Mandatory Entry-Level Federal CDL Training Standards OK'd

November 21, 2016

Last March, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed new training standards for drivers applying for their first CDL, drivers seeking to upgrade their CDL to a higher class, or add hazardous materials endorsements to their current license. (Proposed rule Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators available here) reports the White House Office of Management and Budget has cleared the mandatory entry-level driving training rule with publication in the Federal Register shortly.

The new rule requires driver trainees to have a minimum of 30 hours behind-the-wheel training and a minimum of 10 hours training on public roads.

Most importantly, the driver trainee must demonstrate proficiency operating a commercial vehicle no matter how many hours of training he/she may have completed. In other words, the training instructor cannot clear a would-be CDL driver based on meeting the minimum number of training hours.

Trainers and providers must also meet FMCSA standards and be listed on the FMCSA's proposed Training Provider Registry.

The expected phase-in of the new rule is about three years.