Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Road test general information

A road test, sometimes called a skills test, is required for those who are applying for:

  • an original Class A, B, or C commercial driver's license (CDL)
  • an original Class D (auto and small truck) driver's license
  • an original Class M (motorcycle) license
  • an original P (passenger) endorsement to operate large motor buses
  • an original S (school bus) endorsement to operate any school bus
  • reinstatement of a license expired more than eight years
  • a restricted juvenile license
  • a special restricted license

Tests may be waived for drivers with a valid out-of-state license and for drivers who have had a valid license within the last eight years.

A road test may also be required if the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has good cause to question a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely due to a physical or medical disability.

Separate road tests are given for each license class and endorsement. All tests involve a series of actual traffic situations designed to measure how well the driver responds to road and traffic conditions. Study guides for road tests are available for most license classes and endorsements. They can be found in the appropriate handbook and list the maneuvers you will need to perform in your road test.

Road tests are conducted by appointment at DMV service centers located throughout the state. Most CDL road tests are conducted by third party testers. Third party testers conduct the same CDL pre-trip and driving skills tests as provided by DMV examiners. They may charge no more than $85 per test ($15 if only the pre-trip is taken.) An additional fee may be charged if the third party tester provides the vehicle. Contact the specific tester for details.

If you are under 18 and hold an Instruction Permit, a completed MV3001 with the sponsorship information completed and proof of Driver Education (classroom and Behind the Wheel) completion will be needed to issue the license after the road test is passed.

If you hold an expired instruction permit or license, you will need to have a licensed driver drive you to the location where the road test will be given.

You will need to provide the appropriate vehicle for the license class test. For example, if you want a license to operate a commercial motor vehicle, you will need to provide the type of commercial vehicle you plan to operate.

Prior to the test, the examiner will inspect the vehicle you will be using in your road test. The examiner will check for safety defects and valid registration. If problems are detected, the road test may be denied; therefore, it is wise to refer to the appropriate driver handbook for a list of the items that will be checked in the vehicle inspection so you can ensure everything is working properly before you arrive for your road test appointment.

A road test will take 20 to 90 minutes, depending on the license class and endorsement for which you are applying.

The fee for a road test is based on the type of vehicle you want to operate.

Some examples of reasons for not passing a road test are:

  • inexperience
  • failure to follow directions
  • contributing to an accident
  • dangerous action
  • law violation

If you do not pass your road test, you may be required to wait 1, 7 or 14 days before another test is allowed. The examiner will tell you what the waiting period is for the type of license for which you are applying.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 266-2353

Previous Back to scheduling a road test

Last modified: November 30, 2011

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