Who Needs Entry-Level Driver Training?
Entry-Level Driver Training is a vital requirement for individuals seeking to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require ELDT for drivers seeking to:
- Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time
- Upgrade their Class B CDL to a Class A CDL
- Earn a hazardous materials (H), passenger (P) or school bus (S) endorsement for the first time
The new training requirements, found in 49 CFR Part 380, are mandatory as of February 7, 2022. These regulations aim to enhance the safety and proficiency of commercial drivers across various CDL classes.
If you are aspiring to become a commercial driver and obtain a CDL, you need to complete ELDT. The training covers the essential skills, knowledge and practical experience needed to safely operate commercial vehicles, navigate diverse road conditions and adhere to federal regulations.
By completing Entry-Level Driver Training, you not only meet federal regulatory standards, but you also equip yourself with the skills and confidence required to excel in the dynamic field of commercial driving. Whether you're pursuing a Class A license to operate combination vehicles like tractor-trailers or a Class B license for single-unit vehicles, this training is a crucial step toward becoming a skilled and responsible commercial driver.
Our 100% online ELDT programs allow individuals to learn at their own pace, access their courses from any device with internet access, instantly download certificates and more. Course completion is automatically reported to the FMCSA.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of jobs can I pursue after earning a CDL?
CDL graduates can explore various job opportunities, including long-haul trucking, local delivery, passenger transport and freight hauling, as well as specialized services such as hazardous materials or tanker transport.
Depending on the type of vehicle you want to operate, you will need to complete Entry-Level Driver Training and earn a class A, B or C commercial driver’s license. You may also need to earn additional CDL endorsements for certain vehicles and job duties.
What is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)?
The FMCSA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and focuses on enhancing road safety and reducing the risk of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles. The FMCSA serves as the regulatory authority overseeing the safety and operations of interstate commercial transportation.
The administration has a wide range of responsibilities, including developing and enforcing safety regulations for the trucking industry, conducting research to improve safety practices, providing educational resources to industry stakeholders and implementing programs to prevent commercial driving accidents, injuries and fatalities.
Are SafeMotorist ELDT courses approved by the FMCSA?
Yes. All of our Entry-Level Driver Training courses and CDL endorsement courses are approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and satisfy all federal standards for ELDT.
To confirm our approval, visit the FMCSA website and search for SafeMotorist.com in the Provider Name field. You can click the Online tab to see our FMCSA-approved ELDT courses.
ELDT satisfies federal training standards for new commercial drivers, but state-specific requirements may also apply. Check with your local DMV to confirm all requirements for earning your CDL or endorsement.
What is a Class A CDL?
A Class A commercial driver's license authorizes individuals to drive combination vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, including towed units weighing more than 10,000 pounds. This encompasses a variety of vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, livestock carriers and flatbed trucks paired with trailers.
What is a Class B CDL?
A Class B commercial driver's license enables individuals to drive single-unit vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. This category includes vehicles such as buses, straight trucks and delivery trucks. While Class B CDL holders are not authorized to drive combination vehicles with trailers, they can legally transport passengers or cargo within the specified weight limits. CDL endorsements are required to transport passengers and hazardous materials.
What is a Class C CDL?
A Class C CDL is a commercial driver's license that allows individuals to operate vehicles with a GVWR less than 26,001 pounds that are designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or transport hazardous materials.
What is a CDL endorsement?
A CDL endorsement is a specialized qualification that allows a CDL holder to operate specific types of commercial vehicles or transport certain types of cargo. Endorsements are additional designations added to a CDL based on the driver’s completion of required training, knowledge tests and practical assessments related to the specific endorsement.
Different endorsements correspond to different types of vehicles or cargo and come with their own set of regulations and requirements. Some common CDL endorsements include the hazardous materials endorsement (H) for transporting HAZMAT, the passenger (P) endorsement for carrying passengers and the school bus (S) endorsement for transporting students to and from school.
Having endorsements on your CDL not only expands your skill set and versatility as a commercial driver but also allows you to pursue a wider range of job opportunities within the commercial driving industry.
How old do I need to be to drive a commercial vehicle out of state?
You must be at least 21 years old to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines (known as interstate commerce).
Commercial drivers in every state can earn a CDL at age 18, but you can only drive within your state of residence if you are under 21 (known as intrastate commerce). Once you turn 21, you satisfy the age requirement to operate commercial vehicles in all other states.
Section 23022 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law required the FMCSA to host a three-year commercial driving apprenticeship program that allows qualified drivers ages 18 to 20 to explore interstate trucking careers. The pilot program is designed for drivers with an intrastate commercial driver’s license who meet certain requirements.
What will I learn in the CDL Class A Course?
Our CDL Class A course is designed to prepare you to operate combination vehicles like tractor-trailers, flatbeds and tank vehicles. It covers the essential skills, regulations and safe operating procedures needed to excel in the commercial driving industry.
What will I learn in the CDL Class B to A Course?
The CDL Class B to A Upgrade course covers advanced vehicle control, coupling and uncoupling, maneuvering combination vehicles and more. It’s tailored for Class B drivers seeking to broaden their capabilities and earn a Class A license.
What does the CDL Class B Course cover?
The CDL Class B Course prepares you to operate single-unit vehicles like buses and straight trucks. It equips you with the skills and knowledge required for the safe and efficient operation of Class B vehicles.
Is the CDL Class B Course suitable for beginners?
Yes. The CDL Class B Course is perfect for entry-level drivers who are new to the commercial driving field. Whether you're starting from scratch or aiming to enhance your skills, this course provides a solid foundation.
What is the purpose of the CDL Class B to A Course?
The CDL Class B to A course is specifically designed for Class B license holders looking to upgrade their skills to operate combination vehicles. It provides the necessary training to transition from a Class B CDL to Class A. You’ll learn about important topics for Class A vehicles, such as coupling and uncoupling.
Can I enroll in the CDL Class B to A course without prior experience?
Yes. This course is designed to help Class B license holders advance their skills and job opportunities. You do not need to have experience with Class A vehicles to enroll in the course.