Entry-Level-Driver Training (ELDT): What you need to know

Truck drivers and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) value standards in professional driver training that improve safety on the road.

In order to achieve that goal, a uniform national benchmark makes sure that all drivers learn the same basic safety skills, no matter where they obtained their training.

When each state sets its own standards for commercial driver’s license (CDL) training, consistency is harder to achieve. By providing a minimum level of competency and safety for new drivers entering the industry, the Entry-Level Driver Training mandate addresses this inconsistency.

What is Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT)?

All training providers must comply with the ELDT standards for commercial driver education. The FMCSA will require training providers to certify to the agency that their programs meet minimum standards once this mandate is in place.

The ELDT curriculum will consist of both classroom (theory) education and skills training. The classroom training will cover approximately 30 subjects, and students must score at least 80 percent on a theory assessment to satisfy the program’s requirements. Students must complete behind-the-wheel training, as well as receive a trainer’s endorsement that they are proficient in the CDL skills curriculum, in order to qualify for the CDL exam.

These rules apply to all new drivers, nationwide, since the FMCSA has set up ELDT standards at the federal level. After the ELDT mandate goes into effect, many businesses will no longer be able to train their own drivers, but instead will need to contract with a driving school that is FMCSA-approved.

Who is affected by ELDT?

There is no retroactive application of the ELDT regulations. Those who have already obtained a CDL or endorsement before February 7, 2022, are not affected by these changes.

If you have a CLP before February 7, 2022, which results in a CDL prior to the expiration of the CLP, you are exempt from the ELDT mandate.

Entry-level drivers must meet ELDT requirements to ensure a uniform standard of skill and safety. First-time licensees and endorsement holders must complete these new training requirements. 

These include:

  • 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 does the ELDT mandate go into effect?

On February 7, 2022, the ELDT mandate will take effect.

As you may know, ELDT was set to begin on February 7, 2020, however due to the large undertaking involved, The FMCSA extended this start date by two years.

Why choose CDL Academy?

It’s important to know the ELDT requirements if you plan to work as a commercial driver in the US, so that you can choose a commercial driver’s school that is properly equipped and certified to provide the training you need. CDL Academy is registered as one of the qualified training providers listed in the Training Provider Registry (TPR). 

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