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.


Entry Level Driver Training Standards

PTDI has developed state of the art truck driver training standards by bringing together schools, carriers, insurance providers, safety groups and other truck industry stakeholders. Ours is the first industry and government-recognized curriculum and certification standards.

The certification standards are performance based, incorporate industry driven benchmarks, and the US Department of Transportation guidelines.  

Download the PTDI Entry Level Driver Training Standards.

  1. Skills Standards
  2. Curriculum Standards
  3. Certification Standards
These three sets of standards work in conjunction to create a framework for quality training programs and PTDI Certification.

Certification Standard Areas


 Standard Area 


 Training Organization


 Public Information


 Course Curriculum






 Facilities and Equipment















Highlights of the Standards

    • Truth in Advertising (Ethics)
    • Professional training operations
    • Required course curriculum units and skills
    • Defined and specific student performance objectives
    • Qualified instructors with ongoing professional development
    • Vehicles are safe and in good condition
    • Effective student, instructor, and vehicle ratios
    • Quality classroom and range conditions
    • 148 hours of combined instruction
      • Of the 148 hours: 104 are classroom/lab and 44 hours of behind the wheel (BTW)
      • Of the 44 BTW hours a minimum of: 12 hours highway, 1 hour at night, 6 hours with a loaded trailer
    • Classroom, range and road tests
    • Student record keeping

How to Get Certified

It is highly recommended you review the standards thoroughly.  Courses are evaluated based on the standards.  The process requires a training organization to provide evidence that demonstrates the course meets the requirements in the skill, curriculum and certification standards.

Steps To Certifying Your Course

   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 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.


  • An annual fee is required to maintain certification.
  • 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.

Certification Profile

Earn and maintain certification using the Cert Profile.  Watch the video.

The PTDI Certification Profile your one stop shop for certification.  It streamlines the certification process making the requirements easier to understand and offers a simple system for demonstrating course operations.  This online, web-based platform is a permanent, ongoing record of your course.

  • The Certification process has been updated and reporting replaced with the new Cert Profile
  • More efficient pathway for getting and keeping certification
  • Prepares you for the FMCSA’s upcoming Training Provider Registry
  • Simplifies documentation of course operations
  • Intuitive profile format builds reports for you
  • Access and save course information in one consolidated place
  • Update at any time
  • Official PTDI templates support proper record keeping at the school
  • Fewer document uploads (keep records at your school)
  • Virtual site visits reduce time and cost

Access and save course information in one consolidated place. Update at any time.  You are required to update and submit your profile changes at least once a year during your renewal period.

Head to the Certification Profile page to get additional details.

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.

Additional Resources

The best resource regarding certification are the standards themselves.  Additionally you can:

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