A final rule setting mandatory training requirements for entry-level CDL drivers was issued by FMCSA on May 21. [Docket No. FMCSA-1997-2199). An entry-level driver is defined as one with less than one year of experience.

Beginning July 20, 2004, newly-hired entry-level drivers cannot operate a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce without the required training. Existing drivers with less than 12 months of experience must undergo the training by October 18, 2004.

The new training requirements are divided into four areas: driver qualification, hours of service, driver wellness, and whistleblower protection.

Employers must keep a copy of the training certificate in a driver's personnel or qualification file while drivers are employed and one year thereafter.

The certificate must contain the following information:

  • Driver's name;

  • Issue date;

  • Name and mailing address of training provider;

  • Statement that driver has completed training in four required areas;

  • Printed name and signature of the person attesting that the driver has received the required training.