Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Entry level training for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules require training for entry level-drivers. The requirements apply to drivers having less than one year of experience in operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce who are required to hold a CDL for the type of vehicle they operate or plan to operate.

Compliance time-line

An entry-level driver who will begin operating a CMV in interstate commerce must receive the FMCSA required training before beginning to drive a CMV.

Training areas

The training must include instruction in the following four areas:

1. Driver qualification

Training in this area must cover the federal rules on medical certification and examination procedures; general qualifications; responsibilities; and disqualifications based on various offenses, orders, and loss of driving privileges (49 CFR Part 391, Subparts B and E).

2. Hours of service

Instruction on this topic must include the limitations on driving hours, the requirement to be off duty for a certain period of time, a record of duty status preparation, and exceptions (49 CFR Part 395). Fatigue countermeasures as a means to avoid crashes must also be included in the hours of service training.

3. Driver wellness

Training in this area must include information on basic health maintenance, including diet and exercise, as well as the importance of avoiding excessive use of alcohol.

4. Whistleblower protection

The right of an employee to question the safety practices of an employer without risk of losing his/her job or being subject to reprisals for stating a safety concern must be included in the training (29 CFR Part 1978).

Proof of training

An employer who uses an entry-level driver must ensure the driver has received the required training and has received a training certificate or diploma verifying that he/she received the training. A copy of the certificate or diploma must be placed in the driver’s personnel or qualification file. The certificate or diploma must include:

  • Date of certification issuance
  • Name of training provider
  • Mailing address of training provider
  • Name of driver
  • A statement that the driver has completed training in:
    • Qualification requirements
    • Hours of service
    • Driver wellness
    • Whistle blower protection requirements
    • Certification that the driver has completed the training requirements as set forth in the FMCSR for entry-level driver training in accordance with 49 CFR 380.503
    • The printed name of the person attesting the driver received the training
    • The signature of the person attesting the driver received the training

Employer’s record retention and availability

The employer must maintain records, as required under 49 CFR 390.31, and make them available for inspection at their principal place of business within two days of a request from an authorized FMCSA representative.

The employer must keep an employee’s records for the duration of the employee’s employment and for one year following employment.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 266-2353

For more information:

Last modified: August 31, 2011

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