New CDL and endorsement applicants are going to be required to meet new standards for training. As a result of a previous Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule change, the new ELDT rule went into effect as of February 7th 2022.
The FMCSA’s Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule establishes new minimum requirements for entry-level driver training standards. These standards apply to both training providers and CDL Applicants.
The rule applies to the applicants who want to:
- Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;
- Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
- Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.
Applicants are required to receive training from one of the listed providers on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry. Before taking a CDL skills test or the knowledge test (if applying for the H endorsement), applicants must receive training from a qualified provider.
Under the new rule, there is not a minimum number of hours required for either behind-the-wheel training or knowledge training. The ELDT rule only requires that “applicants seeking a CDL would be required to demonstrate proficiency in knowledge training and behind-the-wheel training on a driving range and on a public road, with training obtained from an instructional program that meets FMCSA standards.”
The rule is NOT retroactive, so individuals who were issued a CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement prior to February 7, 2022 are not required to complete training for the respective CDL or endorsement.
Below is an excerpt from the FMCA’s Q&A section on the ELDT rule:
- I hold a CDL that was issued before February 7, 2022. What if I apply for an upgrade to a higher class of CDL on or after February 7, 2022? You must complete the required entry-level driver training for the class of CDL to which you are upgrading before you will be permitted to take the CDL skills test.
- My CLP was issued before February 7, 2022. You are not required to complete entry-level driver training, as long as you obtain a CDL before the CLP, or renewed CLP, expires.
- I hold a CDL that was issued before February 7, 2022. What if I apply for an S, P, or H endorsement, for the first time, on or after February 7, 2022? You must complete the required entry-level driver training for the endorsement(s) for which you are applying before you will be permitted to take the S or P skills test or H knowledge test.
- What if I obtain my CLP after February 7, 2022? You must complete the required entry-level driver training before you will be permitted to take the CDL skills test, the S or P skills test, or the H knowledge test.
- I was issued a CDL before February 7, 2022. You are not required to complete entry-level driver training to obtain a CDL, even if the previously-issued CDL has since lapsed.
- I was issued an S, P, or H endorsement before February 7, 2022. You are not required to complete entry-level driver training for the previously-issued endorsement, even if it has since lapsed.
- I was issued a CLP before February 7, 2022, but the CLP expired before I applied for my CDL.You must complete the required entry-level driver training before you will be permitted to take the CDL skills test.
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