EMA Urges FMCSA To Delay Entry Level Driver Training Requirements
Thursday, EMA sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation to extend the compliance deadline for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule.
The ELDT rule establishes new knowledge and behind the wheel testing for new applicants who wish to obtain a CDL license for the first time or upgrade their current CDL from Class A to Class B or obtain a hazardous material endorsement.
Only trainers certified by the FMCSA may provide the new training.
The letter said, “EMA believes that transferring much of the current CDL driver training responsibilities from state to federal control at this critical time will cause further disruption to supply chain logistics that are already strained to the breaking point. EMA members, like most industries in the transportation sector, are struggling to recruit and retain enough qualified CDL drivers to meet fuel supply demand by wholesale and retail consumers. Mandating entry level drivers to seek out certified training providers, undergo stringent new classroom curricula requiring an 80 percent test score to pass along with new behind the wheel proficiency training will severely hamper recruiting and retainment efforts for all transportation industry sectors.”
The original compliance date for the ELDT rule was set for February 7, 2021, but was pushed back to February 7, 2022.
The delay was due to ongoing technical problems with the ELDT electronic database designed to contain driver-specific training information.
The FMCSA Training Provider Registry (TPR) is a centralized database that receives and stores entry level driver training certification information.
State licensing agencies are required to access the database to confirm completion of training before allowing driver/ applicants to take their skills test necessary to obtain a CDL.
The ELDT rule requires states to update their own electronic databases in order to accommodate the receipt of driver-specific information from the TPR.
However, most states have yet to complete interface capabilities.
The ELDT training was mandated by Congress in 2012 under the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.”