Trucking & Transportation in North Carolina: Safety Trends and Updates
Beginning February 7, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be implementing a new rule affecting entry-level drivers. A Training Provider Registry is being created to maintain a record of approved educators, and all new CDL applicants must complete their training under the guidance of those listed on the registry. Only training providers listed on the Registry may provide training required by the new Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations. All drivers will be expected to successfully complete ELDT prior to taking any state-administered knowledge test. The ELDT regulations impose minimum qualification standards for training providers and instructors conducting ELDT.
These new regulations establish new qualifications for classroom and skill instructors. Classroom instructors provide knowledge instruction that does not involve the actual operation of a longer combination vehicle or its components. They must have audited the driver-training course that they intend to teach and must meet all state requirements for a vocational instructor. Skills instructors must provide evidence of successful completion of the Driver-Training Program requirements, meet all state requirements for a vocational instructor, possess a valid Class A CDL with all endorsements necessary to operate the CMVs applicable to the subject matter being taught, and have at least 2 years of CMV driving experienced in a vehicle representative of the type of driver training being provided.[i]
Employers’ obligations under the new rules prohibit motor carriers from knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing a driver-instructor in its employ, or under contract, to provide LCV driving training unless such person is qualified under the new regulations. If the motor carrier contracts with a training institution, the institute must use LCV driving-instructors who are qualified and listed on the Registry. Also, the institute must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and must follow all applicable state training school requirements. Motor carriers that employ, or have under contract, LCV drivers must provide evidence of the certifications for all LCV drivers when requested by an authorized federal, state, or local official during a compliance review.
Eligibility for listing on the Registry requires following the prescribed curriculum, facilities, vehicles, and instructors, as well as meeting recordkeeping requirements and compliance with all local license and registration requirements for in-person training.[ii] Individual states may impose more stringent qualification standards for training providers and instructors conducting ELDT.
It is worth noting that the ELDT does not impose requirements on the content of the training, although the content must be consistent with the published curriculum[iii]. Rather, these regulations are focused on the method and implementation of the training. It is anticipated that there will be variations in the training materials based on the curricula set forth in the regulations. All new entry-level drivers must complete mandatory theory instruction and behind-the-wheel training before taking a skill test to receive a Class A CDL, Class B CDL, passenger endorsement, or school bus endorsement.
- Elaine (Lainie) M. Moyer
- Trucking Accidents & Litigation
- 24-Hour Accident Response & Investigation
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[i] 49 CFR §380.301 (2018)
[ii] 49 CFR §380.703 (2016)
[iii] Appendix A to Part 380