North Dakota Adds Six CDL Road Test Sites

Goal Is to Lower Wait Times, Reduce Driving Distances for Road Tests
ND CDL examiner
Training to become a CDL examiner includes a truck inspection. (North Dakota Department of Transportation)

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The North Dakota Department of Transportation is making it easier for new truckers to get behind the wheel by adding six new commercial driver license road test sites.

“These new test sites will provide more options for commercial drivers and better serve rural North Dakota,” said Brad Schaffer, NDDOT driver license division director. “We are looking to reduce wait times and decrease the distance rural residents have to travel to complete a road test.”

The new locations are in Grafton, Lisbon, Rolla, Valley City, Wahpeton and Watford City, which brings to 14 total CDL road test locations that NDDOT has in the state.

“The new test sites are expanding services provided by the NDDOT and all tests are conducted at our office locations,” David Finley, NDDOT assistant communication director, told Transport Topics. “Adding these six new test locations will increase our capacity by 50 CDL tests a month, with each CDL test taking about two hours.”

Brad Schaffer


Finley said the goal to add the new CDL road test sites was to provide better services to rural residents by reducing their driving times to testing facilities and also lowering overall time that state residents spend at an NDDOT office location.

When asked how much time people can save thanks to opening the new test sites, he replied, “It will depend on where they live, but with the addition of six new locations, travel time and wait time at our other eight full-time offices offering CDL tests will also be reduced. You can make an appointment online and fill out the pre-application to take a knowledge test.”

North Dakota has the fourth highest concentration of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers after Wyoming, Nebraska and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state also pays the second-highest driver wages, an average of $53,990 yearly, after Alaska at $59,840 annually.

A distinguishing feature about North Dakota is that it is a production/manufacturing state that exports more than it imports. Top state commodities include petroleum, coal, cereal grains, fertilizers, wood products and natural sands.

The January 2023 State Freight & Rail Plan noted that 79.8%, or 472.5 million tons, of domestic freight being transported to North Dakota actually originated in the state. Trucks handled 24% of the state’s freight tonnage, with more than half for moves within North Dakota, while pipelines carried the largest share, 47%, of the state’s freight tonnage.

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