ELDT Compliance & Delays

Background

Since the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), Congress and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have sought to put forth a regulation that requires anyone seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to obtain formal training before taking the CDL skills test.

After years of back and forth between the agency and the courts, Congress again required the DOT to put forth a regulation on entry-level driver training (ELDT). CVTA and 25 other industry leaders were chosen as participants in the Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC). The negotiated rule produced by the ELDTAC served as the blueprint for the final regulation, which was issued on December 8, 2016.

When fully implemented in February 2022, all states, at a minimum, must meet the following requirements:

  • All students to undergo a three-part curriculum comprised of classroom (theory), and behind-the-wheel (range and road). This collectively embodies approximately 30 subjects and requires students to demonstrate proficiency in all subjects and skills
  • All training providers to certify its students are “proficient” in the skills curriculum based on their performance before taking the CDL exam
  • Instructors must have two years teaching or industry experience
  • All training providers to register, be approved, and listed on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) (students who are not certified by a school on the TPR will not be able to test for a CDL)
  • While there are no federal minimum hours of BTW training, all training providers must disclose how many BTW hours the student completed on the student’s certificate
  • State driver’s license authorities (SDLAs) to modify their data systems to be able to record BTW curriculum hours completed by each CDL applicant

CVTA’s Position

CVTA strongly supports ELDT, but encourages the FMCSA to fine-tune its implementation. While FMCSA did not incorporate all of the ELDTAC’s recommendations into its final rule, specifically an agreed upon minimum of 30-hours of required BTW training for Class A programs, CVTA believes it will greatly enhance highway safety because the curriculum requirements and demonstration of student skills performance far exceeds what most states currently require.

With few exceptions, CVTA is opposed to any attempts to further delay or water down this important regulation that improves highway safety.  For too long, sub-standard training providers (“CDL Mills”) have been able to exist with little or no oversight with the express purpose of simply preparing CDL applicants for the skills test without adequate training. Since the ELDT’s implementation, we have seen an increase in these sub-standard “schools” and believe additional regulations are required.

While CVTA recognizes that administrative fixes are necessary, it is committed to working with FMCSA to ensure these procedures are put in place. As always, our goal is to promote safety in the profession to protect everyone on the road.

Additional Reading

Other Top Policy Issues

Andrew Poliakoff

Andy Poliakoff is the Executive Director for CVTA. In this role, he promotes the mission of the membership organization and implements goals set by the Board of Directors. This includes forming partnerships with external stakeholders, providing guidance and direction to the CVTA staff team, and engaging with state and federal government agencies to advance CVTA’s mission of safety and career opportunities in the truck driver training industry.

In 2021 and 2022, Andy acted as federal affairs lead for Electrify America, interacting at high levels within Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the White House. In that capacity, he played a pivotal role in the optimization of large-scale infrastructure funding at the Federal Highway Administration as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

From 2019 to 2021 Andy served as Director of Gov't Affairs for CVTA and formed a strong bond with members, engaging on advocacy related to Entry-Level Driver Training, Skills Testing Delays, and Workforce funding. During the pandemic, Andy fought at the state and federal level to treat CDL training and testing as the essential services they are. He is personally invested in the important mission of CVTA's members to deliver safe training and to transform people's lives through truck driving careers.

Andy holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University.

Cindy Atwood

Cindy Atwood is the Vice President at CVTA. An experienced association professional, Cindy handles all activities related to membership retention, financial accounting and committee engagement. Cindy artfully produces CVTA’s off-site biannual conferences, Hill Day operations and Board meetings, ensuring that the general membership and leadership’s necessities and wishes are met with the highest response.

An essential fixture in the truck driver training association space, Cindy manages CVTA’s Instructor Certification Program and provides critical counsel to new entrants into the truck driver training industry.

Kyle Hayes

Kyle Hayes is the Director of Government Relations at CVTA. In this role, he leads the implementation of the Association’s legislative and regulatory strategy. He is also the primary point of contact between CVTA Members and federal agencies, Congress, and state governments.

Hayes most recently led research projects that supported federal and state advocacy on healthcare and economic issues at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nationally recognized research and policy institute based in Washington D.C. He received a master’s degree in public policy from American University in 2015 and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2012.