Those planning on driving passenger vehicles that hold more than 10 people (including the driver) are required to earn a passenger vehicle endorsement for their Commercial Driver’s License.
That means passing the passenger vehicles endorsement exam. As you can imagine being responsible for the safety of others is serious business and thus the exam requires you to demonstrate good understanding of a number of different safe driving principles, including how to handle passengers while a vehicle is moving and safe driving procedures in emergencies and difficult weather conditions.
We’ll discuss what’s covered by the test in more detail in just a minute. Right now you should just know that this is one of several endorsement tests that can be included in the Commercial Driver’s License testing process. The tests that you are required to take will depend on the class of commercial driver’s license you are seeking (it can be Class A, B or C) and the type of vehicle that you want to drive.
Let’s proceed and examine the passenger vehicles test in more detail so that you will know how to best prepare for it.
The passenger vehicles endorsement exam consists of 20 questions in total. Each question is presented in multiple choice format with four possible answers. Your mission will be to read the question carefully and select the correct answer from the choices you are given.
If you get at least 16 of the questions correct you will pass the test and earn your passenger vehicles endorsement. That means you need to earn a score of at least 80% on this test.
Here are some tips for when you go to take the test:
- Before traveling to the DMV, make sure you are eligible to take the test. In most states requirements include that you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. If you want to drive “interstate,” which means from state to state then you most likely will need to be at least 21 years of age. Check your local DMV website for specific requirements.
- While you are at the DMV website also be sure to check what identification materials you need to bring with you to the DMV.
- Finally, also be sure to check the fees that you will have to pay. Also, be sure to check payment methods that are accepted. Some sites may only accept cash.
Again, you should be able to find all of the information above at your local DMV website. We also recommend that if your DMV accepts appointments that you make one to avoid a lengthy wait time.
What’s on the Test?
So now that we’ve covered what you need to take the test, let’s take a look at what is actually on the test.
The passenger vehicles endorsement exam is designed to ensure prospective passenger vehicle drivers have the knowledge necessary to transport their riders safely. The test focuses on a variety of subjects, such as: proper procedure for loading and unloading passengers, proper braking procedures, most common types of bus accidents and how to avoid them and much more.
For example, many bus accidents happen at intersections. For that reason, passenger vehicle drivers should use extreme caution at intersections even if there is a signal or stop sign to control other traffic.
Drivers should also always be mindful of the clearance their vehicle needs as it is common for passenger vehicles to scrape of mirrors or hit passing vehicles or tree limbs or mailboxes on the side of the road.
You should also understand the principles of backing larger passenger vehicles as well as effectively managing turns.
Examples of types of questions that you may see on this endorsement exam include:
- What factors influence the stopping distance of a passenger vehicle?
- What is a common danger for passenger vehicle drivers who are driving alongside other vehicles?
- What should you use to put out a fire inside your passenger vehicle?
- What is the purpose of a standee line in a passenger vehicle?
- Why is it recommended that charter bus drivers not let passengers onto their vehicle until it is time to depart?
As stated previously, questions on this endorsement exam are presented in multiple choice format. Each question will have four answers and you must select the correct one.
How to Prepare for the Test
To prepare to pass your endorsement exam you should begin by studying your state commercial driver’s license manual. In particular, you should study the passenger vehicles section.
Read this section carefully multiple times to ensure you learn the content. One way to test your understanding of the material is to take a practice endorsement exam, such as those available here.
These types of tests can be a great way to see what areas you are strong in and what areas you need to study more to ensure you earn a high score on the real test.
If you take practice tests, be sure that they are patterned after the real test as this will help you get familiar for the experience of taking the actual exam. The more comfortable you feel going into the exam the better you will perform.
To take one of our practice tests now, click here.
Test Taking Tips – Improve Your Chances to Pass
There are several things you can do to improve your chances of passing the endorsement test.
First and foremost, you should study your CDL handbook and take practice tests. You should also begin studying well in advance of your test appointment. Don’t expect to “cram” the night before the test and receive a passing score.
You’ll dramatically increase your chances of passing by studying well in advance. Then you can get a good night’s sleep the night before the test instead of staying up all night studying.
Studies show those that get a good night’s sleep before a big test do better.
Additional things you can do include:
- Double-check your appointment time and your identification materials
- Know how to get to the DMV and leave early so that you have plenty of time to get there
You don’t want to feel rushed and stressed when taking the test. Give yourself some time.
Anyone can pass the passenger vehicles endorsement exam with the right preparation. To ensure you are prepared to pass, you should thoroughly study your handbook and take practice tests to get ready. This way you’ll feel calm and confident when you go to the DMV. Then in no time you could have your endorsement and be living your dream of getting paid to drive a passenger vehicle.