FMCSA Creates National Entry-Level Driver Training Standards

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The FMCSA has released its Final Rule to establish a nationwide minimum training standard for new truck drivers.

Rule Does Not Require A Specific Number Of Hours Behind The Wheel

While the Final Rule does not establish a minimum number of hours required to obtain a CDL, it does require that “applicants seeking a CDL would be required to demonstrate proficiency in knowledge training and behind-the-wheel training on a driving range and on a public road, with training obtained from an instructional program that meets FMCSA standards.

The Final Rule also establishes standards for the entities that provide CDL training, noting that many of the motor carriers, school districts, independent training schools, and individuals who currently provide that training will qualify to do so under the new rule.

Ruling To Impact New Drivers, Those Who Want To Upgrade License

The new truck driver training standards will impact those applying for a CDL for the first time as well as those who want to upgrade from a Class B to a Class A license. Drivers wanting to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement or a passenger or school bus endorsement would also be required to meet the new training standards. Military drivers, farmers, and firefighters who are normally exempted from CDL requirements will not be required to meet the Entry-Level Driver Training standards.

The Entry-Level Driver Training standard will be effective on February 6, 2017. The compliance date for the Final Rule is set for February 2020.

FMCSA believes that the new driver training standard will reduce the number of highway deaths, increase fuel economy, and increase overall efficiency in trucking.

Read more about the Final Rule in the document below.