COMMERCIAL DRIVER TRAINING
Third-Party Certification Program
The Secretary of State's office licenses and regulates private companies, municipalities, fire departments and governmental agencies for participation in the Third-Party Certification Program which allows these entities to conduct CDL skills and road exams for CDL Classes A, B, C, and M, for employees needing a CDL for daily operations. Please refer to the Administrative Rules for complete information.
Main Facility Requirements
- Completed Application for Third-Party Program License
- Agreement Between the Illinois Secretary of State and Driver's License Third-Party Certification Entity
- Narrative and physical layouts of the official road test route (see Federal CDL Road Test Criteria below)
- Application for Third-Party Certification Program Safety Officer
Branch Facility Requirements
- Application for Third-Party Certification Program Branch License
- Branch Agreement Between the Illinois Secretary of State and Driver's License Third-Party Certification Entity
Please mail documents to:
Illinois Secretary of State
Commercial Driver Training Section
650 Roppolo Dr.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Upon receipt of the documents, the Commercial Driver Training Section will contact you to schedule training. For more information, please call 847-981-7455.
Federal Road Test Route Criteria
A motorist must drive an approved predetermined route for a CDL Road Test. A map of the route along with a narrative explaining the maneuvers must be submitted with your applications. Once a test route is established and approved, it may be used indefinitely for certification. A CDL test route design must incorporate all of the following:
- Four left and four right turns. Include turns at traffic lights, stop signs and uncontrolled intersections. The turns should range from easy to somewhat difficult for a heavy vehicle. Try to get a mixture of types of intersections so they vary in complexity.
- Straight section, one to two miles long, with moderate traffic density, of an urban business street. It should contain through intersections, and intersections with traffic lights. Try to get a section where the driver can make lane changes along the route. The section should demonstrate how the driver copes with traffic in a typical business area.
- One through intersection and two intersections where a stop has to be made. If possible, these intersections should be included in the urban section.
- One railroad crossing (uncontrolled, if possible). The crossing should have enough sight distance to see if the driver makes search head movements when approaching each crossing. The driver's attempt to look left and right down the track will often be the only way you can tell if the driver noticed the crossing. If you do not have a railroad crossing in your area, do the following:
- For bus and HAZMAT applicants, create a simulated railroad crossing on a lightly traveled section of the street or road that contains a landmark you can treat as a railroad crossing. The landmark can be an intersection, an entrance to the road, or a billboard. Instruct the driver to do whatever he or she would do at a real railway crossing.
- For all other applications, simply add one extra through intersection to the route.
- Curve, either to the left or to the right that is tight enough to produce noticeable off-tracking on a tractortrailer.
- A section of expressway or two-lane rural or semi-rural road. You must have an expressway section if there is an expressway in or close to your testing area. The two-lane rural section may be used if an expressway is not available.
- Expressway should be a four-lane controlled access highway such as an interstate and should start with a conventional ramp entrance and end with a conventional ramp exit. The section should be long enough for a heavy vehicle to do two lane changes during this section.
- Rural highway section should be at least two miles long and have a section with four lanes where lane changes may be made. Choose a section of rural road that simulates driving challenges as close as possible to those found on an expressway.
- Downgrade steep enough and long enough to require gearing down and braking. A steep short hill is the next best choice if a longer grade cannot be found. Find a grade where it should be obvious to a driver approaching the grade that the grade will require proper downgrade driving precautions.
- Simulated downgrade about a quarter mile long. Choose a flat section of road where a driver can go through the motions of driving down a steep grade. It should have little or no traffic, or have several lanes so a slow vehicle will not interfere with traffic. If the real downgrade on your route is likely to give a poorly prepared driver a problem, it is a good idea to locate the simulated grade so it comes before the real grade.
- An upgrade steep enough and long enough to require gear changing to maintain speed. A steep, short hill is the next best choice if a long grade cannot be found. Use the same grade for both the downgrade and the upgrade if it is hard to find steep grades in your area.
- A downgrade for stopping, where a vehicle can be safely stopped and parked for a minute. The grade needs to be only steep enough to cause a vehicle to roll if the driver does not park properly. Only a gentle slope is necessary to cause a heavy vehicle to roll.
- An upgrade for stopping where a vehicle can be safely stopped and parked for a minute. You can use the same grade as you need to.
- One underpass, or low clearance, or a bridge.
- Underpass should have a posted clearance height.
- Bridge should have a posted weight limit. If you cannot find underpasses or bridges with posted limits, use ones that do not have posted limits.
- If you cannot find any low clearance or bridges, look for places that have signs a heavy vehicle driver should see, such as "No Commercial Vehicles after 11 p.m." or "Bridge with 10 Ton Weight Limit in 5 Miles."
- Underpass should have a posted clearance height.