Procedure for Using Commercial Driver Training Services - PRO-15-06

Training received at a driver training school must provide the individual with the occupational knowledge and skills necessary for employment upon completion of the program and prepare the individual to take appropriate exams/licensure tests.

1. Developing the Vocational Goal

Vocational Counselors must use the Commercial Driver Training Checklist/ Assessment Tool to determine appropriateness of a commercial driver employment goal. The Assessment tool should be maintained in the record of services.

Before beginning the training course, the individual must possess the minimum skills and ability to complete the course requirements.

Admission Standards

  1. General - ACCES-VR-sponsored trainees must meet the same standards for enrollment, admission, attendance, academic progress and completion as outlined by the school for all students.
  2. Entrance Requirements - Waivers will not be allowed to reduce the minimum entrance requirements for students sponsored by ACCES-VR.
  3. Instructional Requirements - ACCES-VR will generally allow sponsorship for up to150% of expected duration to complete a program.

Commercial Driver Training Curriculum

Commercial Driver Training provided by a New York State Department of Motor Vehicle approved trainer includes assessment regarding ability to benefit from training and appropriateness for employment, formal instruction on specific occupational knowledge and skill development necessary to take and pass related knowledge (written) and skills (driving) tests.

Minimum instruction should cover the New York State Commercial driver’s Manual and skills training (driving). Skills training must include hands on instruction on inspecting vehicles before driving, how to couple and uncouple tractors and trailers and include sufficient practice driving in different conditions and on different road surfaces, turning, parking, backing up and braking.

Longer-combination-vehicle (LCV) drivers must receive training in driver wellness, driver qualifications, hours of services and whistle blower protection. Training may also include academic coursework that provides knowledge for success in the vocational training and/or for employment.

School Standards Commercial Driver Training

Commercial Driver Training schools must meet the licensing requirements of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to provide such training. Schools located in other states must be approved by the motor vehicle departments in the states in which the services are provided. Exceptions can be made where accreditation is pending or conditional and the course of study is sufficiently unique to justify use. ACCES-VR prefers vendors who meet the minimum standards established by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI).

Commercial Driver Training programs must make the following information available and provide it upon request: a catalog and/or program description including number of hours of instruction and number of hours of hands on driver training, enrollment agreement describing specific costs and available financial aid, and job placement statistics. Include the following information:

  • the name(s) of the school and its governing body, officials and faculty;
  • a calendar showing legal holidays, beginning and ending dates of instruction such as each quarter, term, or semester, and other important dates;
  • the enrollment dates;
  • an attendance policy covering leaves, absences, class cuts, makeup work, tardiness and interruptions for unsatisfactory attendance;
  • a policy about standard of progress required of the student by the institution defining satisfactory progress, conditions for interruption of training for unsatisfactory progress, a description of the probationary period, if any, allowed by the institution, and conditions for reentrance for students dismissed for unsatisfactory progress. The institution will make progress records kept by the institution and furnished to the student available for review;
  • a policy about student conduct and conditions for dismissal for unsatisfactory conduct;
  • the schedule of fees, charges for tuition, books, supplies, tools, student activities, laboratory fees, service charges, rentals, deposits and all other charges;
  • a description of the available space, facilities and equipment;
  • a brief description of each course and the approximate time and clock hours;
  • financial assistance information if appropriate;
  • verification the program is approved by the Department of Motor Vehicle.

Services rendered may only be provided as set forth in the approved enrollment agreement that is current at the time of the training. The Length of training will be in accordance with the program as outlined in the approved enrollment agreement. All training must be provided in the most integrated setting.


As part of the admission process of a Commercial Driver Training program, the individual will sign the enrollment agreement with the school and will be responsible for all costs which exceed the reimbursement rates established for vocational training and related services. The enrollment agreement should clearly describe the name of the program, start date and program duration, i.e. number of hours; program schedule, itemized costs for tuition, fees, required books and supplies, fees, available financial aid and refund policy that describes in detail the amount of the refund that the school will make in the event a student fails to enter, withdraws, or is discontinued from instruction.

Program tuition will be paid in accordance with the established enrollment agreement, available comparable benefits and services and financial need of the individual.

2. Authorization for Training

ACCES-VR will only pay for training and related expenses necessary to fulfill requirements to complete driver training and consider the most cost-effective program when selecting a training program. Financial aid is applied to costs first.

ACCES-VR will provide the school with a VR-846 ACCES-VR Contribution Calculation Work Sheet along with the authorization/voucher. The VR-846 will provide the school with basic information on ACCES-VR’s intended contribution toward the individual’s school costs. The VR-846 must be completed by the school’s Business Office or Financial Aid Office to provide ACCES-VR with the individual’s direct school costs and available financial aid amounts.

ACCES-VR can pay the following expenses for attendance at Commercial Driver Training schools in good standing after all comparable benefits and any contribution required by the consumer as a result of an ACCES-VR Financial Need Review has been applied.

ACCES-VR uses a dedicated Case Service Code for Commercial Driver Training. Lines of service must be authorized separately.

Tuition 869X – Commercial Driver Training Tuition 
Fees 869F – Commercial Driver Training Fees and/or Licenses
Books 869B – Commercial Driver Training Books and Materials/Supplies
Tools and Equipment 869E- Commercial Driver Training Tools and Equipment 
  • Tuition paid in accordance with rates published by the program in their program catalog, printed brochure or website and may not exceed the tuition rate charged the general public;  Required and documented fees;
  • Required textbooks and materials/supplies- ACCES-VR will not provide expendable supplies such as paper, pencils and notebooks, unless they are uniquely related and required for participation in a specific course, or required because of the limitations resulting from a disability.
  • ACCES-VR may cover required tools, equipment and supplies in accordance with the schools published rates as long as the purchase of such tools, equipment and supplies is required of all students participating in the program. ACCES-VR will purchase equipment, tools and supplies from a vendor other than the school if found to be more cost effective.

In no instance should the school charge the NYS Education Department more than it charges any other entity, whether public or private, for like or similar services, fees, books, or any other items, including incidentals, provided for under the terms of this Agreement.

Refund Policy

The tuition refund policy for ACCES-VR participants who leave training must be the same policy used for all students who attend the school and is outlined in the approved enrollment agreement. The licensed private career school shall provide the ACCES-VR consumer or the ACCES-VR district office sponsoring the consumer with a copy of the refund policy, in writing and upon request.

3. Verification of Service

The outcome of Commercial Driver Training is expected to be the requisite knowledge and skills necessary for the individual to obtain a Class A, B, CDL C, Non-CDL C (farm vehicles) or E (taxi) license. Training may also qualify the individual for various endorsements, i.e. H (Hazardous Materials), P (Passenger), S (School Bus), W (Tow Truck).

During training, the school/vendor should submit proof of: permit, date of completion of 5 hour class, attendance records and proof of pass/fail road test.

At program completion, verification of the credential and/or license with endorsements should be provided and documented in the record of services.

4. Verify employment, reported by the school, with the participant.



410.00 Non-degree Training Procedures: Trade, Business and Other Schools Policy
410.00P Non-degree Training Procedures: Trade, Business and Other Schools Procedure
1125.00 Financial Need Review Policy
POL-14-04-New Funding Levels for Cost Effective Skills Training
Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI)


Commercial Driver Training Checklist/ Assessment Tool

Date Issued: July 20, 2015

Commercial Driver Training Checklist/Assessment Tool

____ Commercial Driver License Permit (obtained through the driving school)

____ Has or Had a License in another state?

___ Criminal History ]

VRC needs to obtain Disposition of convictions-felonies and misdemeanors need to be addressed.

Does PO Officer agree to goal/restrictions/specific jobs?

Felonies are usually reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but normally felons won’t find a job opportunity until at least 7 to 10 years have passed since their conviction. Some misdemeanors may also be grounds for disqualification based upon any given company’s policy, generally within 3 years. Most trucking companies are looking for honest and trustworthy individuals to haul hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment and freight, with the lives of the motoring public in their hands.

____ Alcohol Related Violations

Alcohol violations, such as DUIs and DWIs must be at least five years old to even be considered, ten years is standard. No more than one violation. Trucking companies are fully aware that a “Reckless Driving” on their record is often a plea against a DUI; do not assume a DUI is hidden under this label.

____ Drug and Alcohol Testing

Generally, all CDL drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles subject to the CDL requirements on public roads in the U.S. are performing safety-sensitive functions and are subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing. This includes all full-time, part-time, intermittent, backup and international drivers.

Pre-employment – An employer must receive a negative drug test result before permitting a CDL driver to operate a CMV.

Post-accident – Drug and alcohol tests may be required after crashes according to the following chart. Reference link

____ Driving Record Abstracts

Tickets and accidents in the last three years will be scrutinized. Patterns of speeding or other moving violations, within the last six years, will have a huge impact on placement in the trucking industry. Accidents, regardless of fault, will be considered; the consumer should obtain the accident report from the police station in the district where the accident occurred and make it available to trucking companies when they apply.

____ Points on License

Consumer is responsible for clearing any outstanding tickets/fines etc. prior to commencement of training.

____ Employment History

Employment history is another issue. An unstable work history or lack of a work history will effect placement. If consumer has been unemployed for a long time, for example, over six months, consumer should be able to verify what they have been doing during that time. Employers do not like individuals with long gaps in work history with no explanation.

____ Methadone Yes___ No____

Methadone is banned by USDOT. This is the only medication of its kind banned by the DOT even when prescribed by a doctor

____ Physical Health/DOT Physical

There are health issues that may disqualify consumer from passing a DOT physical. Seizures, high blood pressure, recent heart attacks/surgeries, diabetes treated with insulin shots, unconfirmed sleep apnea, glasses with outdated prescriptions and even certain medications. The consumer may speak to a physician regarding any issues they may have. Some of the disqualifications, such as outdated prescriptions, can be corrected. Others, such as seizures, are automatic lifetime disqualifications. Some individuals with disabilities may be able to obtain waivers from the Department of Transportation that will enable them to drive a semi-truck.

What are the vision requirements to get a DOT medical card?

Consumer must have a distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 with or without corrective lenses:

  • see at least 20/40 with both eyes together
  • see at least 20/40 with the right eye
  • see at least 20/40 with the left eye.

Monovision is a disqualification. Use of a contact lens in one eye for distant visual acuity and another lens in the other eye for near vision is not acceptable, nor are telescopic lenses acceptable for driving a commercial motor vehicle.

____ Age

Age is not a major factor in truck driving placement, however, consumers under twenty-three will have a more difficult time due to insurance regulations and those in their late sixties and over will also find placement more problematic, but not impossible. Consumer can get a Class B or C commercial license at 18 years old, but federal requirements dictate that they must be at least 21 years old to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines.

____ Number of Years Driving

When developing the IPE the VRC needs to also factor in the type of CDL class description and endorsement and how it is consistent with the individual employment factors of the consumer. Class A traditionally requires more on the road experience and having a class B as a precursor shortens training and placement.

____ Pre-hire letter

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

Useful facts for developing an IPE with a goal of Commercial Driver

Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Class Description and Endorsements

To be eligible for a CDL, consumer must have a clean driving record. Federal regulations require consumer to pass a physical exam every 3 years.

The Act established three separate classes of commercial driver's licenses. Every state issues licenses in these categories:

Class A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, as long as the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is over 10,000 lbs. Generally has previous CDL experience and may need to be willing to drive interstate and/or long haul.

Class B: Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or higher or any such vehicle towing another that weighs less than 10,000 lbs. GVWR. Generally passenger endorsement jobs such as box truck driver, school bus, access-a- ride.

Class C: Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, and is either designed to transport 16 passengers or more, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials.

CDL Endorsements

To be licensed for certain types of commercial vehicles, extra testing is required. If the consumer passes, they will receive an endorsement on their CDL.
T―Double/Triple Trailers (knowledge test only)
P―Passenger (knowledge and skills tests)
N―Tank Vehicle (knowledge test only
H―Hazardous Materials (knowledge test only)
S―School Buses (knowledge and skills tests)

Disqualifying Crimes

Conviction of any of the following crimes will disqualify the consumer from being eligible for a hazmat endorsement:

Assault with intent to murder
Kidnapping or hostage-taking
Rape or aggravated sexual abuse
Immigration violations
RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) violations
Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, or manufacture of an explosive device, firearm, or other weapon
Distribution of, intent to distribute, possession, or importation of a controlled substance
Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud
Crimes involving a severe transportation security incident
Improper transportation of a hazardous material
Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of these crimes

Applicants for a hazardous materials endorsement will submit fingerprints and undergo a background check. A consumer may be denied a hazmat endorsement if they are not a lawful permanent U.S. resident, have renounced their U.S. citizenship, are wanted or under indictment for certain felonies, have been convicted of certain felonies, have been committed to a mental institution or judged mentally defective, or are considered by the Transportation Security Administration to be a security threat.

All issues should be addressed and documented in the IPE Development Case Note.

Helpful Links:

Disqualifying Medications:

Date Issued: July 20, 2015