What Does It Take To Become An Entry-Level Driver Training Instructor?

Jill Schultz, Sr. Editor - Transportation Safety 

September 27, 2021

Compliance with the new entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements is right around the corner — specifically, February 7, 2022. As this date approaches, carriers are scrambling to ensure compliance. In this mad dash to the finish line, we are receiving many questions related to the requirements for becoming an ELDT instructor. The following are the top three.

1. What are the requirements?

Theory and behind-the-wheel instructors must hold an appropriate class of commercial driver’s license (CDL), including appropriate endorsement(s), and have either:

  • A minimum of two years of experience driving a commercial motor vehicle requiring a CDL, including appropriate endorsement(s); or
  • A minimum of two years of experience as a behind-the-wheel commercial motor vehicle instructor.

If the instructor’s CDL has been cancelled, suspended, or revoked due to any of the disqualifying offenses identified in §383.51 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), the instructor is prohibited from engaging in theory or behind-the-wheel instruction for two years following the date the CDL is reinstated.

Also, theory and behind-the-wheel instructors must meet all applicable state qualification requirements for commercial motor vehicle instructors.

2. Is there an exception to these requirements?

There is an exception to these requirements for theory and behind-the-wheel range instructors who no longer possess a CDL but have possessed a CDL previously.

Individuals who previously held a CDL of the same or higher class, with the appropriate endorsement(s) for the vehicle they are providing instruction on, may provide theory and/or behind-the-wheel range training. This exception does not apply to training on public roads.

Also, note that though there is an exception, these individuals must meet all applicable state CMV instructor requirements.

3. Does an instructor need to register on the TPR?

No, there isn’t a separate registration requirement for entry-level driver training instructors. Instructors are included on the school’s or other training entity’s application to be listed on the TPR.

Learn how J. J. Keller® Safe & Smart Driver Training can help you prepare for the new Entry-Level Driver Training Rule — Call 833.982.1236.

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