an applicant’s readiness to operate a commercial motor vehicle  safely."

DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore said, “The commercial driver’s test has been redesigned and streamlined with new national standards to make obtaining a Commercial Driver's License more efficient without lowering requirements and most importantly not compromising safety. Applicants are tested on real-world scenarios that all focus on safety critical items.”

While the Between DDS Customer Service Center is the first location offering the modernized process, expansion to other locations statewide is ongoing. Appointments are required for all road skills tests and may be made at www.dds.georgia.gov

Appointments for both test types, traditional and modernized, are available until the modernization transition is complete statewide. Customers who have already passed one or more parts of the three-part CDL skills test cannot shift to the modernized test and receive credit for sections of the traditional test that were completed successfully.  Other requirements for a CDL, including mandatory Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT), have not changed.

DDS business partners, Third-Party Testers, also have the option to offer the modernized test to their students. 

The modernized CDL skills test remains in three parts: vehicle inspection, basic control skills test, and road test. The inspection and basic control skills test were updated during the modernization process, according to the DDS.

The new inspection requires fewer items, and the applicants are allowed to use a checklist (provided in the “CDL Study Guide”) for the order of inspection. The inspection focuses on knowledge and safety and contains items a driver would typically experience on the job.

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The basic control skills portion of the driving exam is conducted on a smaller footprint and tests applicants on: forward stop; straight-line backing; forward offset tracking and reverse offset backing.