July 17, 2019
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing a 2-Year extension for two provisions of the ELDT regulation and seeking comments. Specifically, the FMCSA is proposing a 2-year extension (or delay) in uploading the individual certification information into the Training Provider Registry and then forwarding this information to State Driver’s License Agencies (SDLA). The formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will appear in tomorrow’s Federal Register. I want to update all members on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the Entry-Level Driver Training regulation (ELDT).
It is important to understand what the FMCSA is seeking, why it is seeking the extension, and the consequences of both. To be clear, the FMCSA is not extending compliance with the entire regulation. Therefore, prior to February 7, 2020, all training providers will have to register, teach the ELDT curriculum, and self-certify that they are graduating students who are “proficient” (performance-based standard). Furthermore, schools will have to document this performance through the use of assessments (theory and BTW).
The FMCSA is seeking the extension due to a number of problems experienced with its IT implementation. The original IT infrastructure for ELDT was modeled off of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. When this database ran into issues in 2017-18, we suspect that it too caused problems for the ELDT IT implementation.
The problems with the National Registry notwithstanding, CVTA believes the FMCSA can and should create a stopgap solution, which we will detail in our forthcoming comments to the agency. However, while the FMCSA is extending this deadline until 2022, a state could require proof that the student attended and was certified by a training provider prior to February 2022.
While we are aware of trouble with the IT systems, we continue to believe that alternatives to partial delay of this part of the regulation exist and could be easily implemented. This is important for meeting the law passed by Congress in 2012, enforcement, and safety. However, if you have not begun your ELDT compliance, we urge you to do so now and CVTA’s compliance program is a great way to ensure you are compliant long before February 7, 2020.