The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations set the baseline for training requirements for entry-level drivers.

ELDT regulations apply to drivers who are:

  • Obtaining a CDL for the first time
  • Upgrading their existing CDL from Class B to Class A
  • Obtaining a new hazmat, passenger or school bus endorsement

As new drivers and training providers work to meet these new requirements, we’ve provided helpful answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to ELDT below.

ELDT: 6 Frequently Asked Questions

Does My Instructor Need to Be Certified by a Third Party?

No, schools and instructors self-certify on the Training Provider Registry (TPR). At some point, the FMCSA will do spot audits to verify the school and/or instructor, but there are no third-party or official FMCSA tests or trainings needed for instructors to certify themselves. The only requirements are those as per 49 CFR 380.605.

Can I Obtain Training or Theory Materials from the FMCSA to Use Online or in the Classroom?

No, the FMCSA does not provide any training materials, nor will they endorse any specific materials or vendors. The best option is for the school or training provider to work with an entity that was involved with FMCSA from the beginning in putting together the ELDT mandate and requirements. That way you ensure the materials and theory are in line with the mandate requirements.

How Soon After Completing the Theory Portion Do I Need to Report/Submit the Certification to the TPR?

The mandate requires that providers report completion of the theory, with a minimum pass rate of 80%, by midnight of the second business day.

Does the Student Need to Complete the Theory and Behind the Wheel (BTW) Portions of the Mandate from the Same Provider?

No, the student can complete the theory and BTW portions with different providers. However, if during either the theory or BTW portion, the student decides to go to a different provider/school, then the student will be required to restart that portion of the requirement.

For example, John Doe completes the theory at School A. They then decide to go to School B for the BTW portion, which is permitted. However, if midway through the BTW training, they decide to go to School C, they will need to restart the BTW training at School C. This example applies to the theory portion too. In this example, the theory training at School A is still accepted and recognized as complete.

Is the Hazmat (H) Endorsement a Theory-Only Training Within the Mandate?

Yes, the Hazmat (H) endorsement comprises of 13 sections to be learned and trained on only; there is no physical training required.

Does FMCSA Recognize and Accept the Theory Portion of the Mandate to Be Completed Online?

Yes, FMCSA accepts theory training to be completed either online, in the classroom or a hybrid of the two. However, some states have different requirements, so please check with your respective DOT on this.

How On Ramp Can Help Your Company

SambaSafety offers ELDT courses with our FMCSA-approved On Ramp platform. With On Ramp, you can:

  • Train and test drivers in 30+ curriculum topics that are essential to obtaining a CDL
  • Deliver better training for less money by assigning On Ramp training courses as a prerequisite to instructor-led training
  • Provide 24/7 access to training on any device that connects to the internet
  • Automatically administer and score written tests and record completion data
  • Offer hazmat endorsement training

More ELDT Resources

We have published several articles over the past year to help companies and schools navigate the new mandate, including:

Want to learn more about how On Ramp can help train your drivers? We’re here to help. Schedule a demo with one of our specialists today!

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