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Third-party testing in Duncan, SC

Date of publish: 11/12/2021
Author: Katie Dobrogorskaya

From 2011 to December of 2020, CDL testing at Third Party locations was restricted due to the extra requirements established by the FMCSA to regulate the number of people receiving a CDL that had not met the necessary qualifications. In December of 2020, the FMCSA released a notification stating that it had granted states permission to allow third-party testing as long as certain rules and regulations have been followed to help streamline the process of receiving a CDL. This new regulation allows both students who have attended classes at Commercial Driving Academy, and those that have studied elsewhere(as long as South Carolina regulations are met), to be tested for their CDL at our CDA location in Duncan, South Carolina. 

Previously, CDL testing was an extensive and strenuous process that required an excessive amount of time due to the delays within the state’s system that issues CDL’s. This process typically took a minimum of two months, as you are required to have your Commercial Learner’s Permit for a minimum of 14 days and log the required amount of classroom and driving hours before being permitted to take your CDL test. In addition, many states take up to 7 weeks to issue a CDL once all required steps have been completed. 

The FMCSA announced the following conditions must be met for Third Party Testing to take place: “A State may authorize a person (including another State, an employer, a private driver training facility or other private institution, or a department, agency or instrumentality of a local government) to administer the skills tests, if the following conditions are met:

  • Tests must be the same as those given by the State.
  • The third party has an agreement with the State containing, at a minimum, provisions that:
    • Allow the FMCSA, or its representative, and the State to conduct random examinations, inspections, and audits without prior notice.
    • Require the State to conduct on-site inspection at least yearly.
    • Require that all third party examiners meet the same qualification and training standards as State examiners.
  • At least annually, State employees must evaluate the programs by taking third party tests as if they were test applicants, or by testing a sample of drivers tested by the third party and then comparing pass/fail rates.
  • The State must take prompt and appropriate remedial action against the third-party testers in the event that the third-party fails to comply with State or Federal standards for the CDL testing program, or with any other terms of the third-party contract.”

In South Carolina, an Out-of-State CLP is NOT transferable to the state. If you recently transitioned to South Carolina, you must receive a new CLP in state. In addition, if you are applying for your first CDL within South Carolina, there are additional requirements you must meet. 

Commercial Driving Academy in Duncan, South Carolina is pleased to offer third-party testing to help with the streamlined process created by the FMCSA to allow drivers to receive their CDL’s in a timely manner. In South Carolina, the following requirements must be completed before a CDL test can be administered at Commercial Driving Academy:

  • You are at least 18 to drive within SC.
  • You are at least 21 to drive outside SC.
  • You passed all required knowledge tests for a CDL or CLP in the class vehicle you intend to drive.
    There is a $2 fee for each knowledge test taken.
  • You held your CLP for at least 14 days before testing.
  • You passed the road test, which includes the pre-trip inspection, off-road, and on-road driving.

If you have previously completed all of the requirements necessary to receive your CDL in South Carolina, Commercial Driving Academy has met all of the requirements in place by the state of South Carolina and is authorized by the FMCSA to perform a third-party skills test to issue your CDL and speed up the process for you. If you are ready to pass your test and receive your CDL in Duncan, South Carolina, we are here and ready to assist you in your next steps of becoming a Licensed Commercial Driver. 

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