California Approves a 15-hour Minimum Driver Training Requirement for CDLs

California legislators have passed a bill requiring that entry-level truck drivers spend at least 15 hours in training behind the wheel to be eligible for a commercial driver license.

The California driver-training requirement is more stringent than one adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in December 2016.

“This measure will ensure that drivers of big rigs and other large vehicles have the necessary experience to drive safely on our streets and roads by establishing a minimum number of behind-the-wheel training hours,” Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning said in a statement last month. “These stronger training standards will save lives.”

FMCSA’s rule only requires that the training provider not issue a certificate to a driver until the driver has demonstrated proficiency in performing all driving skills. It carries a compliance date of Feb. 7, 2020, and does not require a minimum number of hours of classroom instruction.