25 March 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About the 2022 Entry-Level Driver Training Rule (ELDT Rule)


The following FAQs are based on the questions and concerns we hear most often from truck drivers and driver-trainees about the new entry-level driver training rule.

What is the new entry-level driver training rule?

The new entry-level driver training rule is a federal requirement aimed at standardizing the training requirements for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The ELDT rule was enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), part of the federal Department of Transportation, and went into effect on February 7, 2022, which is also the compliance date. State requirements will also still apply.

The new ELDT rule applies to all:

  • New CDL applicants
  • CDL upgrades
  • New school bus (S), hazardous materials (H or HAZMAT), or passenger (P) endorsements

Current CDL holders and drivers who pass the 49 CFR Part 383 CDL skills test won’t be affected by the ELDT rule unless they add a new endorsement or upgrade to a new CDL level for the first time. For example, if a current truck driver wants to add the H endorsement or move from a Class B CDL to a Class A CDL for the first time, the ELDT training requirements would apply.

Becoming a truck driver, adding an endorsement, or upgrading will now mean everyone is held to the same training standard. That will make training programs consistent nationwide and give driver-trainees more confidence in the training programs they select.

How long is CDL training?

Getting a CDL doesn’t require years of education, though CDL training programs can vary in length. Our program typically takes four weeks, including the CDL test. CDL training program elements are theory instruction and behind the wheel training (BTW). We also have a refresher course for former truck drivers who would like to get back into driving.

What is ELDT in trucking?

This industry-wide change began in 2012 and the ELDT final rule came in 2016. With the ELDT regulations in place, the trucking industry will benefit from national training standards and improved driver skills.

CDL training programs will register with the FMCSA’s training provider registry (TPR) and cover certain topics in their CDL training curricula. An ELDT curriculum will need to include training in basic operation, non-driving activities, and vehicle systems and malfunctions reporting. Drivers will then need to pass a CDL knowledge test.

There is still no minimum number of hours for driving experience or formal training.

What is a CLP?

A commercial learner’s permit (CLP) is issued by your state of residence. It allows a driver-trainee to practice driving a commercial vehicle on public roads with direct supervision of a valid CDL holder authorized to drive that same vehicle. This brings BTW driving experience to training programs.

What does truck driver training cost?

The cost of earning a CDL depends on what training you’ve already had. Check-out our CDL cost info page or contact one of our specialists today to discuss more specific details.