Entry Level Truck Driver Training Certification

Entry Level Driver Truck Driver Training Certification is awarded to courses at truck driver training organizations.  To earn certification for their course, schools must demonstrate how they meet PTDI's high quality training standards.

Get started by completing the Certification Application

Not only is PTDI widely recognized as the gold standard, it was used by the FMCSA as a primary basis for the new ELDT requirements. 

That means, if your program is PTDI certified, will meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's ELDT regulations.  The FMCSA requires all truck driver training program to be listed on the Training Provider Registry.  Being PTDI certified means you will be on the approved list.

Download the PTDI Certification slide deck

Read below for details about the standards, process, fees, deadlines, the certification profile visits, and additional resources.

Thank you to ATA for supporting certification with critical scholarship funding.

What is PTDI Certification? What are the Standards?

PTDI Certification verifies a truck driver training program meets or exceeds the PTDI standards.  This means a training organization must provide evidence that demonstrates how its course meets the requirements in the skill, curriculum and certification standards.  You can earn certification by successfully completing this review process.  Once the Certification Commission can fully verify your program, certification is awarded.

Learn more about the PTDI Entry Level Driver Training Standards here.

==> Purchase the Entry Level Driver CDL-A Training Package in the PTDI store

It is highly recommended you review the PTDI standards thoroughly.  Courses are evaluated based on the standards.    

How to Get Certified

There are five main steps in the certification process.

   Complete the certification readiness survey to assess your current program

   Complete the Certification Application

   Create your Certification Profile to tell us about your course

   Welcome a site visit to see your course in action

   If applicable, remedy any gaps identified during the process

The Certification Process

The certification process consists of five stages.  The application (initial only), certification profile, visit, review and recertification.

1. APPLICATION - online app is required for initial certifications only. 

2. CERT PROFILE - complete each of the 9 profile sections, providing the details about your course.

3. VISIT - PTDI visits your course (Initial cert requires a physical onsite visit;  Recerts can be physical or virtual visit)

4. REVIEW - The profile and visit are reviewed by the PTDI Certification Commission.

5. RENEWAL - Renew your certification each year by updating your profile and submitting the annual fee.  Every 5 years a visit is required for recertification.


Certification Profile

Earn and maintain certification using the Cert Profile.  A properly completed Profile gives you the peace of mind you meet PTDI standrads and FMCSA regulations.

The Profile walks you through each question and item that needs to be documented for PTDI certification.  This streamlined process makes it easier to demonstrate how your program meets the standards and speeds up the process for the Certification Commission to review and award certification. 

Click here to learn more on the Entry Level Driver Training Certification Profile page.

Certification Fees


  • There is an initial certification fee due with your application.
  • Discounts are offered for multiple sites and multiple courses.  Certification fees are non-refundable.
  • Once you apply you can complete the Certification Profile at your own pace.
  • Contact PTDI for information about available scholarships.


  • An annual fee is required to maintain certification.  Pay your renewal through the PTDI store.
  • Annual fees include a virtual visit during 5 year recertification.  There is an additional for for a physical on site visit.




Certification Deadlines


You can apply for certification at any time.  There is no guarantee when certification will be determined.  Time frames vary depending on a number of factors including:

  • how quickly and thoroughly the Certification profile is completed
  • When the site visit can be scheduled (Note: The visit is scheduled AFTER the certification profile is complete and has been reviewed by PTDI)
  • Gaps found during the review of your Profile and the site visit may require additional time for the training organization to resolve.  

PTDI coordinates deadlines based on your certification group (cert group).  This is the anniversary of your original certification (unless a custom change has been assigned).

A reminder to update your profile and pay the annual fee is sent each year based on the cert group schedule.


Site Visit

A site visit is required before certification of your course can be determined.  The purpose of a visit is to:

  1. training organization demonstrates how the course meets PTDI standards
  2. verify the course, equipment, range and other operations firsthand

It is highly encouraged to review the slide deck. It includes details about site visits, what you will present and a preparation checklist.

The Certification Profile must be approved by PTDI before the visit can be held.  After the Profile is approved, a pre-visit call is scheduled to determine the visit date.


  • Initial certifications require an onsite visit. 

RECERTIFICATION - Choose between a physical onsite or virtual visit for five year recertifications. 

  • Onsite visits strongly encouraged when a course needs additional support to meet standards and/or is not comfortable with the visit technology.
  • A virtual visit can be selected if the course is certification ready programs and the organization comfortable with the technology required to conduct the visit.
Whether a physical onsite visit or virtual visit, the school must secure an independent, qualified mechanic to conduct the FMCSR Level 2 inspection of vehicles.  Instructions will be provided by the PTDI site visit team.

Get PTDI's complete Entry Level Driver Training Package

The complete Entry Level Driver Training Program package contains the standards, certification resources, curriculum and ELDT Guidebook.  Purchase them individually or as a package.

==> Purchase the complete Entry Level Driver CDL-A Training Package in the PTDI store.

Schools with certified courses have access to PTDI standards and resources through their PTDI account.  Certified courses can access the secured content here.

Additional Information

The best resource regarding certification are the standards themselves.  PTDI highly recommends you review the standards.  Additionally you can:

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