Employer Testing Program Frequently Asked Questions

This information does not in any way supersede the laws and regulations governing this program as laid out in the California Vehicle Code, Revenue & Taxation Code and the California Code of Regulations.


What is the Employer Testing Program?

The Employer Testing Program (ETP) is a third-party testing program in which the department allows Employers of commercial drivers to conduct the drive test portion of the department's commercial driver licensing requirements for a Class A, Class B and non-commercial firefighter restricted license for a Class A and Class B CDL.

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What documents do I need to apply for the program?

  • Application for Employer Number (DL520)
  • A route map for each driving test route (primary and alternate)
  • Documentation of primary and alternate driving test routes on the Commercial Driving
  • Performance Evaluation Route and Directions form (DL814)
  • Employer Testing Program Commercial DPE Maneuver Checklist (DL807)
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What is an Application for an Employer Number (DL520)?

An Employer Number (DL520) is a form submitted by the Employer to the department's Employer Testing Program for requesting participation in the Employer testing Program (ETP) and for obtaining an Employer Number.

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Who needs an Application for an Employer Number (DL520)?

Employers who are enrolling in the Employer Testing Program and applying for an Employer Number (EN) or are renewing their Employer Number.

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Who can sign for the Application for Employer Number (DL520)?

Only the Administrator can sign for the DL520.

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How often do I have to renew my Employer Number?

Employer Numbers must be renewed every three years from the date the Employer Number was issued.

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What is a Certificate of Driving Skill (DL170 ETP)?

The Certificate of Driving Skill (DL170 ETP) is a departmental document used by participating Employer Testing Program Employers to document the successful completion of a drive test in lieu of having the driver tested by the department for a commercial driver license (CDL).

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Who needs a Certificate of Driving Skill (DL170 ETP)?

Employers enrolled in the Employer Testing Program who will issue a Certificate of Driving Skill (DL170 ETP) to their employees who have completed a driving test equivalent to the commercial driving test administered by the department.

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Who can sign the Certificate of Driving Skill (DL170 ETP)?

The Employer's Authorized Representative, the Examiner who conducted the commercial drive test, and the driver who has successfully passed the commercial drive test.

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If the company is suspended from participating in the program, are the drivers CDL privileges cancelled?

The company's drivers do not automatically loose their CDL driving privileges. However, if the department determines the testing practices were insufficient the department may require the company's drivers to be given a new drive test to retain their CDL.

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If there is already an approved route, and the route changes due to construction or other detours, can the route be reversed to compensate for the changes?

No, because the route will have the same construction problem .

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Do we have to let ETP know of any route changes recommended by the Auditor?

Yes, any changes to a route must be submitted to the department on the Commercial Driving Performance Evaluation Route and Directions form (DL814), the Commercial DPE Maneuver Checklist (DL807) along with a route map for each driving test route (primary and alternate).

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Can you submit an exemption for more than one route element missing?

Yes, you must submit a written request to the ETP on an ETP Commercial Driver Performance (DPE) Maneuver Checklist (DL807ETP).

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If the alternate route is approved, but the primary route has not been approved, can you use the alternate route?

No, the department requires the Employer to have an approved primary and alternate drive test route before they can be used.

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Can there be a scored maneuver at the end of a scored section?

Yes, as long as you do not score two maneuvers at the same place and time.

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How long can my drive test route be?

The duration of the drive test route is not limited, but must include the entire required ETP driving test route elements.

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Does the entire Drive Test have to be conducted on the same day?

They can be conducted on different days. However, the DPE CDL Driving Performance and Evaluation Score Sheet date field should indicate the day the road test was completed.

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Can I do the road test first?

No. The driver must pass the Pre-Trip and Skills Test before they can do the Road Test.

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Can the evaluation be conducted in more than one vehicle?

As long as the vehicles used are the same type. The vehicle must have the same type of braking system, weight rating, transmission system, controls, steering control and axles.

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What is a Route Approval Number?

The route approval number is a number used to track all drive test routes used by the ETP participants. It verifies that the routes established include 30 scored route elements for each route.

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What is required to obtain a Route Approval Number?

The Employer must submit the Commercial Driving Performance Evaluation Route and Directions (DL814) and the Employer Testing Program Commercial DPE Maneuver Checklist (DL807) identifying all of the route elements necessary to be able to develop two separate routes that can be verified on a map and/or during an on-site inspection.

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How often will I be audited by DMV?

Annually.

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Does the Administrator have to hold a CDL?

There are no program requirements for an administrator to hold any class of driver license for participation in ETP.

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Can a Representative also be an Examiner?

An Authorized Representative can act as Examiner. However, an Authorized Representative cannot sign as the Examiner and Authorized Representative on the same DL170ETP.

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Will DMV provide the examiner contract?

No, the contract is to be established by the Examiner and the Employer. The contract must indicate the provisions to administer the drive test, the provisions for examiner CDL requirements and other provisions your company deems necessary.

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Can one Examiner test another Examiner when upgrading a license?

Yes, as long as the Examiner conducting the test is not the other's Examiner's subordinate, or have any authority over him/her, and they carry the appropriate license to test the other Examiner.

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How can I notify DMV of my change of address?

You can give notification to DMV by writing to the Employer Testing Program within 10 days of the change of address on company letterhead, or by submitting a completed and signed Application (DL520) with the new address.

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How can I order Employer Testing Program forms in large quantities?

Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles Employer Testing Program at the address listed below:

Employer Testing Program
P.O. Box 944278 M/S L-224
Sacramento, CA 94244-2780
(916) 229-4404

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