Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made a notice of proposed rulemaking request for public comments on the minimum training requirements for entry-level commercial motor vehicle operators. To summarize what this means, the FMCSA is basically proposing that new training standards are enacted for certain individuals who are applying for their initial CDL, an upgrade of their CDL, a B CDL holder seeking a Class A, or a hazardous material or school bus endorsement for their license. Many of these training standards apply to a “refresher” training curriculum.

If you apply within the licenses mentioned, then you must submit comments 30 days from the date of publication in the federal register.

Summary of Proposed Rule

If you are attempting to receive a CDL or an upgrade of some sort, then there are certain requirements that you must meet. The agency believes that, by proposing these new rules, they can enhance the safety of commercial motor vehicle operations on our nation’s highways by establishing a more extensive driver training protocol. This proposed rule benefits CMV operators, the trucking industry, the traveling public, and the environment. Because of this training, we expect to see more efficient driving techniques, which would result in a reduction in fuel consumption and consequently lower environmental impacts associated with carbon dioxide emissions. With safer training, the maintenance and repair costs of vehicles will be reduced.

Those Seeking a CDL

These new requirements are being implemented due to the fact that driving commercial motor vehicles requires a higher level of knowledge and experience than that which is required for a non-commercial vehicle. For a driver to receive a CDL license and be able to control a commercial vehicle like a commercial truck, an applicant must be able to pass skills and knowledge testing. CDL holders are held to a very high standard when operating their vehicles on the road because they will typically control much larger vehicles that can cause very serious accidents when control is lost. When a CDL holder is not using safety measures, this could affect their ability to hold a CDL certification for years to come. The most responsible drivers are considered for these licenses.

There are several steps that these drivers must take before they are able to say that they are a proud owner of a CDL. However, as a brief overview, you must receive a copy of your state’s Commercial Driver’s Licensing Manual. Secondly, a driver must make a decision on which type of vehicle and what kind of driving they want to get the license for. Lastly, they must make an important decision on what CDL they would like to receive, because there are 3 classes, each of which is very different from the other.

At this point in time, when somebody wants to get a CDL, they must first apply for a permit. However, when they are ready, they must take the test, which has 3 parts to it. This includes the Vehicle Inspection Test, the Basic Controls Test, and the Road Test to make sure that the driver’s skills are up to par and ready for action.


At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we care about your safety on the roadways. When an accident happens, we are attorneys who will be there for you in your time of hardships. Choose a personal injury attorney who has experience in trucking accidents and can help you every step of the way!