© 2016, The Author(s).The aim of this multicenter study was to evaluate the performance of the crystal violet decolorization assay (CVDA) for detection of multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). This study was performed in 11 centers in two phases. A total of 156 isolates were tested for INH and RIF resistance. In the phase I, 106 clinical isolates were tested in the Center 1–7. In the phase 2, 156 clinical isolates were tested in the center 1–6, center 8–11. Eighty six of 156 tested isolates were the same in phase I. Agreements were 96.2–96.8% for INH and 98.1–98.7% for RIF in the phase I-II, respectively. Mean time to obtain the results in the phase I was 14.3 ± 5.4 days. In the phase II, mean time to obtain the results was 11.6 ± 3.5 days. Test results were obtained within 14days for 62.3% (66/106) of isolates in the phase I and 81.4% (127/156) of isolates in the phase II. In conclusion, CVDA is rapid, reliable, inexpensive, and easy to perform for rapid detection of MDR-TB isolates. In addition, it could be adapted for drug susceptibility testing with all drugs both in developed and developing countries.