Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) has launched an important enhancement to the commercial motor vehicle skills testing process which updates and modernizes the testing procedure.  Redesigned by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the result is a simpler and more effective skills testing process that best assesses an applicant’s readiness to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safely.

“From the time I entered office, it has been a priority for all our state agencies to explore new ways we can make government more streamlined, efficient, and effective,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “The adoption of this modernized skills test for CDL applicants is both in line with that priority and reinforces our ongoing efforts to get more commercial drivers on the road, and I’m thankful for all the hardworking DDS employees supporting measures that continue to make us worthy of being the number one state to do business.”

DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore explains “The commercial driver’s test has been redesigned and streamlined with new national standards to make obtaining a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) 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 (CSC)  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  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. “Georgia Driving Academy is excited to be participating in the third-party testing program utilizing the recently approved modernized skills testing procedures.  The new testing has streamlined a lot of the redundant steps previously in the Visual Inspection section under the old 2005 program. Additionally, the update to the Basic Control Skills section evaluates testers on more realistic trucking situations,” stated Brad Barber, GDA Campus President.

The Modernized CDL Skills Test remains in three parts: The Vehicle Inspection (VI), the Basic Control Skills (BCS) Test and Road Test. The VI and BCS were updated during the modernization process.

The new VI 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.

The Basic Control Skills (BCS) 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.

For complete driver education, testing and issuance requirements, please visit For the latest information on the CDL Modernization expansion, please follow DDS on Facebook.