FMCSA's Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) Rule Goes Into Effect February 7, 2020
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established new minimum training standards for not just prospective CDL, holders but also anyone that is upgrading their CDL to a higher class or applying for the Passenger (P), School Bus (S) or Hazardous Materials (H) endorsement. The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule will be implemented on February 7, 2020.The final rule incorporates performance-based concepts by requiring that driver-trainees demonstrate proficiency in both the BTW and theory portions of the curricula. The final rule responds to a Congressional mandate imposed under the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21). The rule is based, in part, on consensus recommendations from the Agency's Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC), a negotiated rulemaking committee that held a series of meetings in 2015.
Under the new rule, drivers must complete the mandated theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training by a provider listed in the new Training Provider Registry (TPR). The training must be completed and the certificate submitted prior to the driver taking the state-administered skills test or prior to the knowledge test for the H endorsement. Providers will register with FMCSA and self-certify they meet the requirements for a training provider.
Drivers required to complete the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) will need to select a provider from the Training Provider Registry. Since providers are self-certifying, FMCSA recommends drivers to do a little due diligence before selecting a provider. The driver can use two different providers for the theory and BTW training as long as both are listed in the registry and compliant. However, the BTW (range and public road) training must be completed by the same provider. The rule does not mandate a number of hours or miles to be spent in the theory or BTW training.
Once the training is completed and the driver has proven to be satisfactory, the provider will submit the certificate to FMCSA. FMCSA will transmit it to the State Driver Licensing Agency. The State Driver Licensing Agency will update the driver's CDLIS record and verify the certificate prior to issuing the state-administered skills and/or knowledge test. Drivers with a Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) prior to February 7, 2020, will not have to meet the requirements of the new ELDT process.
For more information & FAQ about the final rule, click here. For a PDF of the FMCSA presentation on the ELDT, click here.