A new method for electrical motor drive self-commissioning, with elastic couplings and backlash, is presented. The heuristic algorithm particle swarm optimization (PSO) has been used for the identification and optimization of parameters. Initially, a model-based identification procedure is performed to evaluate the parameters of the system. Then, the parameters of a proportional-integral-derivative (PID)-based controller are optimized by using a time-domain performance criterion. Experimental results, obtained by testing three different laboratory permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) drive prototypes, are also presented to confirm the validity of the proposed approach.