Entry-Level Driver Training
Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)
Effective February 7, 2022, drivers will need to meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA's) minimum training requirements to obtain one of the following:
- Obtain a Class A or Class B commercial driver's license (CDL) for the first time
- Upgrade an existing Class C to a Class A or B or an existing Class B to a Class A CDL.
- Obtain a hazardous materials endorsement (HME), a passenger endorsement (P) or school bus (S) endorsement for the first time
Applicants applying for a Class A or B CDL or the P or S endorsement must complete both theory and behind-the-wheel training prior to completing the CDL road skills exam.
Applicants applying for an HME must complete the theory portion of ELDT prior to taking the hazmat knowledge exam at DMV.
- ELDT requirements do not apply to individuals who currently hold or previously held a CDL, unless they are upgrading a CDL classification or adding a P, S or HME endorsement for the first time after February 7, 2022.
- Individuals who hold a valid, unexpired commercial learner's permit (CLP) issued prior to February 7, 2022 are not subject to the ELDT requirements related to the class of CLP held and the endorsements on the CLP; however, they must obtain a CDL before the CLP expires.
- ELDT is not required for individuals who obtain a CDL under Virginia's Troops to TrucksSM test waiver program.
CDL Applicant Training
Training providers will ensure that entry-level drivers receive training and demonstrate proficiency in both theory and behind-the-wheel training.
Training topics include:
- Basic operation
- Safe operating procedures
- Advanced operation procedures
- Vehicle systems and reporting malfunctions
- Non-driving activities
Applicants will also receive behind-the-wheel training on basic vehicle control skills and maneuvers through the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This training will take place on both a range and a public road.
A list of acceptable training providers can be found on the federal Training Provider Registry (TPR) website.
Training providers must meet all federal and state requirements to provide ELDT and register with the TPR. Once a driver successfully completes the required training the training provider must electronically submit the driver-trainee's training certification information to the TPR.
For detailed information on becoming an ELDT provider, please see Training Providers for ELDT.
Training Provider Registry
The Training Provider Registry (TPR) is an online system that will help CDL applicants connect with qualified training providers to get the training they need to safely operate CMVs. This system will also retain a record of the training completion and relay it as needed to state licensing agencies.
Beginning February 7, 2022, training providers will submit driver training certification information to the FMCSA electronically via the TPR. Prior to administering any relevant skills or knowledge tests, DMV or an authorized third-party tester will retrieve the driver training certification information from the TPR.
Additional Information and Resources
- Can I complete the knowledge tests for a CLP before I complete entry-level driver training?
Yes. Applicants are not required to complete ELDT prior to obtaining a CLP. However, if they are applying to add a HME to their CDL, they must complete the theory portion of ELDT prior to completing the HME knowledge test at DMV.
- When does entry-level driver training have to be completed?
For anyone applying for a HME for the first time, the hazmat theory portion of ELDT must be completed prior to taking the Hazmat knowledge exam.
For anyone applying for a Class A or B CDL and/or Passenger or School bus endorsement, theory and behind-the-wheel training must be completed prior to the road skills exam.
- If I obtained a CDL before February 7, 2022, but did not obtain a school bus, passenger or hazardous materials endorsement on either my CDL or CLP before February 7, 2022, am I subject to the entry-level driver training requirements?
Yes, if you are applying to obtain the S, P, or HME endorsement for the first time, you must complete the entry-level driver training required for the endorsement.
- If I held a Class A or B CDL and allowed it to expire or if I voluntarily surrendered it, am I required to complete ELDT to obtain a new CDL?
No. If you were issued a CDL before February 7, 2022, you are not subject to the ELDT requirements if you reapply for a CDL of the same class with the same endorsements, even if the previously issued CDL has expired.
- Can I complete the hazmat knowledge or road skills test before my training provider updates the training provider registry, if I bring my certificate of completion?
No. DMV is not authorized to accept paper training certificates. Federal regulation requires DMV to obtain completion information electronically through the TPR.
- How long will it take for my training provider to record my completion information to the registry?
Training providers are required to record completion information to the TPR within 48 hours after the training is completed. After the information is recorded in the training provider registry, it will be immediately available to DMV and authorized third-party testers.
- Where can I find more information about the TPR and entry-level driver training requirements?
The TPR website can be viewed at tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov.