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Entry-Level Driver Training

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established new minimum training standards for entry-level drivers. The new Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) requirements incorporate performance-based concepts by requiring driver-trainees to demonstrate proficiency in both behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction and knowledge portions of the curriculum during classroom and range training sessions. The ELDT training curriculum is outlined in 49 CFR 380.

Effective February 7, 2022, ELDT requirements must be met by individuals who apply for:

  • A Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the first time
  • An upgrade of an existing CDL to a higher class [Class C to B or A, Class B to A]
  • A school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time

ELDT must be completed before an applicant can take the CDL skills test.

Individuals applying for a hazardous materials (H) endorsement must complete ELDT prior to taking the endorsement knowledge test.

Applicants subject to ELDT can find training providers from the public list located on the Training Provider Registry (TPR) website.

Applicants may contact the training provider directly and secure their services outside of the Registry.

The FMCSA TPR will retain a record of which CDL applicants have completed the new training and certification process outlined in the ELDT regulations.

ELDT regulations will impact current Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) holders in the following ways:

  • ELDT requirements do not apply to individuals holding a valid CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement issued prior to February 7, 2022.
  • ELDT requirements do not apply to individuals who obtain a commercial learner permit (CLP) prior to February 7, 2022 and obtain a CDL before their CLP expires.
  • Any individual who meets one of the exceptions for taking a skills test in 49 CFR Part 383 is also exempt from the ELDT requirements.

The ELDT regulations and the Training Provider Registry are mandated under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

ELDT is an FMCSA program and is not administered by DC DMV. For more information, please select one of the links below or call the FMCSA information line at 1(800) 832-5660 or the FMCSA District of Columbia Field Office at (202) 366-4000.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the FMCSA website. The information contained on DC DMV's website is subject to change based on guidance from the FMCSA or any amendment to the federal rules and regulations.

FMCSA Documents

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question 1: Who is an entry-level driver?

An entry level driver is an applicant attempting to obtain a Class A or B CDL for the first time, upgrade to a Class A or B CDL or obtain a passenger (P), school bus (S) or a hazardous material (H) endorsement for the first time.

Question 2: What is FMCSA’s CDL ELDT requirement?

Effective February 7, 2022, no Commercial Driver License (CDL) entry-level operator may take a CDL skills test to receive a CDL A, CDL B, Passenger (P) Endorsement, or School Bus (S) Endorsement unless the driver has successfully completed a mandatory theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training program by a registered CDL ELDT provider/trainer.

Also, effective February 7, 2022, any individual seeking a Hazardous Material (H) Endorsement must complete the respective ELDT training prior to taking the Hazardous Material (H) Endorsement knowledge test.

Question 3: Who Is exempt from ELDT?

  • Any individual that holds a Class A, Class, B, a Passenger (P) Endorsement, and/or School Bus (S) Endorsement, and/or a Hazardous Material (H) Endorsement prior to February 7, 2022.
  • Any individual that has a valid Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) issued prior to February 7, 2022, and obtains the CDL before the CLP expires.
  • Any individual that qualifies for a waiver under 49 CFR Section 383.

Question 4: How can I confirm that my training provider is on the TPR?

For the most updated list of training providers on the TPR, visit the FMCSA’s ELDT website.

Question 5: What role will the DC DMV play in the ELDT regulations?

DC DMV will verify that an entry-level driver has completed the required training before allowing the driver to proceed with testing.

Question 6: If I obtain a commercial driver license (CDL) before February 7, 2022, but have not obtained a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement before February 7, 2022, am I still subject to the ELDT requirements?

Yes. Any driver applying to obtain an S, P, or H endorsement for the first time on or after February 7, 2022, is required to complete the ELDT.

Question 7: Will DC DMV accept ELDT completion from other jurisdictions?

Yes. If the training provider is on the TPR, DC DMV will accept the ELDT completion.

Question 8: What training must an entry-level driver complete to obtain a Hazardous Material (H) endorsement?

To obtain a Hazardous Materials (H) endorsement, the entry-level driver must complete mandatory theory (knowledge) training provided by a training provider listed on the TPR prior to taking the knowledge test for the Hazardous Material (H) endorsement. For more information regarding required training, see the FMCSA’s ELDT Curriculum Summary [PDF].

Question 9: What training must an entry-level driver complete to take a commercial driver license (CDL) skills test?

Entry-level drivers attempting to take a CDL skills test to receive a Class A CDL, Class B CDL, passenger (P) endorsement, or school bus (S) endorsement must successfully complete a mandatory theory (knowledge) and a behind-the-wheel (BTW) training provided by a training provider listed on the TPR. For more information regarding required training, see the FMCSA’s ELDT Curriculum Summary [PDF].

Question 10: What is the Training Provider Registry (TPR)?

The TPR is a system created and managed by FMCSA. The system will list all ELDT providers that are approved by FMCSA and allow ELDT providers to submit ELDT completion information to the TPR. The completion information maintained on the TPR serves as proof that the entry-level driver applicant has completed the required ELDT.

Question 11: How can an entity become eligible to be listed on the TPR?

To be eligible for listing on the TPR, an entity must apply to and be approved by the FMCSA. Training providers must also comply with all applicable state requirements.

For a complete list of federal requirements, visit the FMCSA’s ELDT website.

For organizations that train entry-level CDL drivers, see the Entry-Level Driver Training Rule Implementation Checklist [PDF].

For more information regarding required training, visit the FMCSA’s ELDT Curriculum Summary [PDF].

Question 12: Who can provide Entry-Level Driver Training?

Only training providers listed on the TPR can provide ELDT.

Question 13: What is a training provider?

FMCSA defines that training providers can include, but are not limited to, training schools, educational institutions, rural electric cooperatives, motor carriers, state/local governments, school districts, joint labor-management programs, owner-operators, and individuals. These examples are not intended to be a finite list; FMCSA adds them to illustrate the range of entities that could potentially be eligible for listing on the TPR. In addition, FMCSA notes that eligible providers may provide training either on a "for-hire" or "not-for-hire" basis. Examples include motor carriers who provide ELDT at no cost to current or prospective employees, independent training schools charging tuition, and individuals who train family or friends.

Question 14: Where can I find information for registering on the TPR?

For information needed to register on the TPR and the most updated timeline for registering, visit the FMCSA’s ELDT website.