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The Changing Landscape of CDL Training in the United States

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Municipalities of all sizes are facing challenges with in-house CDL training programs due to the new Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulation. So, what is it? Why is it impacting your organization today? And, frankly, what can you do about it?


As of February 7, 2022, compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) ELDT rule is required for any individual who wants to:

  • Obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) for the first time;

  • Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or

  • Obtain a passenger (P), school bus (S), or hazmat (H) endorsement for the first time.

Under the FMCSA requirements, an entry-level driver must successfully complete a prescribed program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction before taking the CDL skills test. This training must be provided by a school or other entity listed on the FMCSA's Training Provider Registry (TPR). To be listed on the TPR, training providers need to meet specific (4) requirements addressing:

  1. Curriculum,

  2. Facilities or Means,

  3. Vehicles and equipment, and

  4. Instructors.

The ELDT requirements include both theory and behind-the-wheel training. The curriculum includes:

  • Lectures, demonstrations, and / or computer-based online learning

  • Training on orientation, basic operation, safe operating practices, advanced operations, and non-driving activities such as logging or hauling cargo at a location

  • A minimum score of 80% on the assessment

For the behind-the-wheel training, this includes:

  • Training to take place in a CMV on a range or public road

  • Simulators are not permitted

  • Drivers are trained on basic vehicle control skills and mastery of basic maneuvers.

The ELDT requirements do not apply to individuals with a valid CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement issued before February 7, 2022.


The ELDT requires fleets offering training to join their training registry, allowing drivers to find and connect directly with you. To qualify as an in-classroom trainer, your instructors must have at least two years of CDL driving and experience pulling trailers. To provide behind-the-wheel training, driver instructors must have two years of experience as a behind-the-wheel instructors as well.


Young new hires must complete all their training before going to their state licensing department to take a CDL skills test. FMCSA requires the trainer to input all relevant information into their system within 24 hours of training completion to enable their student to take the test.


Instructors also must keep their own CDL in good standing and provide good quality training. If the FMCSA determines an instructor is not doing their job, they can remove that individual from the training registry.


CDL training providers are working to incorporate ELDT requirements into their curriculum which unfortunately increased the average training timeline from 6-weeks to 8-weeks. Many are also trying to find ways to incorporate online-offline platforms to offset the additional costs associated with the extended ELDT training. There are very few programs that offer digital training met with an abbreviated onsite in-person program. A comprehensive solution for in-house CDL training, conducted at your location, using your equipment, and tailored to your schedule is administered by Diversified Logistics Training Solutions (www.dltscareers.com).


To learn more about online and in-person training platform or Entry-Level Driver Training requirements, please click on the attached PDF (see below) or reach out to Bill Harvey (913) 568-6180 or bcharvey@dltscareers.com and www.dltscareers.com.


DLTS Municipality Offering Overview_One-Pager
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