After 25 years of working to develop a rule that advances driver safety through training, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its final rule on Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT). CVTA commends the FMCSA for focusing on performance and process, both in the classroom and behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction, as the rule underscores the importance of training in the commercial driving profession. In addition, the final rule acknowledges the significance of training provider affiliations such as CVTA.


This final rule requires commercial drivers to receive training prior to obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Specifically, it requires training providers to:

  • Register with the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) and certify that their program meets the standards for classroom and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training;
  • Certify students have completed BTW training to a proficiency standard;
  • Certify their program teaches the required classroom subjects (outlined in the final rule), and that students have completed a written assessment covering all subjects with a passing score of 80% or higher; and
  • Certify students have demonstrated proficiency in operating a vehicle before siting for the CDL exam.


“The FMCSA has put forth a commonsense rule, which recognizes the value and importance of effectively training commercial drivers based on their actual performance,” said Don Lefeve, President and CEO, CVTA. “This rule ensures that students can only sit for their CDL exam after demonstrating driving and knowledge proficiency. This is a major step in advancing highway safety by requiring driver training and ends nearly 25 years of effort to get this rule in place.”

The final rule goes into effect on February 6, 2017, with a compliance date of February 6, 2020.