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Since 1986 PTDI has safeguarded trucking excellence by certifying those truck driver training organizations go the extra mile. 

North America's trucking schools have depended on us to keep them at their best.

Go beyond basic compliance and ensure your training organization rises above the competition.


PTDI Can Help Your School

PTDI standards raise the level of quality of your program. 

From behind the wheel hours, to instructor development, to facilities and student satisfaction. Your school will benefit from the standardized curriculum.  We can help get you there if you are not already. 

In the new landscape of the ELDT, PTDI Certification gives you the market edge.  Demonstrate to students, carriers and insurers that you exceed basic government compliance.



      • Improves the efficiency and effectiveness of your school operations.
      • Certification utilizes curriculum standards developed by the industry and recognized as the gold standard in driver education.
      • Ensures your program meets government requirements and serves as validation.
      • Increases your school's credibility within the industry.
      • Encourages better trainers, consistent and reliable training.
      • Increases the quality and quantity of future employment opportunities for your students.  

School Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my truck driver training course certified?

Take the readiness survey.  Review the standards and curriculum.  Complete the initial application.  Add your course information to your Certification profile.  Have PTDI visit your site to review your program. 

What is the Certification process like?

After you complete your initial application, you will need to create your Certification Profile.  The certification profile asks for details in 9 certification categories.  After you submit your profile, PTDI reviews and then a visit is conducted.  It is required to physically come visit your site for initial certification.  After visiting, the Commission makes the certification decision.  Annually you will need to update your Certification Profile, complete a self-assessment survey, and pay the renewal fee.  Every fifth year, a visit (you choose onsite or virtual) is required for recertification.  See the Entry Level Driver Certification page for more information.

Why do you offer certification and not accreditation?

Accreditation is typically used for institutions.  For instance, your College is accredited.  PTDI offers certification of a specific program or course to ensure the level of quality has been verified by an outside third party.  Find more on the certification page.

Why do I need certification if I must comply with the government's ELDT regulations?

The ELDT is a response to the truck driver training industry poorly regulating itself.  In fact, the ELDT is largely based on PTDI standards.  The ELDT requires all training programs meet the regulations in order to be listed on the FMCSA's Training Provider Registry.  This levels the playing field.  The minimum will be expected.  Distinguish your program from the competition by showing you don't just meet the minimums, you exceed them! 

How much does certification cost?

Initial certification costs depend on whether you are certifying one site or multiple site and one course or multiple courses.  For one program at one site, initial certification costs $4500.  This is an inclusive, flat fee which covers all the costs of initial certification.  Annual fees also vary based on the same factors.  See the price breakdown on the Entry Level Driver Certification page.

Am I eligible for certification?

In addition to meeting the PTDI standards, the program for which you are seeking certification must have graduated a minimum of fifteen (15) students within the twelve (12) months preceding the application (or for start -up schools, within the first 12 months of operation.)  This standard may be waived for extenuating circumstances. 

We encourage you to complete the pre-qualification survey on our home page to evaluate your program's certification readiness.

What types of schools get their courses PTDI certified?

Organizations that provide truck driver training.  These include: Publicly-funded institutions such as community colleges and technical schools; private institutions, and carrier schools.  Remember, however, that PTDI certifies courses NOT training organizations. 

I am planning to open a truck driving school. How can PTDI help me?

We suggest that you start by reviewing the standards. These give you a good basis for starting your school. The skill and curriculum standards detail what should be taught and the certification standards give minimums for administration, instructors, facilities, equipment, record keeping, etc. These standards are minimums as determined by the industry. You will need to find out what entity in your state licenses or approves schools and whether instructor licensing is required. You might want to see
whether a carrier would partner with you to provide support and/or equipment.

What is the Certification Profile?

The Certification Profile is a one stop shop that saves information about your truck driver training course.  The profile is how we learn about and get the documentation about your course.  PTDI reviews your profile, along with the site visit, to determine certification.  The profile is divided into 9 sections each corresponding with a category of the certification standards.  You must complete a Certification Profile initially and the update at least once annually to maintain certification.  While information is saved and you can return to update it at any time, you are only required to actually submit the changes one a year. Further information is on the Certification profile page.

What does a site visit entail?

Site visits can by either physical, in person or virtual.  Visits are required for initial certification and then every 5 years.  Initial certification requires a physical onsite visit.  The school can elect physical onsite or virtual visit for their 5 year recertification. 

Before the visit can take place, you must complete your certification profile and have it reviewed.  Then a pre-visit meeting is held between PTDI and the school.  Virtual visits require meeting specific technology requirements.  In both cases the reviewer will look at your facilities, equipment, vehicles, classrooms, and more.  Review the visit information on the Entry Level Driver Certification page for more details.

Where do I submit my annual report?

PTDI does not require an annual report.  In fact, we no longer accept the reports that were required in the past.  Instead, you can update your certification profile any time when you have changes to your course.  You are only required to submit your profile once during your renewal period. Check the Certification Profile page for more information.

Do the standards require 104 hours of classroom time?

The standards require a minimum 104 hours of a combination of classroom and lab time. Lab time includes such activities as pre-trip inspections, instructor demonstrations and simulator training. Also, up to one third of classroom time may be properly documented independent study (which is not the same as homework).  The 104 hours must be divided among specific PTDI defined units.  Check the curriculum standards to see the training units, hours of training required for each unit and more about the total hour requirement.

What are the Behind the Wheel hour requirements?

Behind the Wheel time means the student has direct control of the vehicle.  Assuming 60 minute hours, PTDI requires 44 hours of BTW instruction.  Of the 44 hours, 12 must be on the highway.  The remaining 32 hours can be any combination of range and highway BTW time.  A minimum of 1 hour must be at night.  Six hours must be on the highway with a loaded trailer of 15,000 pounds.

Where can I find training materials?

PTDI has helped develop training materials and partners with Cengage to produce and distribute the publications.  You can find them  on the training materials page.

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