Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)
Drivers need to meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA's) minimum training requirements to do 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. Virginia law requires applicants taking training from a licensed driver training school that also provides CDL skills examinations to take both the theory and behind-the-wheel portions of training with that school. See businesses from whom applicants are required to take both portions of driver education.
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 Trucks 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. Virginia law requires applicants taking training from a licensed driver training school that also provides CDL skills examinations to take both the theory and behind-the-wheel portions of training with that school. See businesses from whom applicants are required to take both portions of driver education.
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.
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
To learn more about ELDT and the Training Provider Registry, visit tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov.