About the ELDT Final Rule
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established new minimum training standards for certain individuals applying for a Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the first time; an upgrade of their CDL (e.g., a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL); or a hazardous materials (H), passenger (P), or school bus (S) endorsement on their CDL for the first time. These individuals are subject to the ELDT requirements and must complete a prescribed program of theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) (range and public road) instruction provided by an entity that is listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry. The final rule incorporates performance-based concepts by requiring that driver-trainees demonstrate proficiency in both the BTW and theory portions of the curricula. The final rule responds to a Congressional mandate imposed under the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21). The rule is based, in part, on consensus recommendations from the Agency’s Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC), a negotiated rulemaking committee that held a series of meetings in 2015.
Negotiated rulemaking is a process which brings together stakeholder representatives and a federal agency to reach consensus on the text and/or major concepts to utilize in a proposed rule. In late 2014, FMCSA had announced its intention to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop proposed regulations to implement the MAP-21 requirements concerning ELDT for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles in interstate or intrastate commerce. FMCSA’s ELDTAC met for six two-day negotiating sessions starting in February 2015 until reaching consensus in May 2015. The ELDTAC included FMCSA and a cross-section of representatives from motor carrier transportation, highway safety, driver training, state licensing, law enforcement, labor unions, and insurance organizations. In accordance with the Negotiated Rulemaking Act, FMCSA proposed the consensus recommendations from the ELDTAC in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which led to this ELDT final rule. The ELDT final rule retains many of the consensus recommendations of the ELDTAC.