The Entry-Level Driver Training: What you should know about new rules

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Written by Mike Skliar

If you want to get a Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL), we advise you to do it before February 7th, 2022. After that, new driver training requirements come into force that can make life difficult for future truckers.

What is ELDT?

The main aim of the ELDT (Entry-Level Driver Training) mandate is to make roads and highways safer through more adequate driver training. It is a list of new minimum requirements for entry-level driver training set by the FMCSA. The new rules must be followed by all schools or individuals providing CDL training. They will come into force next month – February 7th, 2022. 

The good news is that applicants who have already obtained a valid CDL or a P, S, or H endorsement before February 7, 2022, will not be subject to the new ELDT requirements.

What are the new requirements to obtain a CDL license?

According to FMCSA, ELDT regulations will apply to drivers that are attempting to:

  • Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;
  • Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL;
  • Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

All these entry-level drivers will not be able to take a CDL skills test before successfully passing a mandatory theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) (range and public road) training program as outlined in 49 CFR Part 380 Appendices A through F.

Who Can Provide Entry-Level Driver Training?

In a few weeks, only those who are listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) will be able to provide CDL training services. This applies to every training provider like CDL schools, community colleges, private fleets with their dock-to-driver programs, etc. To do this, they should have a curriculum that complies with 49 CFR Part 380, an adequate classroom and range, trucks of the correct type and class, and licensed instructors with at least two years of driving experience. A list of certified training entities will be listed on the FMCSA website on the Training Provider Registry.

What else does the ELDT mandate mean for the student commercial drivers? 

That the choice of CDL schools will be more limited. There is a possibility that the cost of training will rise, because the providers may add the additional costs of compliance ELDT to tuition prices.

There is no minimum number of hours that driver-trainees must spend on the theory instruction and on the BTW (range and public road) elements of Class A, Class B, or P or S endorsement instruction. But the State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) must verify that the student has completed the required training. For this CDL training provider must submit driver’s information to SDLA by midnight of the second business day following completion of training. If your CDL training provider is not on the TPR, you will not be allowed to test for your CDL. 

CDL training in North Carolina

If you consider attending a CDL school, we highly recommend our partner – Carolina CDL Training Center in North Carolina. Their professional instructors will prepare you for your CDL test and future career in the trucking industry, so you will not experience any issues connected with the ELDT mandate.

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Author Mike Skliar

As the truck driver recruiting agency's CEO, I deeply understand the unique challenges and demands truck drivers face.

Drawing from my extensive work experience, I bring knowledge in truck driver recruitment, logistics, and transportation management. I possess a comprehensive understanding of industry regulations, safety standards, and best practices, ensuring that the agency adheres to the highest standards of professionalism and compliance.

Now, looking back and remembering my path from the very beginning, it seems to me that this story is a lifetime. During all these years of development and growth of our agency, I took part in no less interesting projects in which my experience, knowledge and vision were needed. And I was also able to gain new skills, contacts and experience by participating in the development of these projects from various fields, such as cargo transportation, trucking companies, e-commerce, parcel delivery and much more! But the best is yet to come!

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