Employer Testing Program Application

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The Employer Testing Program (ETP) allows commercial employers to administer the drive test to employees pursuing their commercial driver’s licenses instead of requiring them to go to DMV.

New Information

Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) Training Providers:

On February 7, 2022, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) implemented federal ELDT requirements for commercial driver’s license (CDL) applicants.

Successful completion of ELDT is required on or after February 7, 2022, for applicants who are:

  • Obtaining an original CDL (Class A or B);
  • Upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
  • Obtaining a School Bus (S), Passenger (P), or Hazardous Materials (H) endorsement.

In addition to the federal requirements, California residents applying for an original CDL (Class A or B) must complete a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training and submit a California Commercial Driver Behind The Wheel Training Certification (DL 1236) to DMV as proof of completion prior to the issuance of their CDL.

ELDT must be conducted by a registered training provider listed on the federal Training Provider Registry (TPR).  Training providers must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) via the TPR to be included on the public list of training providers when it goes live later this year. Training providers must also register to electronically submit a driver’s certification of successful completion of training, as required by the ELDT regulations.

For more information regarding ELDT, please visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

For more information about the TPR, visit https://tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Frequently asked questions regarding ELDT for applicants and training providers:

Entry Level Driver Training is baseline classroom and/or behind-the-wheel training requirements for individuals who on or after February 7, 2022 are:

  • Obtaining a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;
  • Upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
  • Obtaining a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

Federal law, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §383.73, requires DMV to electronically verify CDL applicants have successfully completed ELDT before administering a skills test, or before administering a hazardous materials knowledge test.

Yes. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code §15250.1(b), California Class A or B CDL applicants are required to complete 15-hour behind-the-wheel training.

Submit a completed California Commercial Driver Behind The Wheel Training Certification (DL 1236) to a field office prior to the issuance of the CDL. Section 2 of the DL 1236 must be completed by a certified training provider.

Yes.

No. CDL applicants are not required to complete ELDT if they have a valid CLP that was issued before February 7, 2022, as long as the applicant obtains their CDL before their CLP expires. However, ELDT is required it these applicants upgrade to a higher class (i.e. Class B to Class A) or add a passenger, school bus, or hazardous materials endorsement after February 7, 2022.

For training provider information, visit the FMCSA website at: https://tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov.

No, as long as they can provide proof they previously held a CDL of same class.

At this time there is no exception or grace period.

A combination of Theory and Behind-the-Wheel (BTW) Training.

Theory:

  • Lectures, demonstrations (computer based, online learning, etc)
  • May use a simulator
  • No minimum number of hours; must score at least 80% on assessment
  • Training topics include:
    • Basic Operation
    • Safe Operating Procedures
    • Advanced Operation Procedures
    • Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions
    • Non-Driving Activities (e.g., Hours of Service)

BTW:

  • Minimum of 15 hours (10 of those hours must be on a public road)
  • Actual operation of a CMV
  • Takes place on a range or public road
  • May not use a simulator to meet requirements
  • Basic vehicle control skills and mastery of basic maneuver

Yes. However, applicants must complete ELDT prior to the scheduled appointment date.

Applicants will submit their DL 1236 form through DMV’s Virtual Field Office (VFO) portal. Detailed instructions regarding the VFO submission process and a link to the electronic DL 1236 will be given to applicants at the time they receive their CLP.

Yes. The applicant must submit a CDL Test Waiver for Military Members (DL 965) form to DMV. A DL 1236 is not required.

Yes. It is recommended the training provider accumulate the training hours by week and list the last training day of the week in the date column. Only one DL 1236 can be provided to DMV per applicant.

Yes. They need a CLP to conduct Behind The Wheel (BTW) training.

ETP Requirements

Commercial employers, employer administrators, authorized representatives, and examiners must meet DMV requirements to participate in the ETP. 

Learn more about the requirements

How to Apply for the ETP

To apply for the program, submit the following:

We will use the information in the application package to determine if your organization qualifies to issue the Certificate of Driving Skill, (DL 170 ETP).

Once you have completed all mandatory forms and collected all required documents, call your local OL Inspections office to set an appointment to submit your paperwork and fees.

After DMV processes your application, you’ll receive an email instructing you to schedule an inspection of your business location. Once you receive that email, you’ll need to create a DMV online account and select a time slot for an inspection. The email you receive will provide the information you need to get started.

Need help? These step-by-step guides can help you use DMV's online inspection scheduling service:

Create your DMV Account
Guide
YouTube Video
Schedule an Inspection
Guide
YouTube Video
View your Inspection Report and Upload a Photo
Guide
YouTube Video

Please note that this inspection tool supports these browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari (iOS/OS X).

Fees

  • $45 non-refundable application fee

Additional Requirements

The principal name and doing business as (DBA) must be an exact match on the Employer Testing Program Application for Employer Number (DL 520 ETP) and the Employer Testing Program Surety Bond (DL 524 ETP). Changes or corrections to a form will void the form unless initialed by the person who made them. There are two exceptions:

  1. The Certificate of Driving Skill (DL 170 ETP) must be submitted without error.
  2. The Surety Bond (DL 524 ETP) must either be completed error-free or a surety bond rider must accompany the bond. The Surety Bond rider may be used to correct the principal name and DBA, employer testing firm service address, and/or the effective date.

Prior to receiving authorization to participate in the ETP, an onsite review may be required to demonstrate that the employer’s drive test uses standards comparable to those used by DMV examiners to license commercial drivers.

How to Renew an ETP Employer Number and Examiner Certification

Renew an Employer Number

You need to renew your ETP employer number every 3 years in order to continue conducting commercial drive tests.  It is strongly recommended that you submit the forms at least 45 days prior to the expiration of your employer number.

To renew your employer number, submit the following:

Renew an Examiner Certification

In order to continue to be authorized as an ETP examiner, you must provide evidence of ongoing  skills testing every year. To verify, submit an Examiner Driver Testing Log (DL 819 ETP) annually to verify 10 vehicle inspections, 10 controlled skills tests, and 10 road tests were given to 10 different applicants in the previous calendar year.

If you’re unable to complete this requirement, you must successfully pass an examiner course provided by DMV. There is a non-refundable Examiner class training fee of $150. To request training, complete and mail the Refresher Training Request (DL 818 ETP).

Additionally, the examiner certification needs to be renewed every 4 years. It is strongly recommended that you submit the forms at least 45 days prior to the expiration of your examiner authorization.

To renew your ETP Examiner authorization, submit an Employer Testing Program Examiner Certification Application (DL 811 ETP).

How to Modify an ETP Participant, Administrator, or Examiner Certification

The following changes must be reported to DMV within 10 days of occurrence for modification of ETP authorization:

  • A change of address
  • A change of authorized representative
  • A change in class of license for which driver testing authority is requested
  • Change of ETP Administrator (also requires an Employer Testing Program Agreement (DL 520B ETP))
  • A change of employer name. This request must be accompanied by:

These requests may be made in writing on company letterhead stationary or by submitting a completed and signed Employer Testing Program Application for Employer Number (DL 520 ETP).

When submitting a modification request on the company letter head, the request must include the:

  • ETP employer number
  • Type of change: address, authorized representative, or class of license
  • Specifics of the change
  • Effective date
  • Administrator signature
  • Signature date

Frequently Asked Questions

Any changes to a route must be submitted for approval to DMV’s local inspector’s office using the Employer Testing Program Commercial DPE Maneuver Checklist DL 807 ETP, the Employer Testing Program Commercial Driving Performance Evaluation Route and Directions form DL 814 ETP, along with a route map for each driving test route (primary and alternate).

No, all listed road test elements must be present on the Employer Testing Program Commercial DPE Maneuver Checklist DL 807 ETP and the Commercial Driving Performance Evaluation Route and Directions form DL 814 ETP.

No, DMV requires the employer to have an approved primary and alternate drive test route before they can be used.

Yes, as long as you do not score two maneuvers at the same place and time.

The duration of the drive test route is not limited, but must include the entire required ETP driving test route elements.

No, they can be conducted on different days. However, the ETP CDL Driving Performance Evaluation Score Sheet (DL 65 EPT Part II) date field should indicate the day the road test was completed.

No, a driver must pass the vehicle inspection and basic controlled skills test before doing the road test.

Yes, but the tests must be conducted in a representative vehicle of the same class (A or B) the driver plans to operate. The vehicle must have the same type of braking system, weight rating, transmission system, controls, steering control, and axles.

The route approval number is a number used to track all drive test routes used by ETP participants. It verifies that the routes established include 24 scored route elements for each route.

The employer must submit the commercial driving performance evaluation route and directions DL 814 ETP and the Employer Testing Program Commercial DPE Maneuver Checklist DL 807 ETP identifying all of the route elements necessary to be able to develop two separate routes that can be verified on a map and/or during an on-site inspection.

You can give notification by writing to the DMV’s local inspector’s office within 10 days of the change of address on company letterhead or by submitting a completed and signed Application, DL 520 ETP with the new address.

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