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ELDT Training Provider Registry: FAQ's for Selecting the right registered provider

As a future CDL driver seeking to enter the trucking industry, you’re probably wondering what the best option is for Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT). The ELDT is a mandatory training all drivers must undergo before obtaining their commercial driver’s license. Luckly for you, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a Training Provider Registry that houses a list of training providers. In this blog, we'll explain what the federal training provider registry is, how to choose the right training provider, and offer answers to some commonly asked questions related to TPR.

Here are some relevant FAQs, along with a few answers from FMCSA, about the ELDT TPR:


What is ELDT?

Entry-Level Driver Training, or ELDT, refers to the mandatory training that all aspiring commercial drivers must undergo before obtaining their CDL. The program was introduced by the FMCSA to enhance road safety by ensuring that entry-level drivers receive standardized training in essential knowledge and skills.


Who is subject to entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements?

Anyone seeking to obtain a Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) or Commercial Driver's License (CDL) for the first time or upgrading their existing license to operate a different type of commercial vehicle is subject to the ELDT requirements. While not technically required, it is recommended that you complete ELDT before obtaining your CLP. However, you can receive your CLP prior to completing ELDT. You will need to complete ELDT and obtain your CLP prior to completing the CDL skills test.


KEY POINT - It’s critical that your CDL training provider is listed on the federal training provider registry. If your CDL training provider is not listed on the federal registry, you will not be allowed to test for your CDL. You’ll be out a great deal of time and money.


You must complete ELDT training with a provider listed on the TPR!


What is TPR?

The Training Provider Registry (TPR) is a federal record that lists authorized CDL training providers with schools and programs that meet the ELDT requirements established by the FMCSA. Training providers must register and self-certify that they meet all FMCSA requirements that apply to training components such as curricula, facilities, vehicles and equipment, and training instructors. Training providers included in the registry must be able to demonstrate compliance with the FMCSA's ELDT regulations, ensuring they offer quality and standardized training for aspiring commercial drivers.


How do I select the right training provider?

Use the provider search found here to search for providers by training type, location, and even provider name if you know it. To select the right training provider, FMCSA advises that you contact multiple providers that meet your criteria and ask if they meet applicable FMCSA and State requirements. You can also ask about price and what fees they charge, class availability, and any policies on enrollment. You should consider factors such as the school’s reputation, the quality of their training programs, the qualifications of their instructors, and their compliance with the ELDT regulations. The FMCSA training provider registry is an excellent resource to find certified and reputable training schools that meet federal standards.


Are there specific hours of training mandated for the theory curricula?

No, there are not specific hours of training mandated for theory curricula training that tests your knowledge on things such as basic operation, safe operating procedures, advanced operating practices (e.g., hazards, railroad grade crossing), vehicle systems and reporting malfunctions, and non-driving activities (e.g., Hours of Service, BOL, medical requirements). Skills will be tested behind the wheel. The ELDT regulations require specific topics for each of the five theory curricula or theory areas of instruction, requiring the training provider to cover all topics. Drivers must demonstrate their understanding of the topics by scoring an 80% on the written theory assessment.


May an individual applying for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) schedule their CDL skills test before they complete the required entry-level driver training?

Yes (but). The CDL skills test can be “scheduled” but an individual must complete the required entry-level driver training before “taking” the CDL skills test. The training must be completed and documented as per the ELDT regulations. However, an individual may obtain their Commercial Learner’s Permit before completing ELDT requirements.


If a driver held a Class A CDL for many years and lets it expire, is the driver required to complete entry-level driver training to obtain a new CDL?

No, if a driver previously held a valid CDL and it expired before February 2022, they are not required to complete entry-level driver training to obtain a new CDL. However, they may need to meet other state-specific requirements for renewing their CDL.


Do individuals need to train in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) equipped with a manual transmission?

No, there is no specific requirement to train in a CMV equipped with a manual transmission to meet the ELDT requirements. The ELDT regulations focus on ensuring that drivers receive adequate training to operate a CMV safely, regardless of whether it has a manual or automatic transmission.


Who can provide entry-level driver training?

Entry-level driver training can be provided by registered training providers listed on the FMCSA training provider registry. These training providers have demonstrated compliance with the ELDT regulations and are authorized to offer training to aspiring commercial drivers.


What qualifications do the ELDT regulations require of training instructors?

Training instructors must meet specific qualifications, including having a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the type of vehicle they will provide training on and having a minimum of two years of CMV driving experience (or two years of experience as a behind-the-wheel CMV instructor).


Can driving simulators be used as a substitute for mandatory behind-the-wheel training?

No. ELDT regulations do not permit BTW training to be conducted using a driving simulator, and a student or driver-trainee may not use a simulation device to demonstrate proficiency for any of the BTW curricula or instruction. Driving simulators can only be used during theory training and for good practice.


Does the FMCSA certify or approve training instructors for listing on the TPR?

No, the FMCSA does not directly certify or approve training instructors for listing on the TPR. Regulations do, however, establish a minimum qualification standard for theory and BTW instructors Training providers are responsible for ensuring that their instructors meet the required qualifications set forth by the ELDT regulations.


What training must an entry-level driver complete to be permitted to take a commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills test or knowledge test?

An entry-level driver must complete the theory and behind-the-wheel training components from a registered training provider as specified in the ELDT regulations to be eligible to take the CDL skills test or knowledge test. To be eligible to take the Class A CDL skills test or the H knowledge test, for example, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) applicant must have completed applicable entry-level driver training from a registered training provider. The type of training required depends on the type of license or endorsement for which the person is applying and seeking to obtain.


Will the FMCSA provide any training materials for any of the various ELDT curricula in the regulations?

No. According to the FMCSA, does not directly provide training materials for the ELDT curricula. However, regulation has set the minimum requirements for the content of the theory or BTW training curricula. FMCSA offers guidance and resources on their website to help training providers develop their training programs in compliance with the ELDT regulations.


What's next?

Choose your training provider wisely. Complete the ELDT and keep working toward obtaining your CDL! The FMCSA's Training Provider Registry serves as a valuable tool for those seeking high-quality training that meets ELDT regulations. By selecting the right training provider and completing the required theory and behind-the-wheel training, you can equip yourself with the skills and knowledge needed to operate commercial vehicles safely and efficiently. Next up is getting your CDL, maybe acquiring your own operating authority (MC, DOT), and perhaps even developing a solid business plan to start your own trucking business. Embrace the training journey, stay committed to continuous learning, and take pride in becoming a responsible and skilled commercial driver.


 

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Soshaul Logistics LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. It is meant to serve as a guide and information only and Soshaul Logistics, LLC - Copyright 2023 - does not assume responsibility for any omissions, errors, or ambiguity contained herein. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or operation.


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