According to the Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators final rule, to be published Thursday by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (text available here) the earlier proposed requirement that new drivers must have 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience has been eliminated.
Instead, the final rule says training providers must determine that each CDL applicant demonstrates proficiency in all required elements of the mandatory training in order to successfully complete the program. "There is no minimum number of hours that driver-trainees must spend on the BTW elements of the core or endorsement curricula. The training provider must not issue the training certificate unless the driver-trainee demonstrates proficiency in performing all required BTW skills."
In addition, there is no minimum number of hours that driver-trainees must spend on the theory portions of any of the individual curricula. However, training providers must provide instruction in all elements of the applicable theory curriculum and driver-trainees must receive an overall score of at least 80 percent on the theory assessment.
Providers must submit electronic notification to FMCSA that an individual completed the required training. FMCSA will provide that information to the SDLAs through the Commercial Driver’s License Information System.
The entry-level driver training Final Rule goes into effect February 6, 2017 with complete compliance required by February 2020.