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Breaking Down Entry Level Driver Training Regulations

December 22, 2021 Risk Solutions Staff

Bus driver checking rearview mirror

New federal entry level driver (ELDT) training regulations go into effect February 7, 2022. The regulations apply to organizations that can answer yes to any of these questions:

  • Do you train drivers to get their CDL?
  • Do you train CDL holders to get their S or P endorsements?
  • Do you hire drivers with one year or less experience?

Next steps

If your schools need guidance preparing to comply with ELDT regulations:

  1. Read this brief InsideRM overview.
  2. Set aside an hour to watch our deep-dive ELDT webinar.

ELDT basics

ELDT requirements set the minimum federal training standards that entry level drivers must meet before taking certain commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills or knowledge tests. The regulations impact training components such as curriculum, instructor qualifications, facilities, vehicles, and records retention.

“We’re hearing that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is auditing training providers to ensure they meet the requirements. Bottom line: Make sure you’re fully compliant.” Dr. Jill Metcalf, Director of Transportation and Global Logistics Technology Center at Lone Star Corporate College

ELDT regulations are not retroactive. They don’t apply to anyone who earns a commercial learner’s permit (CLP), a valid CDL, or a school bus S, P, or H endorsement before February 7, 2022.

4 to do’s

  1. Coordinate with your legal counsel to ensure you understand your responsibilities as a training provider.
  2. Download this FMCSA compliance checklist and evaluate whether your training programs, records retention policies, and driver assessment procedures comply with the ELDT regulations.
  3. Register each of your training locations (not individual trainers) in the FMCSA training provider registry (TPR). Because your organization only trains its own drivers, not the public, you must register in the TPR as a private entity. When registering, you will self-certify that you meet the new requirements.
  4. Submit driver training certification to the TPR by midnight of the second business day after the driver completes training.

Insider’s tips

TASB Risk Solutions Consultant Charles Hueter collaborated with Dr. Metcalf to deliver our webinar on all things ELDT. Here are three insider’s tips shared by our experts.

Expect counterintuitive curriculum additions

ELDT expands training beyond the risks specific to buses. For example, the chances of a bus jackknifing are relatively low, but Class B drivers are also authorized to tow. Other curriculum additions include 45/90-degree alley docking, tire-chaining, and baggage-handling procedures.

Store records strategically

ELDT regulations require you to keep certain driver training records for three years from the date they were created or received. Store the records where training occurs, separate from other records, to facilitate FMCSA audits.

Take advantage of ELDT regulations training

The Texas Association of Pupil Transportation offers workshops that help prepare districts to comply with ELDT:

Fund members can access an online course titled MAP-21 Driver Training Compliance for an additional charge. For more information, contact Vector Solutions. Members also benefit from TASB staff who specialize in managing education sector risks. Reach out to your risk solutions consultant for guidance on preparing for ELDT.

Tagged: Auto, compliance, "driving safety", "school bus"