Entry-Level Driver Training Mandate


Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) policies that will “set a federal standard for mandatory training of entry-level drivers.” Its purpose is to establish minimum requirements for those who are:

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

Professional drivers who previously held a CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement before the ELDT mandate start date are not required to complete the respected CDL training or endorsement. Those who obtain a CDL before their Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) expires are also not subject to these new requirements.

The ELDT mandate requirements went into effect on February 7, 2022.

Entry-Level Driver Training and National Tractor Trailer School

Since 1971, National Tractor Trailer School has trained hundreds of CDL students for professional driving careers. Our Class A and Class B CDL driver training programs have been recognized by many organizations and entities, including but not limited to the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and The New York State Division of Veterans Affairs. Our top priority is ensuring our students learn the best and most up-to-date information and curriculum about the driving profession, the industry, and everything in between.

As a member of various organizations, such as the Commercial Vehicle Training Association, our training program curriculums must meet specific guidelines. Fortunately for us, that means we already meet the Entry-Level Driver Training requirements that are going into effect for all driver training providers on February 7, 2022.

The mandate now requires driving schools like National Tractor Trailer School to submit their training curriculum for approval to the Training Provider Registry (TPR). After approval, the TPR will supplement schools with a unique ID number that will appear on every student’s record in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System. This number will also inform future students if their prospective school is FMCSA-certified.

Importance of the Entry-Level Driver Training Mandate

Before implementation, every state and driving school could set its training standards. This means that the current 3.5 million truck drivers have received various classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction.

The FMCSA has worked with industry experts to develop a regulated standard of training. By receiving regulated training, the roads will be safer, not only for truck drivers but for everyone.

How Will the ELDT Mandate Affect CDL Students

A driving school’s curriculum must now include two portions: classroom/theory and behind-the-wheel. CDL Instructors must teach the theory section first, and it must consist of at least 30 areas specified by the Department of Transportation. After receiving at least an 80 percent score on the written or electronic CDL test, this sector is complete. If a driver training student does not receive training from an authorized training provider, they cannot sit for the CDL Skills Exam.

The behind-the-wheel portion will follow next. CDL schools must document every student’s total amount of time driving behind the wheel and teach basic vehicle control skills. Driver training students must complete this section on a driving range or public road in an actual vehicle, not a simulator. For instance, if someone is working to obtain a Class A CDL, they must do their behind-the-wheel instruction in a Class A commercial vehicle.

ELDT Mandate Resources

Resources are available to learn more about the ELDT mandate.

The Commercial Vehicle Training Association is the largest association of commercial truck driving schools. Their primary goal is to work with carriers and associate members, such as National Tractor Trailer School, on critical industry issues and highway safety through quality training.

Lastly, the Training Provider Registry is the FMCSA’s web portal to help prospective students find and locate training providers who have registered and been approved to teach the ELDT-approved curriculum. It will also keep records of CDL applicants that have completed the required entry-level driver training course. It will be the best place to find answers to all your questions concerning ELDT.

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