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New Entry-Level Driver Training Regulation is Just Weeks Away
4 mins read

New training regulations go into effect next month for anyone looking to obtain or upgrade their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

The Entry-Level Driver Training regulation, which becomes effective on February 7, 2022, establishes minimum training standards for entry-level commercial motor vehicle drivers. Effective on this date, all applicants for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will need to complete training and certification before being eligible to receive or upgrade their CDL.

This training must be completed by a provider that is listed on the new Training Provider Registry.

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Who Does This New Regulation Impact?

The new entry-level driving requirements will apply to any individual who is:

  • Obtaining a Class A CDL or Class B CDL for the first time
  • Upgrading from a Class B CDL to a Class A CDL
  • Obtaining a school bus, passenger or hazardous materials endorsement for the first time

It’s important to note that this regulation is not retroactive. So, if you or your current drivers are already operating a CMV and have required the endorsements they need, the new training requirements will not apply.

Similarly, a new driver who has already received their Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) before February 7, 2022 will not need to complete the new entry-level training requirements as long as they earn their CDL before their permit expires.

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What is the Training Provider Registry?

The new Training Provider Registry is an FMCSA database of training providers that have self-certified that they meet the training requirements that were outlined by the new regulation. Within the registry will be a record of all entry-level drivers who have successfully completed their training. This information will be accessible by the states and will be verified before the new drivers are able to take their skills or knowledge test.

All of the providers in the registry are self-certifying that their educational program includes the following theory and behind-the-wheel training:

  • The basic operation of a CMV
  • Safe operating procedures
  • Advanced operation procedures
  • Vehicle systems and reporting malfunctions
  • Non-driving activities (hours of service, etc.)

The behind-the-wheel training must take place on a range or public road and cannot be fulfilled with a simulator. There is no minimum number of driving hours that is required by the FMCSA, but will be determined by the training provider. Before the training requirements are fulfilled, the new driver must score at least an 80 percent on their written assessment and must demonstrate basic vehicle control skills and a mastery of basic maneuvers.

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In addition to the curriculum, the FMCSA has outlined specific requirements for the facilities, instructors, state licensing and vehicles used by the training facility. If you’re interested in reading the full requirements, you’ll find them in 49 CFL Part 380 Subpart G.

To access the Training Provider Registry on or after February 7, 2022, please click here. In the meantime, the link is a good resource for additional information about the new regulation and its impact on drivers and motor carriers alike.

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