When the application/testing process opens, on-line applications will be available for a specific window of time.
On-line applications will be available on the CHP web site, www.chp.ca.gov
The selection process is actually a testing and evaluation process that is mandated by state law and the
California State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).
It is comprised of seven steps: Application
acceptance, written exam, physical ability test (PAT), qualifications appraisal panel (QAP), background investigation with voice
stress analyzer, psychological evaluation, and medical evaluation. All testing and evaluation takes place at each of the eight
geographical CHP Division areas throughout the state.
When we have an open application time period, if an applicant fills out the electronic application properly and meets the minimum
requirements, they will be invited to the written exam. The written exam is not a test of law enforcement terms. It is an
English and grammar test. A good study guide for the written exam can be found at the POST web site at:
Passing the written exam earns an applicant a spot at the physical ability test (PAT). The PAT includes running a longer distance
(a mile and a half), a sprint (300 meters), doing full sit-ups (number per minute) and full push-ups (number per minute). You
must meet the standards for all events to continue in the hiring process.
If an applicant passes the PAT, they will receive an appointment to the QAP interview. Those applicants who receive a qualifying
score on the QAP will move onto a background investigation.
Applicants at this stage will fill out a personal history statement and provide other documentation to their background investigator.
The background process can take three to five months.
Making it through backgrounds means the applicant moves on to the psychological evaluation. It is both written, answering an inventory
of hundreds of yes-no questions, and verbal, interviewing with a California State Personnel Board psychologist.
If an applicant clears the psych evaluation, they move on to the complete medical evaluation with a color vision test, drug test and
full set of back X-rays. The State Personnel Board medical team is responsible for this task.
An applicant that successfully passes every test and evaluation will then be put on a list waiting for an invitation to the CHP Academy.
In the past the entire application process took one to two years, however changes have been made to lessen that
time. Expect the entire hiring process, from the date of your written test to Academy appointment, to last approximately
6-12 months. This is general timeline and individual cases may vary considerably. State budget issues may also have an
impact on timelines.
Because of state law and mandates from the California State Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training
), we must put all applicants for Cadet, CHP through an extensive
testing and evaluation process.
You will not be allowed to continue in the current exam cycle, and you will have to wait and re-apply when we
have an open application period. You will not be allowed to re-test in another Division during the same exam cycle.
During the period between weeks 19 and 21 prior to graduation, cadets receive a "Dream Sheet"; a list of those CHP Area
offices that have openings (not all offices have openings) for new officers. Cadets list their choices of locations by order of
personal preference. The lists are then returned to headquarters for processing. The following information shows how the cadet's
first duty assignment is determined/prioritized:
- The needs of the Department.
- Hardship. The hardship must have occurred after appointment to the Academy.
- Home ownership. This is for cadets that own their home and live within 60 minutes of the office they are trying to get.
Must provide a notarized photocopy of the first page of the Trust Deed as proof of home ownership.
- Social Security Number. Based on the last four digits of the social security number in descending order (9999 has
priority over 0000). Most cadet assignments are determined in this manner.
For example, if the last four of your SSN# ends in 9999, you would more than likely get your first pick. There are no guarantees
that you will be assigned to a location in the state nearest your residence or family members.
Realistically, the Department's vacancies are usually in metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay area, San
Joaquin Valley, or the desert areas. Nearly all officers begin their careers in one of those locations. Keep in mind that one
of the advantages of being a CHP officer is that after one year on the job, you can transfer elsewhere in the state of California.
No. We consider going through the CHP Academy an important tool to building great CHP officers and it is essential
that all successful applicants experience life at the Academy.
You may specify any region to take the written test and will be scheduled accordingly. Be prepared to
test in the same geographical location for the physical ability test and written test. If you choose to test in
an area other than the one you live in, and you are successful at the written, your background will take much
longer than if you tested in your home division.
We no longer accept T-scores from other agencies.
According to the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), the organization that writes
and grades the test, you can only take the written exam once every 30 days regardless of the agency you take it with.
The above rule can be accessed at: http://www.post.ca.gov/entry-level-test-battery.aspx
All violations are considered with regard to severity, recency, and frequency
Experimental use of marijuana or other drugs may not be a disqualifying factor. The recency, frequency, and specific circumstances will be
evaluated to determine your level of qualification.
A misdemeanor conviction, unlike a felony conviction, may not be a disqualifying factor.
As with traffic violations, severity, recency, frequency, and specific circumstances will be evaluated to determine your qualifications.
Traditionally, a majority of each class will be made up of cadets in their mid to late 20's.
Every class has its share of cadets in their early twenties and mid-late 30's.
Cell phone use is a privilege that is not allowed at first. After one-two weeks, cell
phone use will be allowed, but only during specified times.
Residential history for the last ten years, including address, landlords and roommates
A complete employment history, including addresses, phone numbers, supervisors and co-workers
All legal history and associated reports
All driving history and associated reports (including copies of citations and accident reports, if possible)
Vehicle insurance policies
Vehicle registration cards
Your birth certificate (Certified Copy issued by State)
Marriage & dissolution of marriage certificates
Knowledge of your credit history (free at www.annualcreditreport.com)
Selective Service registration card or printout (from www.sss.gov)
Social Security card (www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.html)
High school transcript(s) (Certified)
College transcript(s) (Certified)
Military records & DD214 (www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html)
Having lived and worked in another part of the state or out of state.
Numerous applications with other law enforcement agencies.
Extensive driving/criminal history.
Failure to provide your background investigator with addresses or telephone numbers for critical contacts.
Ride-a-longs are granted on a case-by-case basis and are at the discretion of the Area Commander. Ride-a-longs
are usually only offered to those who are in the hiring process to become an officer.
Depends. You may be contacted within days of turning in your Personal History Statement (PHS) or it may take
several weeks. Each Division Background Unit has a caseload, as do individual Background Investigators. The bottom line is
you need to be patient. You will be contacted and your case will be worked, it just may take a little time.
Many applicants and current officers have tattoos but they must adhere to our policy which is:
All uniformed employees and cadets are prohibited from displaying any body art, tattoo(s), brand(s), intentional scarring,
mutilation, or dental ornamentation while on duty or representing the CHP in any official capacity. Any current uniformed
employee or cadet with existing body art, tattoo(s), brand(s), intentional scarring, or mutilation that is visible shall
have the following options:
- Uniformed employees and cadets shall cover existing body art, tattoo(s),
brand(s), intentional scarring, or mutilation by wearing the long-sleeve uniform
shirt and/or uniform trousers/breeches.
- Cover the existing body art, tattoo(s), brand(s), intentional scarring, or
mutilation with a skin tone patch or make-up.
- Have the tattoo(s) or brand(s) removed at the employee's expense.
Body art, tattoo(s), brand(s), intentional scarring, and/or mutilation that is not
able to be covered or concealed is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to,
foreign objects inserted under the skin, pierced, split or forked tongue; and/or
stretched out holes in the ears.
Uniformed employees and cadets shall not have any dental ornamentation. The use of gold, platinum, silver, or other veneer caps for
the purposes of ornamentation are prohibited. Teeth, whether natural, capped, or veneered, shall not be ornamented with designs,
jewels, initials, etc.