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Entry-Level Drivers

Compliance with the new Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule is quickly approaching. As of February 7, 2022, the education requirements will change for an individual who wants to:

  • Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL);
  • Upgrade a CDL; or
  • Obtain a passenger, school bus or hazmat endorsement.

Also changing — the requirements for those who instruct these individuals.

Gone will be the days of obtaining a learner’s permit, driving with a CDL holder for as little as a few hours, and then taking the CDL road test. The process will become more detailed and will take more time than before.

Under the new requirements, an entry-level driver must, prior to taking the CDL test, successfully complete a prescribed program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction provided by a school or other entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR).

Is your entry-level truck driver training program ready for the new FMCSA requirements?

Topics — What You Need to Know

The rule prescribes specific topics for each of the five areas of instruction (Basic Operation, Safe Operating Procedures, Advanced Operating Practices, Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions, and Non-Driving Activities). The instructor must cover all the topics listed within each area of instruction. An assessment is then used to determine the driver-trainee’s proficiency. Driver-trainees must achieve an overall minimum score of 80% on the theory assessment.

The 30 topics that must be covered in the Theory Instruction are:

Both range and over-the-road instruction are required. The proficient completion of the behind-the-wheel training is based solely on the instructor’s professional assessment of each driver-trainee’s performance of the required elements of behind-the-wheel training on the range and on public roads. The training must be completed in a vehicle of the same group or type that the driver-trainee intends to use for the CDL skills test.

Range training topics include vehicle inspection, backing and parking. Over-the-road training topics include turns, lane changes, shifting, and visual search.

In order to provide entry-level driver training, a training provider must apply to be listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA's) Training Provider Registry (TPR): To be eligible for listing on the TPR, the training provider must follow curriculum, instructor, and facility requirements as outlined by FMCSA.

Theory and behind-the-wheel instructors must hold an appropriate class of Commercial Driver's License (including appropriate endorsement(s)) and have at least two years of experience as a driver and/or instructor. These individuals must also meet all applicable state qualification requirements for commercial motor vehicle instructors.

Solutions for Entry-Level Drivers

Our unparalleled range of products can help you provide entry-level truck driver training that meets FMCSA’s requirements. You’ll always get the most accurate and dependable solutions, because they are backed by our team of in-house safety and compliance experts.

Entry-Level Driver Training Manuals

Accurate, up-to-date training that helps student drivers to be knowledgeable, skilled, professional and safe. Complies with FMCSA's new entry-level driver training rule.

Driver Training

Train entry-level drivers on key safety and compliance topics with our best-in-class training programs, like Hours of Service, defensive driving, speed & space management, vehicle inspections & more!

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Pocketbook (The Green Book®)

Give your CDL drivers easy access to word-for-word Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Driver Qualification Forms

Stay compliant with the Safety Performance History recordkeeping requirements by using our wide assortment of driver qualification packets and forms.

Log Books & Inspection Reports

Help reduce your risk of errors and DOT hours of service violations with our simple-to-complete and easy-to-read driver log books. Plus, find all the vehicle inspection reports you need!

DOT Handbook: A Compliance Guide for Truck Drivers

Give new drivers easy-to-understand, concise information on DOT compliance and general orientation topics. Covers topics such as driver qualification, hours of service, trip planning, accident procedures, and cargo securement.

Manuals & Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on critical training, issues related to hiring truck drivers & how to retain quality drivers.

New Entrant Compliance Program

Let us help you establish and prepare your DOT safety program to pass an FMCSA audit.

Encompass® Fleet Management System

Stay on top of driver training and recordkeeping with the industry's most versatile online tool. Featuring regulatory dashboards, exceptions-based reports, and compliance alerts, it gives you a real-time view of the critical fleet information you need and automates compliance tasks.

J. J. Keller® FleetMentor®

Get how-to compliance guidance for the new Entry-Level Driver Training Rule. Plus, get information and tools for CSA, driver qualification, training, audits, accident tracking, expense reduction, policy development, and much more.

DOT Authority Services

J. J. Keller will advise you on the proper trucking authority registration and credentials you need to operate legally.

Driver Compliance Services

Let us take care of the time-consuming regulatory work for you with our managed services for CMV driver compliance.