FAQ - Curriculum/Program Requirements

Are there specific hours of behind-the-wheel (BTW) training mandated for the various curricula?

The entry-level driver training (ELDT) rule does not require any minimum number of hours for the completion of any of the behind-the-wheel (BTW) training (e.g., Class A, Class B and the passenger (P) and school bus (S) endorsements).  The proficient completion of the BTW portions of the various curricula is based solely on the training instructor’s assessment of each driver trainees individual performance of the required elements of BTW training on the range and public road.  All BTW training must be conducted in a representative vehicle for the commercial driver’s license (CDL) class or endorsement being sought.

Are there specific hours of training mandated for the theory curricula?

There is no minimum number of hours that driver-trainees must spend on the theory (i.e., knowledge) portions of any of the individual curricula.  The rule prescribes specific topics for each of the five theory curricula, requiring the training provider to cover all topics, and requiring that driver-trainees demonstrate their understanding of the material by achieving an overall minimum score of 80% on the written (or electronic) theory assessment.

Is there a mandatory sequence that the specific theory and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training must be taken in?

There is no mandatory order in which the theory, behind-the-wheel (BTW)-range, and BTW-public road training must be administered, nor does the rule require that theory training must be completed before obtaining a commercial learner’s permit (CLP).

Can theory and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training be provided by separate training providers?

Theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training may be delivered by separate training providers.  Both types of training providers must be listed on the Agency’s Training Provider Registry (TPR), and both would submit driver-specific training certification information (i.e., proof of training) to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Can driving simulators be used as a substitute for actual mandatory behind-the-wheel (BTW) training?

The entry-level driver training (ELDT) rule does not permit behind-the-wheel (BTW) training to be conducted by using a driving simulation device, and a driver-trainee may not use a simulation device to demonstrate proficiency for any of the BTW curricula.  However, simulators may be used in theory training.

Will the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provide any training materials for any of the various entry-level driver training (ELDT) curricula in the final rule?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not intend to provide written or electronic training materials for any of the curricula set forth in the final rule, nor will the Agency endorse specific materials or vendors.  The Agency anticipates that there will be variations in entry-level driver training (ELDT) curricula based on a training provider’s presentation preferences and the needs of the driver-trainees they serve.  In addition, training providers are permitted to add additional curriculum elements they deem appropriate.