Entry-level driver training requirements change

January 19, 2022

On Feb. 7, changes will take effect regarding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Entry-level Driver Training regulations for the Commercial Driver's License.

These regulations set the baseline training requirements for drivers who are:

  • Obtaining a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time
  • Upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL
  • Obtaining a school bus (S), passenger (P) or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time

According to the new requirements, a candidate must complete a course that includes theory and behind-the-wheel training conducted by a trainer listed on the FMCSA Training Provider Registry. This training must be successfully completed and proof of completion provided to the state driver licensing agency before the individual takes the new license or endorsement skills test.

Obtaining a Commercial Learner’s Permit is the first step in the process to acquire a CDL. If an applicant obtains his or her CLP before Feb. 7 and obtains a CDL before the CLP expires, the applicant is not subject to the new Entry-level Driver Training requirements. Any individual who meets one of the exceptions for taking a skills test also is exempt from the requirements. For example, a CDL is not required to operate a vehicle designed for less than 16 occupants or to operate an off-road construction vehicle designed for use only on a job site, so the new Entry-level Driver Training requirements do not apply.

A company can apply to be listed on the Training Provider Registry and provide the instruction. However, a company must meet the federal, state and/or local eligibility requirements for specific criteria related to curriculum, facilities, vehicles, and instructors. A company also may enlist a third-party trainer to provide the training, provided the third-party trainer is listed on the Training Provider Registry.

For more information, visit FMCSA’s website, this Q&A or a fact sheet regarding the new requirements.

Tags: Regulations


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