2022 FMCSA Changes May Impact Your CDL Costs

2022 FMCSA Changes May Impact Your CDL Costs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has passed a new training regulation which poses new requirements to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule will come into effect as of February 7, 2022. The ELDT establishes minimum training requirements for entry-level operators of Commercial Motor Vehicle’s (CMV) for interstate and intrastate commerce. This rule will apply to drivers that are attempting to:

· Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;

· Upgrade an already existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or

· Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

Note that drivers that have already obtained a valid CDL or a P, S, or H endorsement before February 7, 2022 will not be subject to the new ELDT requirements, unless they plan to upgrade their existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL. The ELDT rules do not create any new exceptions (e.g. exempting out small employers). But any individual who currently meets the exceptions for skills tests as listed under 49 CFR Part 383 still remains exempt from the new ELDT requirements.

Employers should note that the ELDT training courses are required to be administered by a Training Provider that is listed on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR) and the training must be appropriate to the license/endorsement for which that person is seeking.

Employers should also be aware that after February 7, 2022, if their existing employees need a CDL upgrade, or are obtaining their CDL for the first time, the employer will likely have to cover/reimburse the fees charged for ELDT training. Now is a great time to review job descriptions and determine which positions listing a CDL requirement are necessary according to the job duties. Additionally, knowing which positions may require a CDL upgrade ahead of time could save on costs.

It is also important to note that employers may but are not required to cover expenses for new employees to obtain their CDL. For example, if a new job applicant applies for a position that requires a Class B CDL but they do not yet have one, the employer may help pay for fees incurred for the CDL certification but it is not required.

Employers are encouraged to evaluate these issues prior to February of 2022, particularly as costs required for CDL courses can get expensive. For example, school in the South Dakota area charge as follows:

· Southeast Technical College

o $5500 for a Class A CDL course

o https://www.southeasttech.edu/programs/transportation/cdl/index.php#:~:text=The%20total%20cost%20for%20Class,not%20available%20for%20this%20course.&text=To%20acquire%20a%20Class%20A,South%20Dakota%20Department%20of%20Transportation.

· Western Dakota Tech

o $3999 for Class A CDL course plus $196 in additional costs

o https://www.wdt.edu/corporate-education-center/professional-truck-driving-program/

· Mitchell Tech

o $4197 for program tuition and fees, plus $1056 in additional costs

o https://www.mitchelltech.edu/academics/programs-we-offer/on-campus/agriculture-transportation-technologies/professional-truck-driving/cost

· Lake Area Tech

o $4200 for 4-week training course

For further information, the regulations can be found at:

· 49 CFR 380

o https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&n=pt49.5.380#sp49.5.380.f

o Subpart F lists the February, 2022 ELDT requirements

· 49 CFR 383

o https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&n=pt49.5.383#se49.5.383_171

· 49 CFR 384

o https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&n=pt49.5.384#se49.5.384_1230

By: Joshua J. Baumgart (Boyce Law Firm, LLP Intern (J.D. Candidate May 2022)
Lisa Marso, Boyce Law Firm, LLP (lkmarso@boycelaw.com)