WASHINGTON — New federal regulations for entry-level driver training (ELDT) began Feb. 7.
The ELDT regulations set the minimum federal requirements for training that entry-level drivers must complete before being permitted to take certain commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills or knowledge tests on or after Feb. 7.
ELDT regulations set the baseline for training requirements for entry-level drivers.
This includes those applying to:
- Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time.
- Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL.
- Obtain a School Bus (S), Passenger (P) or Hazardous Materials (H) endorsement for the first time.
The ELDT regulations are not retroactive, meaning that drivers who were issued a CDL or an S, P or H endorsement prior to Feb. 7, 2022, are not required to complete training for the respective CDL or endorsement.
If an applicant who obtains a CLP prior to Feb. 7, 2022, obtains a CDL before the CLP or renewed CLP expires, the applicant is not subject to the ELDT requirements.
Any individual who meets one of the exceptions for taking a skills test in 49 CFR Part 383 is also exempt from the ELDT requirements.
“It is important to note that if you already hold a commercial driver’s license, for the most part, you will not be affected by these new training standards. You’re essentially grandfathered in,” wrote Tim Frazier, vice president of safety and compliance for the Alabama Trucking Association, in an editorial for AL.com.
“And despite rumors spreading on social media, the process for obtaining a CDL will not markedly differ from what takes place today.”
Frazier continued: “Prospective drivers will still be required to complete theory instruction and behind-the-wheel instruction before taking their skills test to obtain their CDL. There is also no minimum number of hours as part of this training. The new ELDT simply means everyone will be using the same training curriculum nationwide. And we believe that will vastly improve the consistency of entry-level training.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.