Inertial Profiler Certification Program (IPCP)

For the traveling public, the quality of a road is gauged by how smooth it "rides". While this may be largely subjective, measurable roadway characteristics such as pavement roughness or road profile are strongly related to this perception of ride quality. Smooth road profiles have become a standard measure of pavement quality. Smooth roads are associated with lower road user costs, favorable user perceptions of quality and acceptability, longer pavement service lives, and lower life-cycle costs.

Caltrans has adopted the inertial profiler for determination of pavement smoothness for some of the smoothness specifications as identified in the Standard Specifications. This Inertial Profiler Certification Program is intended to capture the annual calibration verification in accordance with California Test 387.


  • Operator Certification: $500/operator/test for first time and $250/operator/test for each recertification
  • Equipment Certification: $1,000/profiler/test

You must pay the certification test fee by check, made payable to "The Regents of the University of California", on day of testing. If you need to cancel a test, notify Caltrans at least 72 hours before the scheduled test. If a cancellation is not made at least 72 hours prior to a scheduled test, your payment will be required prior to scheduling a subsequent test. If you cancel again within 72 hours of the rescheduled test, your payment will be forfeited.


To schedule an operator and/or equipment certification, e-mail Caltrans at by the Friday prior to the requested date and provide the following information*:

  • Your organization's name, telephone number, and street address;
  • If you are applying for the operator certification, the number of individuals from your organization who are going to take this test, their names and the profiler models they will be using to take the practical test and whether they are a new certification or a re-certification;
  • If you are applying for the equipment certification, the number of profilers and the make/model of each vehicle and the profiler models that you want tested; and
  • The date when you want to take the certification tests based on the schedule below.

*The requested certification day will not be scheduled until a complete request including all of the above information has been provided. A confirmation of your request will be sent by email. An additional email with specific certification information/instructions will be sent the Friday prior to the week of certification.


  • As there are limited slots in each certification session, the openings for written and field tests are filled on 'First Come First Served' basis.
  • Caltrans will only accommodate a maximum of four operators per vehicle on any given day. This is to allow time for operators to retake the practical exam if needed.
  • For FIRST TIME operators, the certification process will consist of operator written test, operator practical test, and equipment certification.
  • For RETURNING OPERATORS, the certification process will consist of operator practical test and equipment certification.
  • RETURNING OPERATORS must be recertified in the month of expiration of their certification. If there is no scheduled date for certification in the month of expiration, certification test should be taken in the next available month. If you fail to take the test in the month of expiration or the next available month as stated above, you will no longer be considered as a RETURNING OPERATOR. You will be considered as a FIRST TIME OPERATOR and will have to follow the process for FIRST TIME OPERATOR.

2019 Schedule**:

Week of Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
February 24 02/26 - full 02/27 - full 02/28 - full
April 7 04/09 - full 04/10 - full 04/11
May 5 05/07 05/08 05/09
June 16 06/18 - full 06/19 06/20
August 4 08/06 08/07 08/08
September 8 09/10 09/11 09/12
October 6 10/08 10/09 10/10 - full
October 13 10/15 10/16 10/17
October 20 10/22 - full 10/23 - full 10/24 - full

**Schedule is subject to change due to inclement weather and as conditions warrant

Certification Location

The operator written exam will be conducted prior to the practical examination. The written exam will be held at the Translab facility, 5900 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento CA 95819. For operators outside of the Sacramento region, the written exam may be scheduled at a separate, mutually agreed upon location as the schedule allows.

Equipment and operator certifications are conducted at the Department's Inertial Profiler Certification Site located in Sacramento at the Regional Transit Metro parking lot between the Roseville Road and Watt/I-80 Light Rail Stations. The site location and written instructions are shown below.

Directions from Westbound I-80:

  • Take Exit 93 for Light Rail Station / Longview Drive
  • Veer Left on the off-ramp towards the Light Rail Station
  • Take the first left turn under the freeway and into the light rail parking lot
  • Turn Left at the stop sign
  • Certification site is located approximately 1/4 mile down on the right

Directions from Eastbound I-80:

  • Take Exit 92 for Winters Street
  • Turn right onto Winters Street
  • Continue onto the roadway at the end of the cul-de-sac
  • Follow this road through the light rail parking lot
  • Certification site is located approximately 1/2 mile from the beginning of the parking lot on the right

Certified Inertial Profiler Lists