Entry-Level Driver Training | Online CDL Training for Entry Level Drivers
Transportation Safety Training

Entry-Level Driver Training

The FMCSA’s new entry-level driver training (ELDT) rule is set to take effect on February 7, 2022. Under the new rule, entry-level drivers (drivers who are applying for an initial CDL, upgrading a current CDL, or obtaining a hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement) must successfully complete a prescribed program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction prior to taking the CDL test. This training must also be provided by a school or entity listed on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR).

An extension of our Safe & Smart Driver Training program, J. J. Keller’s online ELDT courses will help you exceed the FMCSA’s mandated theory instruction requirements. These interactive, expert-backed programs are designed to be used in tandem with our student and trainer manuals as part of a thorough program.

The compliance date for the entry-level driver training (ELDT) rule has been delayed until February 7, 2022. Though the rule has been delayed, schools and training entities should continue to prepare for this final rule, as the requirements are complex. It will take a substantial amount of time to implement all courses, facility, equipment, and instructor requirements.

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Entry-Level Driver Training Online Courses

Our ELDT courses cover all of the FMCSA’s mandated areas of instruction, including:

ELDT Course Disclaimer: These courses can be used to help satisfy the theory instruction portion of the new entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements that go into effect on February 7, 2022. To satisfy the theory instruction requirements, the courses must be assigned and administered by a school or other entity listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Training Provider Registry (TPR) and must be accompanied by theory testing. To satisfy the complete ELDT training requirements, the school or entity conducting the training must provide the driver-trainee "behind-the-wheel" instruction in addition to theory instruction.

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Entry-Level Driver Training: Obtaining a CDL Manuals

These comprehensive manuals have been designed to help students and trainers comply with the FMCSA’s new theory instruction requirements.

Hazmat Endorsement Manuals


Passenger/School Bus Endorsement Manuals



Entry-Level Driver FAQs

Originally scheduled to go into effect February 7,2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has delayed implementation until February 7, 2022.

As of February 7, 2022, compliance with all aspects of the ELDT rule is required.

The requirements apply to anyone:

  • Applying for his or her first commercial driver's license (CDL);
  • Upgrading his or her current CDL (from Class B to Class A); or
  • Obtaining a new passenger, school bus, or hazmat endorsement.

The rule does not apply to individuals who held a valid and current CDL and the appropriate endorsement(s) before February 7, 2022.

The old and new ELDT rules are two different requirements and should be addressed separately.

First, the current/old ELDT rule applies to drivers with less than one year of experience operating a commercial motor vehicle requiring a CDL in interstate commerce. It is the motor carrier’s responsibility to ensure that compliance is happening, and that proper documentation is on file for each driver. As of February 7, 2022, this rule will “sunset.” Carriers will no longer need to comply. Anyone who was subject to this rule prior to February 7, 2022, should have a copy of the training certificate in his or her DQ file.

As for the “new” ELDT rule, the motor carrier has no training or documentation responsibilities. The training (and certification of successful completion of training) must happen prior to an individual taking his or her CDL skills test.

The required training includes both theory and behind-the-wheel instruction.

The instruction must be provided by an entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR).

There isn’t a minimum number of hours that driver-trainees must spend on the theory instruction, but the instructor must cover all topics set forth in the program.

The topics in the program cover five areas of instruction:

  • Basic operation,
  • Safe operating procedures,
  • Advanced operating procedures,
  • Vehicle systems and reporting malfunctions, and
  • Non-driving activities.

Driver-trainees must demonstrate their understanding of the material by achieving an overall minimum score of 80 percent on the theory assessment.

Behind-the-wheel training includes both range and public road instruction. This instruction must be conducted in the class of commercial motor vehicle that the trainee will be taking his or her CDL road test in when the time comes to complete the skills test.

Skills that must be covered during range instruction include vehicle inspection, various backing skills, and coupling and uncoupling.

Skills that must be covered during public road instruction include left and right turns, lane changes, curves at highway speeds, and entry and exit on interstate or controlled access highways.

There isn’t a minimum number of hours that must be spent on behind-the-wheel training, but the instructor must cover all topics included in the courses.

The instructor must determine and document that each driver-trainee has demonstrated proficiency in all elements of the behind-the-wheel courses. The instructor must also document the total number of clock hours each driver-trainee spends to complete the behind-the-wheel courses.

Both the theory and behind-the-wheel training must be provided by an entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR). Most entities listed in the TPR will be truck driver training schools and motor carriers that have schools to train their own drivers.

The TPR is available via FMCSA’s website: https://tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Currently, schools, motor carriers, and other entities that intend to provide entry-level driver training are able to complete an application to be listed on the TPR. All applications must be filed electronically via FMCSA’s website. Paper applications will not be accepted.

Later this year, the TPR will expand to include a database of schools, motor carriers, and training entities that have been approved to provide entry-level driver training.

Why J. J. Keller® Training?

Online Training

Supplement classroom or field training with self-paced online courses backed by a trusted team of compliance experts. You can pay as you go using our convenient points system, or you can purchase a subscription and gain unlimited access to our library of over 600 online training courses.

Streaming Video

With Video On Demand, you have access to hundreds of up‑to‑date safety and compliance videos with pay as you go or subscription options. Plus, enjoy remote viewing capabilities that enable you to send streaming video and training access to learners who are off-site or absent from classroom sessions.

Regulatory Knowledge & Expertise

Since 1953, J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. has helped organizations create safe and compliant workplaces. J. J. Keller subject-matter experts specialize in content development, regulatory compliance and business best practices across a variety of industries.


Flexible Training

Whether you choose online training courses or pay per view (streaming) videos, you’ll enjoy twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week access to a library of hundreds of safety and compliance titles for maximum flexibility in and out of the classroom.

Recordkeeping Functionality

Keep track of which employees trained on which topics and when and have easy access to all of your training records with our online recordkeeping tool.

Report Features

Quickly and easily create reports of your online and classroom training by students or courses.