More than half of commercial driver license (CDL) applicants in Iowa fail the knowledge exam on their first try.
Mark Lowe, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, believes a new mobile application will help people better prepare for that written portion of the exam.
“In the past, really the way we helped people was to just give them a printed manual and say ‘good luck.’ That’s really not good enough. Our new app really changes that. It transforms our written manual into an interactive, adult learning app,” Lowe said. “It really helps them build and test their competency, so they know they’re ready the first time they come into one of our service centers to take that test.”
Lowe unveiled the new app Monday at a statehouse news conference. He predicts it’ll help more people pass the written portion of the CDL exam on their first try.
“We think that’s a really good thing. It’s not only efficient for us and for them because it helps people pass the first time and not waste time coming back over and over again to take the test, but more importantly it more quickly delivers professional drivers to the job market and to the transportation industry,” Lowe said.
There’s a shortage of licensed commercial drivers in Iowa and across the country. Don Egli is the director of safety and security for the The Iowa Motor Truck Association (IMTA). “There isn’t a trucking company in the state of Iowa that isn’t looking for at least a good truck driver,” Egli said. “Now with this CDL training app, we have one more tool to help us attract professional men and women to our industry and to help them find success more quickly in this profession.”
The IMTA helped develop and test the app. The Iowa CDL Testing App is available on mobile devices through Apple and Android app stores, as well as online. It’s free to anyone with an Iowa driver’s license or ID card.