New Federal Mandate for Driver’s License Upgrades
A congressional mandate under MAP-21, final rule published in 2016, seeks to enhance safety by requiring entry-level driver training (ELDT). As a result, beginning on February 7, 2020, before a driver may apply for or upgrade to a Class A or B CDL or seek an endorsement for hazardous materials (H), passengers (P), or school busses (S), the driver must complete entry-level driver training. The training must be provided by an entity listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Training Provider Registry website. The training must include both classroom and behind-the-wheel components.
This training only applies to drivers applying for a CDL, upgrading to a new class of CDL, or seeking an additional endorsement. Those renewing an existing CDL and not seeking to change the class of license or add an endorsement will not be required to undergo training. Those with a non-CDL driver’s license are also not required to have training. This includes the non-CDL J50, and the non-CDL J51 license available to those that qualify for farmer exemptions from the CDL.
Entities can be eligible to provide their own training. “Entities” does include owner-operators and individuals and several others. Entities can begin registering to be a training provider in November 2019. The FMCSA lists the steps for an entity to be eligible to be listed on the Training Provider Registry at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/commercial-drivers-license/eldt/faq-training-providers