Earlier this month, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations took effect. The regulations set minimum federal requirements for training, which entry-level drivers must complete before they are permitted to take certain Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) skills or knowledge tests.
How the Regulations Work
Drivers must complete a theory and behind-the-wheel training program, achieve at least 80% on an exam on the classroom content, and demonstrate proficiency on ELDT behind-the-wheel skills before they take the CDL test. The training must be provided by a registered training provider.
Who Does This Apply To?
This law impacts drivers who are applying for their initial Class A or Class B CDL, upgrading their current CDL, or obtaining a hazardous materials endorsement for the first time.
What if My State Already Has Entry Level Driver Training?
According to Joshua Jones with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s CDL division, the federal ELDT requirements generally do not replace or otherwise supersede state-based ELDT requirements that exceed the minimum federal standards for entry-level drivers. A state may also impose more stringent qualification requirements for training providers and training instructors conducting ELDT in that state.
Who Can I Get My Training From?
All entry-level driver training instruction must be provided by a school or entity listed on the Training Provider Registry (TPR). To be eligible for a listing, training providers must fill out a form. Currently, over 14,000 training locations are registered.
Jones said the department has made outreach efforts, including webinars and online advertisements, to inform trainers that they need to apply for the TPR. Any trainers looking for resources on the ELDT can find it on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website.
Who Happens if I Complete Training with a Facility that Has Been Removed from the TPR?
Jones says any training conducted after the date of the training facility’s removal from the TPR will be considered invalid.
What Do I Do After I Have Completed My Training?
After you complete the training, you must electronically transmit your training certification through the TPR website. You must do that by midnight of the second business day after you complete your training. This will provide proof to your state’s driver licensing agency that you have completed ELDT and are eligible for CDL or endorsement testing.
What if I Already Have My CDL?
The ELDT regulations are not retroactive. That means if you were issued a CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement prior to Feb. 7, you are not required to complete training for that CDL or endorsement. However, if you are upgrading your current CDL or obtaining a hazardous materials endorsement for the first time, as mentioned above, you are impacted.