FMCSA Proposes Entry-Level Driver Training Requirements for CDLs

Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) finally proposed setting minimum entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements for those individuals seeking to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL) to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The proposal aims to establish, for the first time, a universal and comprehensive training standard requiring both minimum hours of behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction and specific topics to be covered during classroom instruction. The new requirements would apply to "individuals applying for their initial CDL; an upgrade of their CDL or a hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement for their license." The training would also have to be conducted by a certified entity listed on the newly proposed "Training Provider Registry". The requirements for obtaining a Class B CDL to operate a ready mixed concrete truck would include "a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training, including a minimum of seven hours of practice range training." While there is not a minimum number of classroom instruction hours, there is a required comprehensive curriculum that would need to be covered.

This new proposed rule was required by the 2012 transportation bill known as "MAP-21," which stated that FMCSA must develop regulations "concerning ELDT for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles in interstate or intrastate commerce." In complying with the MAP-21 requirement, FMCSA implemented a process for a "negotiated rulemaking," whereby "25 key FMCSA stakeholders... [consisting of] motor carrier transportation, highway safety, driver training, state licensing, law enforcement, labor union, and insurance organizations... convened for six two-day negotiating sessions to reach a consensus on minimum training standards for entry-level drivers."

The proposed compliance date for any final rule would be three years after publication of the final rule. Comments on the proposal are due no later than April 6, 2016.

Click here to view FMCSA’s ELDT Web page or to review the proposal. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association