FMCSA Entry Level Driver

The FMCSA Entry-Level Driver Training Requirements went into effect on Monday, February 7th, 2022. In this article we will answer common questions and give you an overview of how this may affect your business.

Who does this apply to?

ELDT training will be required for drivers to do any of the following:

  • 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 passenger (P), school bus (S), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

Drivers will need to have completed the ELDT before taking a CDL skills test or in the case of the H endorsement, the knowledge test.

The ELDT is not retroactive and drivers that already have their CDL or an applicable endorsement will not be required to go through ELDT in order to maintain their current license. However, as mentioned above they will be required to take the ELDT in order to upgrade from Class B to A or to obtain a P, S or H endorsement.

It should also be noted that drivers that have a CDL learners permit that was issued before February 7th, 2022 will not be required to complete the ELDT in order to obtain their license.

Additionally, anyone exempt from taking the skills test under 49 CFR § 383 will not be required to go through the ELDT.

What about Air-Brakes and Manual Transmissions?

Air-Brakes and manual transmissions do not have an associated endorsement. Instead a restriction is placed on the license indicating that the driver cannot operate a vehicle with the corresponding restriction. CDL holders applying to have a no air brake (L), no full air brake (Z), and/or no manual transmission (E) restriction removed from an existing CDL do not have to complete ELDT.

What is the Entry-Level Driver Training Requirement?

The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) sets a federal standard for training that new CMV drivers will need to receive prior to obtaining their license or certain endorsements. The training consists of, Theory Training and Behind-The-Wheel (BTW) Training.

Theory Training topics will include:

  • Basic Operation
  • Safe Operating Procedures
  • Advanced Operating Practices
  • Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions
  • Non-Driving Activities (e.g., Hours of Service)

Behind-The-Wheel training will cover the operation of the relevant CMV on a range or public roads.

Who can administer this training?

In order to provide ELDT training and submit records to FMCSA of that training, an organization must register in the FMCSA Training Provider Registry. This means that operators looking to perform in house driver training will need to register their company and location as a training provider.

The individual instructors who will administer the training are not required to be registered in the FMCSA Training Provider Registry if they will be training under a registered provider. However, they must meet certain qualifications as defined in 49 CFR § 380.605. The requirements for a theory and Behind The Wheel instructor do vary slightly, however both require 2 years relevant driving experience with a CDL of the same (or higher) class and with all endorsements necessary to operate the CMV for which training is to be provided.

How will my business be impacted?

Since the requirements are not retroactive any driver you currently have will not be required to go through the ELDT to keep their current license and endorsements. However, when hiring new drivers you should consider their current license and take into account that in order to add a Passenger or School Bus endorsement they will need to go through the ELDT.

When hiring drivers that do not hold a CDL with the intention of helping them obtain one, you will need to take into account the time, cost and other investments that will be required for them to obtain it. Also keep in mind, completion of the ELDT does not guarantee that a driver will be able to obtain their CDL. They will still be required to successfully complete their skills test or in the case of an H endorsement, the knowledge test.

Does PAX offer ELDT Training Materials?

Yes, with the PAX ELDT Complete Training Program can help you easily and quickly start completing ELDT with your drivers in-house! In addition to saving money, it gives you control over the training process and ensures that your drivers are getting the best possible education.

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