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Minnesota CDL road test to change

The process of obtaining a Minnesota commercial driver's license will change Sept. 1 when the state adopts federally proposed road-testing procedures that call for a full, walk-around pre-trip inspection and the addition of offset backing to the basic control skills section of the test.

Deb Carlson, exam program manager for the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Division, said the changes will result in more thorough examination of drivers' knowledge and skills.

"A higher quality driver ultimately will create safer roads for everyone," she said.

The pre-trip inspection is the process whereby a driver determines that a vehicle is safe to operate. Under new requirements, the driver will perform an all-inclusive, walk-around vehicle inspection.

In the Basic Control section of the CDL road test, new regulations require a demonstration of "offset backing" skills in which the driver must back the vehicle, either to the right or left, into an adjacent lane.

Addition of the walk-around inspection and the backing requirement will lengthen the road test procedure by at least 30 minutes.

For more information about CDL road-test changes, visit a driver exam station or consult the Minnesota Commercial Driver's Manual online at; click "Driver and Vehicle Services" and select "Manuals" from the left menu. Find the commercial vehicle pre-trip inspection checklist on page 9 of Section 10. An offset backing diagram is located on page 3 of Section 11.