Aspiring commercial drivers need to pass a rigorous Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) test, which evaluates their skills and knowledge in driving a specific type of vehicle. One of the most important parts of the CDL test is the pre-trip inspection, where applicants must demonstrate their ability to identify any potential safety hazards before setting off on a journey.

It’s not uncommon for aspiring drivers to wonder how many points they can afford to miss during this critical part of the CDL evaluation. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer or cut-and-dried threshold that you can use as your guide.

The number of points you are allowed to miss depends on several factors, including the state where you are testing, the type of vehicle you will drive once licensed, and even the examiner who administers your exam.

Furthermore, requirements for passing this portion may differ between states since each state has unique regulations regarding CDL issuance. However, some overarching guidelines apply across virtually all U.S. states which we’ll delve into deeper throughout this article.

How Many Points Can You Afford To Miss On CDL Pre-Trip Inspection?

How Many Points Can You Afford To Miss On CDL Pre-Trip Inspection?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), alongside individual state goverment agencies tasked with overseeing traffic laws often require small details within vehicles that commercial drivers should be aware about before driving them on routes with other people on it – hence why these inspectors carry an essential responsibility in ensuring public safety standards don’t falter due to commuter negligence from commercial drivers! Here are some ways different states assess candidates taking tests:


In California’s highly competitive transportation industry officials’ continue elevating statewide public policy through education programs and assessment expertise checks so aspiring trucking professionals stay up-to-date with daily operations regarding roadway usage.
When taking one’s Pre-trip exam for Class A/B/C licenses adherence towards appropriate specifications outlined within California Code Chapter 2 indicate adequate training was undergone prior using heavy trucks ranging from engine components’ inspections to brake systems, driving axels accompanied with adequate documentation depicting one’s technical knowledge of commercial vehicle usage.

In California, you will need to score 80% or higher to pass the pre-trip inspection portion of your CDL test. You are allowed to miss seven (7) points out of a possible thirty-five (35), making it crucial for drivers aiming at passing their exams on the first attempt. As previously stated earlier its crucial that one puts in enough time and attention towards meeting safety standards outlined in regulations across US governing organizations.


Commercial haulers seeking legal transport within Iowa must go through an extensive process involving written tests followed by days observing skilled driver performances being trained at renowned partner trucking companies before taking their consolidated practical exam.
They require aspiring haulers currently running along Class B/C routes who have agricultural-commercial licences likewise vying for Class A qualifications take Truck Driver Training Certifications approved by iowa based ITD providers as lead up preparation strategy towards license acquisition. This focus speeds up operators’ learning curves while also ensuring environmental preservation guidelines are met according with local statutes.

Iowa DMV feels comprehensive knowledge retention lies between undertaking pragmatic assessments reinforced through additional 3-criteria where securing minimum marks might not guarantee acceptance as liability laws continue evolving around stringent requirements individuals may unintentionally overlook hence maintaining overall highway safety demands extra care more so now than ever before!


When basic CDL training is covered Texas enhanced programmes include classes like “behind-the-wheel” five hours tailored towards specific skillsets including straight line backing practices regarding turning other skills encounter out on roadways during operation meantime road-tests give students chances learn defensive manoeuvers coupled with several backing scenarios tested on stationary or moving objects’ sighting each bracketed under regulation variances attending to specified areas throughout Texas.

The state of Texas requires candidates looking forward to bagging their CDLs present themselves for Pre-Trip Inspections organized together with certified driving instructors after being successful in the written pre-tests. In addition to their regular visual and functional inspections, Texas CDL test applicants are required to identify four different components while performing a pre-trip inspection: air leak test, brake check, front of vehicle (external) review, and engine start procedure.

Passing this portion grants you 50 points out of 150 total questions hence scoring higher means you’re closer towards achieving your overall goal without necessary deciding whether it is a pass or fail on first try instead spread step by step ensuring each stage is adequately addressed before attempts are made so that success comes naturally with enough preparation time invested beforehand!


The stringent rules in place regarding operating commercial vehicles makes Washington one of the toughest states where aspiring operators aim at earning CDLs given added complexities involved especially when transporting hazardous materials which require additional precautions remain secure. They allow only holders Class A/B/C licenses just like other states because they deal with dangerous goods that pose potential risks when mishandled by inexperienced drivers.

Acquiring knowledge using study advice alongside training tips presents suitable templates available across various websites periodically updating recently modified legislation applicable requirements currently enforced all around United States from coding alignment rules valve mechanisms no stone goes unturned throughout periods learners prepare themselves exploring diverse legal technical information compiled together help successful candidates familiarize mandated task lists practiced nationwide including their surrounding territories being considered beforehand guaranteeing swift completion times therefore acquiring driver safety greatly serving motoring public interest massively too!

In Washington state since there’s much more attention paid toward operation procedures specific tasks often neglected may cost prospective candidates valuable scores during these already challenging evaluations if not properly monitored such as requirement figuring out how much oil transmission requires following proper locks-offs for hazards encountered outside normal drivetrain wear-and-tear concerns which latest law-enforcement initiatives apply gradually upward levels even covering everyday traffic congestions moving forward going forward taking account enhanced awareness deployed over far-reaching distances across metropolitan highways reaching out into rural areas.

The Washington State Patrol evaluates CDL applicants, and they require candidates to score 80% or above to pass the pre-trip inspection portion of their CDL test. You can miss up to nine (9) points on a possible thirty-six (36), which places slightly more pressure on test-takers before bundling into practical assessments that will “make-or-break” one’s Commercial Drivers License dreams come true!


In conclusion, there is no straightforward answer regarding exactly how many points you may afford to miss during your CDL pre-trip inspection due to state-by-state variations and individual examiner opinions for such tests. For instance, some states posses extra requirements taking custom inventory specifying e.g amount fuel should contained measured exactness performing particular operations supervising hauled cargo logistics load-heights restrictions therefore these are something every aspiring driver could investigate well in advance so as not be caught flat-footed in midst of evaluations.

It makes it essential for aspiring commercial drivers who wish to obtain a CDL license, read through detailed documents explicitly outlining all the requirements for previous inspections along with applicable liabilities when it comes down upon testing by their respective country/state transport authorities sometimes providing soft copies printed manuals available online where additional data may only dependant personal registration information prior booking examination dates planning availability suited around one’s schedule whenever necessary.

We strongly advise that you seek clarifications from the relevant authorities about regulations governing your intended cost route/destination beforehand further directing proposals geared towards promoting safer travel environments throughout highways while causing fewer carbon transmittance produced by heavy-duty vehicles built adding value through greener supply-chain practices courtesy innovative private corporations like Amazon whom successfully exemplify this action ascribed over recent years!