ELDT Training Requirements for Entry-Level CDL Drivers
Operating a commercial motor vehicle, known as a CMV, is an essential job that keeps our economy moving. It is also a heavy responsibility. When operated unsafely, the consequences can be devastating.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is charged with improving safety on our nation’s roadways. FMCSA believes that high-quality driver training is essential to ensuring that new drivers are well equipped to safely operate CMVs.
In 2016, FMCSA published new regulations that established for the first time nationwide minimum requirements for entry-level driver training. The entry level-driver training, or ELDT, regulations identify the knowledge and skills an individual must obtain before testing for a commercial driver’s license, known as a CDL, or certain CDL endorsements.
The new ELDT regulations apply to individuals seeking to obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time, upgrade an existing Class B to a Class A CDL, or obtain a passenger (P), school bus (S), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.
As of February 7th, 2022, individuals subject to the regulations who apply for these CDLs, or endorsements, must have completed the required entry-level driver training from a provider listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry. These providers have self-certified that they meet all applicable federal and state entry-level driver training requirements. Drivers searching for a training provider must select a provider from those listed in the registry, and contact them to enroll. Drivers enrolled in employer-provided training may use the training provider list to verify that their employer-provided training is registered with FMCSA.
Once training is completed, the provider will submit certification of training completion to FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry. The State Driver Licensing Agency will verify this information before administering applicable CDL skills or knowledge tests.
Interested in applying for a CDL? Your next steps will depend on if you currently hold a commercial learner’s permit known, as a CLP, and if so, when it was issued. If you currently hold an unexpired CLP that was issued before February 7, 2022, you are not required to complete entry-level driver training before taking your CDL skills test, as long as you obtain your CDL before your CLP expires.
If you do not yet hold a CLP, or if your CLP was issued on or after February 7th, 2022, you must complete entry-level driver training before you will be permitted to take your CDL skills test. Any drivers who intend to apply for an S, P, or H endorsement for the first time on or after February 7th, 2022, must complete the applicable endorsement training before taking the S or P skills test, or the H knowledge test.
If you are required to complete entry-level driver training, you can visit the Training Provider Registry and begin searching for a training provider today.
ELDT Mandate: Everything You Need to Know
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the truck driving industry value the safety that results from standards in professional driver training. A uniform national benchmark works towards this goal by making sure that all drivers learn the same basic safety skills, regardless of the state in which they obtained training.
Training consistency is harder to achieve when each state has its own commercial driver’s license (CDL) training requirements. The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) mandate addresses this inconsistency by providing a minimum standard nationwide to ensure that new drivers entering the industry do so with the same minimum level of competence and safety.
What is ELDT?
The ELDT is a set of minimum standards for commercial driver education that all training providers must follow. WIth this mandate is in place, training providers will have to certify to the FMCSA that their training programs meet minimum standards in order to continue training commercial drivers.
ELDT training is comprised of classroom (theory) education and skills training. Students will learn approximately 30 subjects within the classroom portion of the training and must score a minimum of 80 percent on a theory assessment to meet minimum program requirements. To qualify for the CDL exam, students will receive specified behind-the-wheel training, as well as have a trainer’s endorsement stating that they are proficient in the CDL skills curriculum.
The FMCSA has set the ELDT standards on a federal level, so these rules will apply to all new drivers, nationwide. Now that the ELDT mandate is effective, many businesses can no longer train their own drivers and instead will need to contract a driving school that is registered with the FMCSA.
Who does ELDT impact?
The ELDT regulations are not retroactive. If you’ve already obtained your CDL or endorsements prior to February 7, 2022, these training changes don’t affect you.
Additionally, if you’ve obtained a CLP before February 7, 2022, which results in a CDL prior to the expiration of the CLP, you’re also not subject to the ELDT mandate.
The ELDT requirements are for entry-level drivers, to ensure that all new drivers maintain a consistent skill and safety standard. These new training rules will apply to any first-time license or endorsement. These include:
- Your first Class A or Class B CDL
- Your upgrade from an existing Class B to a Class A CDL
- Your first endorsement, in categories including passenger (P), hazardous materials (H), or school bus (S)
When did ELDT go into effect?
The ELDT mandate went into effect on February 7, 2022.
You may have heard that ELDT was originally scheduled to begin on February 7, 2020. The FMCSA extended this start date by two years.
The extension is to ensure that training providers have enough time to meet training requirements, as well as set up the electronic interface they need to administer student records and communicate them to state driver licensing agencies.
This extension also gives the licensing agencies the time they need to update their technology and procedures so they can receive the ELDT data from the registered schools.
Why choose Roadmaster Drivers School?
If you plan to work as a commercial truck driver in the US, it’s important that you’re aware of the ELDT requirements so you can choose a commercial driving school that is properly equipped and certified to provide the training you need. The FMCSA has published a list of qualified training providers through a database called the Training Provider Registry (TPR). All Roadmaster Locations are listed on the Training Provider Registry and are meet ELDT requirements.
Roadmaster Drivers School is a nationwide leader in truck driver training and has been training students for over 30 years with over 100,000 graduates. We have the expertise, equipment, and facilities you require to train for your new career.
In one month, you can train to start a career as a professional entry-level truck driver through Roadmaster Drivers School. We offer in-house financing to those who qualify to help cover the cost of tuition, with no employment contract so you are free to choose your new employer once you have your CDL.
Start your CDL training with Roadmaster today.