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In December 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the ELDT final rule that requires anyone seeking a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for the first time to complete a formal training course before he or she can take the CDL skills test. The rule does not specify a minimum number of hours; only that students demonstrate proficiency in all of the training elements. The courses should include two primary components: theory instruction and behind the wheel (BTW) training, and there are additional training elements for specific vehicle endorsements.

Those wanting to become CDL drivers and who are impacted by this rule should check with the FMCSA to ensure their trainer is registered or certified to provide the ELDT training. Once a driver successfully completes the required training, the trainer or school should provide a completion certificate to FMCSA by midnight the business day after course completion, and the FMCSA will update the driver’s record, which State licensing agencies should check before allowing a person to take the CDL skills test.

The ELDT compliance date is February 7, 2020, and drivers who have a Commercial Learner’s Permit must obtain their CDL before the learner’s permit expires or they may be required to take the ELDT.  There are exceptions to the rule (e.g., some veterans, firefighters, etc.), so check the rule for further details.

This update is not legal advice. For legal advice related to trucking or other transportation needs, contact Mandy Good or another of the transportation law attorneys at Hirst Applegate, LLP.