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ELDT: New Training for Beginner Commercial Drivers

If you followed our previous advice and plan to start working in the trucking industry, you might want to start thinking about getting a Commercial Driver License (CDL) in the near future. If so, be aware that a change has been made for 2022.

Effective February 7, 2022, individuals seeking a Commercial Driver’s License in the state of Massachusetts will be required to attend classroom training and/or driving training as described in Regulations (FMCSRs) Part 380, Appendix A.

This requirement applies to:

  • Anyone looking for a CDL for the first time
  • Anyone who wants to upgrade a Class B CDL to a Class A CDL
  • Anyone seeking an endorsement for school bus (S), passenger (P) or transport of hazardous materials (H) for the first time.

Commercial Driver’s License applicants must select a training provider listed on the Training Provider Registry website to complete mandatory entry-level driver training.

What is ELDT and who is affected?

ELDT is Entry-Level Drivers Training, training for drivers who do not have professional experience as a driver. Even if they are already experienced in their private cars, it does not mean that they are prepared to operate a vehicle with deadlines, pressure, responsibility for passengers or transporting hazardous materials. 

Therefore, the DOT (US Department of Transportation) has determined that if you want to get a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), you will need specific training, and most importantly, pass the stipulated standards as set by the federal government.

Training must be done with a qualified instructor and in schools that are qualified for the new requirements. Federal ELDT requirements do not supersede any state-level requirements that exceed these minimum standards.

Why is new ELDT training important?

Prior to approving federal requirements for ELDT, training requirements for commercial cards were defined by states and varied widely. This made inspections and daily life on the road more difficult.

The new criteria will help ensure proper driver training before they even board a truck, making roads, driver, passengers and even cargo safer and more secure.

Another positive point is that if you are an entrepreneur and you have a fleet of trucks, your training costs and hours will likely decrease.

***The regulations for the ELDT are not retroactive. Individuals who hold a valid driver’s license, a valid Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) or an S, P, or H endorsement issued before February 7, 2022 are not required to take training for the license or endorsement. Individuals exempted by their CDL status or testing requirements are also exempt from the ELDT requirements.

Want to know more about getting a driver’s license in MA? Click here.

Want to know which states issue Driver’s License to undocumented immigrants? Click here. 

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