What You Need to Know About the Driver Education Program (ELDT).

This is part of a series sponsored by IAT Insurance Group.

Driver shortages continue to be a major problem for fleets across the country. This is because the industry is short of about 80,000 drivers, this number is expected to rise to 160,000 by 2030.[1]

Exacerbating the issue is the aging population in the automotive industry. Currently, the average age of driving a commercial vehicle in the United States is 48 years.[2]

One important way to recruit drivers is to bring in young drivers, and in many states, 18-year-olds can now obtain a driver’s license (CDL) even if they can drive a commercial vehicle within their state. When drivers turn 21, they are allowed to drive intrastate.[3]

To protect new and young drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all new drivers to complete the Entry-Level Driving Training (ELDT) program, which is a national safety standard, before taking their license test. commercial driver’s license (CDL). Many fleet carriers are now becoming ELDT certified training centers to quickly onboard and train new drivers.

ELDT Program Requirements

ELDT training requirements for entry-level drivers are related to similar safety requirements for commercial vehicles.[4] This applies to:

  • Entry level drivers who wish to obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time
  • Drivers who wish to upgrade their existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL
  • Drivers who wish to receive school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous equipment (H) first approval[5]

The rules came into effect for those applying for a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) on Feb. 7, 2022 or later.

ELDP requirements include theory and behind-the-wheel training. These courses include:

  • Lectures, demonstrations, and computer science courses
  • Leadership training, basic practices, safety practices, advanced practices, and non-driving activities such as logging or hauling equipment.
  • A minimum score of 80% in the assessment

For behind-the-wheel training, these include:

  • Training to be held in CMV on land or in the community
  • Practitioners are not allowed
  • Drivers are taught basic driving skills and basic driving skills.

the trainer determines the driver’s level of skill. 4

Register of ELDT courses

ELDT requires fleets that offer training to join their training register, allowing drivers to find you and contact you directly. To qualify as a classroom instructor, your instructors must have two years of CDL driving experience and trailer towing experience. In order to provide driving lessons, driving instructors must have two years of experience as a behind-the-scenes instructor[6].

Young drivers must complete all of their training before going to their state licensing department to take the CDL skills test. FMCSA requires the instructor to enter all necessary information into their system within 24 hours of completing the course so that the student can take the test.

Teachers must also maintain their CDL in good standing and provide quality instruction. If the FMCSA determines that an instructor is not doing their job, they can remove the person from the instructor registry.

For more information on setting up your ELDT program or installing drivers with the program, contact the IAT transportation team.


Have a question about how to reduce risk? Email losscontroldirect@iatinsurance.com for a chance to see your question answered in a future blog.

By Nancy Ross-Anderson

[1] American Trucking Associations, Inc. “2021 Driver Updates,” October 25, 2021.

[2] Zippia “Professional Truck Driver Demographics and Statistics in the US,” September 9, 2022.

[3] Smart Trucking CDL Old Requirements: A Quick Guide to Truck Driving Age Limits,” February 23, 2022.

[4] FMCSA “Training Provider Registry.”

[5] FMCSA “Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT),” February 8, 2022.

[6] FMCSA https://tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov/FAQ/Topics/provider-requirements

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