Trucking is currently on alert for new federal government regulations. But carriers can easily forget that some regulations have completed the rulemaking process and are awaiting implementation.
Such is the case for Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT). Originally set for implementation in 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) pushed the date back for ELDT to Feb. 7, 2022. This allows more time for adjustments in the information technology systems used by truck driver trainers and by state driver licensing agencies.
With February 2022 now less than a year away, the FMCSA just posted a new page on the ELDT Training Provider Registry website. The page provides information to help truck driver training providers prepare for the new program.
Beginning on the Feb. 7, 2022 compliance date, no entry-level driver may take a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) skills test to receive a Class A CDL, Class B CDL, passenger endorsement, or school bus endorsement unless they have successfully completed mandatory theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training programs. In the case of a hazardous materials endorsement, the driver must complete mandatory theory training provided by a training provider listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry, prior to taking the knowledge test for the endorsement.
The FMCSA webpage offers guidance not only for truck driver training providers but also for any fleet looking to hire entry-level drivers beginning next year. Among the webpage features are:
- Training Provider TPR Factsheet
- Countdown to ELDT Checklist for Training Providers
- ELDT Curricula Summary
- Entry-Level Driver Training Overview
Fleets which train their own truck drivers must register with FMCSA. Training providers – including fleets, community colleges, individual trainers or commercial entities – must register for each location where they offer training. Registration is expected to open this summer. Training providers can sign up to receive FMCSA emails with updates and materials.
The FMCSA Training Provider Registry is looking for answers to these questions:
- Are you prepared to meet the ELDT requirements for both theory and behind-the-wheel training?
- Do your classroom and range facilities meet federal, state and local requirements?
- Are your instructors qualified under federal definitions?
- Do you have any necessary state licenses to conduct training?
- Are the vehicles used for training the type needed by your customers’ drivers?
- Are you offering training in more than one location?
- Have you completed registration with the FMCSA Training Provider Registry?
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted businesses of all types, including truck driver trainers. Motor carriers who rely on outside parties for truck driver training are well advised to review these same questions with their training providers.
So remember, beginning Feb. 7, 2022, to earn a CDL, a new truck driver must first have successfully completed ELDT through a qualified training provider listed on the FMCSA Training Provider Registry.