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Upgrade from Class B to Class A CDL

Satisfy Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) training requirements as you prepare to upgrade your commercial driver’s license from Class B to Class A. With our 100% online CDL Class B to A Upgrade course, you can train from any device to satisfy Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) requirements.

Our course was designed by experienced CDL instructors specifically for drivers who hold a Class B license and want to upgrade to Class A. Train online and prepare for your Class A permit exam and skills test with SafeMotorist — a trusted national provider of driver education and safety training.

The CDL Class A license qualifies you to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more when the towed vehicle weight exceeds 10,000 pounds. This includes:

  • Truck and trailer combinations (18-wheelers or semi-trucks)
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Tanker vehicles
  • Livestock carriers
  • Flatbeds

Train from your computer, tablet or mobile device at your own pace. Once you finish the training, we report your course completion directly to the FMCSA. Our online CDL Class B to A Course is approved by the FMCSA under 49 CFR Part 380. Drivers must complete ELDT before taking the CDL skills test. For information on any state-specific requirements for CDL applicants, contact your local DMV.

Who Should Take the CDL Class B to A Upgrade Course?

This online course is designed for experienced drivers who currently hold a CDL Class B license and want to upgrade their certification to a CDL Class A. This upgrade qualifies you to drive additional vehicles, including tractor-trailers, truck and trailer combinations, tanker vehicles, livestock carriers and flatbed trucks.

If you do not currently hold a Class B commercial driver’s license, you should take the CDL Class A Course. This online program will prepare you to obtain your first commercial driver’s license by satisfying FMCSA training requirements for ELDT.

As of January 2022, anyone who wants to obtain or upgrade a CDL must complete FMCSA-approved ELDT before taking the CDL skills test. Complete our online ELDT Class B to Class A Upgrade course to prepare for your CDL Class A permit exam and skills test.

Course Topics and Learning Objectives

To help you prepare for your CDL Class A permit exam and skills test, this course contains lesson modules and quizzes that teach you the additional skills you need to upgrade your Class B CDL.

Upon completion of the course, you will be prepared to:

  • Discuss FMCSA regulations and other important regulations relevant to the trucking industry
  • Explain speed and space management techniques for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs)
  • Describe the proper steps for coupling and uncoupling combination vehicles
  • Recognize and avoid driving hazards
  • Identify major combination vehicle components and systems
  • Explain a CMV driver’s role in highway safety and operating efficiently

The CDL Class B to A Upgrade Course includes seven learning modules:

Module 1: Basic Operation

  • Orientation
  • Control Systems/Dashboard
  • Pre- and Post-Trip Inspections

Module 2: Basic Operation (Part 2)

  • Basic Control
  • Shifting/Operating Transmissions
  • Backing and Docking
  • Coupling and Uncoupling

Module 3: Safe Operating Procedures

  • Visual Search
  • Communication
  • Distracted Driving

Module 4: Safe Operating Procedures (Part 2)

  • Speed Management
  • Space Management
  • Night Operation
  • Extreme Driving Conditions

Module 5: Advanced Operating Procedures

  • Hazard Perception
  • Skid Control/Recovery, Jackknifing and Other Emergencies
  • Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings

Module 6: Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions

  • Identification and Diagnosis of Malfunctions
  • Roadside Inspections
  • Maintenance

Module 7: Non-Driving Activities

  • Hours-of-Service Requirements
  • Fatigue and Wellness Awareness

ELDT Frequently Asked Questions

What is ELDT?

ELDT stands for Entry-Level Driving Training. ELDT is required as of February 7, 2022, for all U.S. drivers seeking to:

  • Obtain a CDL Class A or CDL Class B for the first time
  • Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL
  • Obtain certain CDL endorsements for the first time, including school bus (S), passenger (P) or hazardous materials (H)

ELDT establishes a uniform federal standard for commercial driver training. All FMCSA-approved CDL training contains important information designed to help students become safe, responsible and effective commercial drivers. Training requirements can be found in 49 CFR Part 380.

These standards were first adopted in 2012 under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21, in an effort to improve driver training, unify teaching standards and make America’s roadways safer.

You must complete an FMCSA-approved ELDT course before you can take the skills test to obtain a CDL Class B or CDL Class A.

What is a commercial driver’s license (CDL)?

A commercial driver’s license, or CDL, is required to operate many kinds of commercial motor vehicles. Everything from a delivery truck to an 18-wheeler requires a driver with a CDL.

Additional skills, experience and knowledge are needed to safely operate a CMV. A CDL must be issued by the driver’s home state. To obtain a CDL, drivers must complete an approved ELDT program and pass both a written test and a skills test. For more information about commercial driver’s license requirements, visit the FMCSA website or contact your state licensing bureau (Department of Motor Vehicles or local equivalent).

What are the different classes of CDL?

CDL classes and minimum licensing standards were first adopted on a national scale by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. The class of CDL required to legally drive a CMV depends on several factors, including the gross vehicle weight rating, whether the vehicle tows a payload and the maximum number of passengers.

The three types of CMV classes as defined by 49 CFR Part 383.91 are:

  • Class A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B: Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
  • Class C: Any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that doesn’t meet the definition of Class A or Class B but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in 49 CFR Part 383.5.

How old do I have to be to earn a CDL?

You may earn any class of CDL as soon as you turn 18. In all 50 states, 18 is the minimum age to receive a CDL. However, drivers younger than 21 may only drive commercially within their home state. You must be at least 21 years of age to drive a CMV during interstate commerce under 49 CFR 391.11.

Once you turn 21, you are allowed to use your CDL to drive state-to-state as part of your job. If you are younger than 21, you can join the FMCSA’s commercial driver apprenticeship program, called the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program (SDAP), to learn the basics of and explore a career in commercial trucking.

Is this ELDT course valid in my area?

Yes. ELDT is a single nationwide standard for CDL education. SafeMotorist’s online ELDT courses are approved by FMCSA and meet all federal ELDT standards. Our CDL Class B to A Upgrade Course satisfies ELDT training requirements wherever you are.

Note that certain states may have specific requirements for CDL applicants in addition to ELDT. Contact your local DMV for more information on the application process.

To confirm this program’s FMCSA approval, visit the FMCSA website and search for SafeMotorist in the Provider Name field. Click the Online tab to see a list of our approved ELDT courses.

What else do I have to do to get my CDL Class A?

The exact process to obtain or upgrade your commercial driver’s license varies depending on where you live. For an exact list of local CDL requirements, please contact your state’s DMV or licensing bureau.

In general, after you complete an approved ELDT course, you will need to schedule an appointment to take a written knowledge test and an in-vehicle skills test. After you pass both tests, you will likely need to complete some paperwork and pay a fee before you receive your CDL. Again, contact your local DMV or licensing bureau for state-specific CDL requirements.

» Explore more frequently asked questions about ELDT

CDL Class B to Class A Upgrade Course

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