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Breaking Down Entry Level Driver Training Requirements


Your drivers need special skills to operate school buses, heavy-duty box trucks, passenger transport vans, and other vehicles that require a commercial driver's license (CDL). The federal government wants to ensure they're properly trained. With that in mind, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the entry level driver (ELDT) training requirements.

ELDT requirements 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?

About ELDT Requirements

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.

Remember that ELDT regulations don't just apply to bus drivers, and the regulations aren't retroactive. They don’t apply to anyone who earned a commercial learner’s permit (CLP), a valid CDL, or a school bus S, P, or H endorsement before Feb. 7, 2022.

4 Action Items

  1. Talk to your legal counsel to ensure you understand your responsibilities as a training provider. See More Resources below.
  2. Download this FMCSA checklist and check that your training programs, records retention policies, and driver assessment procedures comply with 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 ELDT requirements.
  4. Submit training certifications to the TPR by midnight of the second business day after the driver completes training.

Pro tip: Store training 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 aid FMCSA audits.

More Resources

Fund members with Auto coverage benefit from our 60-minute webinar, “What You Need to Know About Entry-Level Driver Training.”

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