ELDT Mandate

1. Federal ELDT Mandate (FMCSA):


  • The FMCSA's ELDT mandate aims to improve safety on the roads by ensuring that entry-level commercial drivers receive comprehensive and standardized training.


  • The mandate applies to individuals seeking their first commercial driver's license (CDL), upgrading their existing CDL, or obtaining certain endorsements.

Training Providers:

  • Training providers must be listed on the FMCSA's Training Provider Registry (TPR) to offer ELDT.
  • These providers can include public or private entities such as truck driving schools, community colleges, or motor carriers.

Training Curriculum:

  • The curriculum covers essential topics such as basic operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), safe driving practices, vehicle inspections, hours of service regulations, cargo handling, and emergency procedures.
  • Specific to the class of vehicle for which the CDL is sought (e.g., Class A, Class B).

Instructor Qualifications:

  • Instructors must meet minimum qualifications set by the FMCSA, including appropriate experience and training in commercial driving and instructional techniques.

Training Delivery:

  • Training combines classroom instruction with behind-the-wheel (BTW) training.
  • Classroom instruction includes interactive elements like discussions, quizzes, and visual aids.
  • BTW training is conducted on public roads or other suitable training areas.

Testing Requirements:

  • Students must pass both knowledge and skills tests administered by state-approved testing facilities.
  • Knowledge tests cover topics taught in the ELDT curriculum, while skills tests assess the student's ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle.

Compliance and Enforcement:

  • States are responsible for enforcing ELDT requirements within their jurisdictions.
  • Non-compliance may result in penalties, fines, or revocation of training provider certification.

Implementation Timeline:

  • The ELDT mandate became effective on February 7th, 2022.
  • States were given a transition period to fully implement the requirements.

Resources and Support:

  • The FMCSA provides guidance documents, FAQs, and other resources to assist stakeholders in understanding and complying with ELDT requirements.
  • Training providers can access the FMCSA's Training Provider Registry (TPR) for information on approved providers and courses.

Ongoing Evaluation and Updates:

  • The FMCSA continuously evaluates the effectiveness of the ELDT mandate and makes updates as needed to improve safety and training standards.

2. California Requirements:

In addition to the FMCSA mandate, California implemented the following requirements:

Behind-the-Wheel Training:

  • Requires 10 hours of BTW training on public roads.
  • Requires 5 hours of BTW training on private property.
  • These additional hours provide hands-on experience in various driving conditions and environments, helping drivers develop essential skills for safe operation of commercial vehicles.

By incorporating these additional BTW training hours, California aims to further enhance the training and readiness of entry-level commercial drivers, ensuring they are well-prepared to navigate the unique challenges of California's roadways and traffic conditions.

This comprehensive breakdown provides an explanation of the FMCSA's ELDT mandate effective February 7th, 2022, along with the additional BTW training requirements implemented by California. These requirements collectively aim to improve safety and training standards for entry-level commercial drivers.