The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule, which will be implemented on February 7, 2020, establishes new minimum training requirements for individuals who want to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL); upgrade a CDL; or obtain a passenger, school bus or hazardous materials endorsement. The requirements for those who instruct these individuals are also changing.
Under the new requirements, an entry-level driver must successfully complete a prescribed program of theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) (range and public road) instruction. The training must be provided by an entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) prior to taking the state-administered CDL skills test, or for the H endorsement, prior to taking the knowledge test.
The rule applies to operators of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in interstate and intrastate commerce who are:
The ELDT requirements do not apply to individuals holding a valid CDL or a P, S or H endorsement issued before the compliance date of the final rule.
Individuals who obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) on or after February 7, 2020 will have to satisfy the applicable requirements. Individuals who obtain a CLP before February 7, 2020 are not required to comply with the new ELDT rule as long as they obtain the CDL or endorsement before the CLP (or renewed CLP) expires.
The rule does not require that theory training must be completed before obtaining a CLP.
Theory and BTW training may be delivered by separate training providers, as long as each provider is listed on FMCSA’s TPR. Both providers must submit driver-specific training certification information (i.e., proof of training) to FMCSA.
Driver trainees must receive both the range and public road portions of the BTW training from the same provider.
There is no minimum number of hours that driver-trainees must spend on the theory instruction. The rule requires that driver-trainees demonstrate their understanding of the material by achieving an overall minimum score of 80% on the theory assessment (written or electronic).
There is no minimum number of hours that driver-trainees must spend on the BTW (range and public road) elements of the Class A, Class B, or P or S endorsement instruction.
All BTW training must be conducted in the class of commercial motor vehicle in which the trainee intends to use for their CDL skills test. The rule does not permit BTW training to be conducted by using a driving simulation device, and a driver-trainee may not use a simulation device to demonstrate proficiency.
After an individual completes the training, the provider must, by midnight of the second business day after the driver-trainee completes the training, electronically transmit the ELDT certification to the TPR website. As soon as FMCSA confirms the ELDT certification information is complete, the Agency will electronically transmit it through CDLIS to the State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) for entry onto the driver's record. Then, SDLAs will simply need to confirm, by checking the applicant's driver record, that they have completed the required ELDT before allowing the individual to take the applicable skill test(s) or, in the case of the H endorsement, the knowledge test.
Contact Julia Baker at (610) 397 - 5042 or Julia_Baker@pmagroup.com