Special Edition V.31 (April 2020)
Governor Mills Announces Gradual Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy
April 28, 2020

Below is an outline of the Governor’s plan released today to restart Maine’s economy.  Please consider reading the entire press release here because it goes into further detail about progression through the stages, defining parameters and metrics, how to establish appropriate safety precautions and the required collaboration with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to be able to reopen.

  • Essential vs non-essential businesses is replaced with the ability of a business to operate or an activity to occur in a manner that protects public health and safety. In order to consider reopening, businesses must work with the DECD to implement practical, reasonable, evidence-informed safety protocols and modifications that protect the health and safety of employees and customers.

  • The Governor proposes four stages to restart the Maine economy, with the understanding that metrics must be met to move on to the next stage and/or reinstating the current stay-at-home order:

  • Stage 1 (May): Beginning May 1st
  • Continues the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people;
  • Continues the quarantine of all people entering or returning to Maine for a period of 14 days; 
  • Continues the special precautions for older Mainers and others at risk of COVID-19
  • Asks for people who are able to work from home to continue to do so, including State employees;
  • (New) Requires that Maine people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain;
  • Continues strict requirements for long-term care facilities;
  • Allows for the limited expansion of certain business, religious, and quality of life activities, with appropriate safety precautions. These include:
  • Health care from Maine-licensed providers, with recommendations that they prioritize care for patients with time-sensitive conditions; assure the safety of patients, staff, and communities; manage the use of essential resources such as personal protective equipment and testing supplies; and pace re-opening services to the level of community COVID-19 activity, maintaining capacity in our hospitals for potential outbreaks 
  • Personal services: Barber shops, hair salons, and pet grooming
  • Limited drive-in, stay-in-your-vehicle religious services 
  • Drive-in movie theaters 
  • Outdoor recreation: guided outdoor activities (hunting & fishing) and restricted use of golf and disc golf courses 
  • State parks, state-owned public land trails, and historic sites; although certain coastal state parks will remain closed 
  • Auto dealerships and car washes 

  • Stage 2 (June): Tentatively beginning June 1st
  • Contemplates revising the limitation on gatherings from less than 10 people to less than 50 people;
  • Calls for people who can work from home to continue to do so but allows for employees in certain fields to begin to reenter the office as needed, including State employees;
  • Maintains the 14 day quarantine for all people entering or returning to Maine and the special precautions for older Mainers and others at risk of COVID-19. 
  • With appropriate safety precautions, Stage 2 would allow for some degree of opening with reservations, capacity limits, and other measures for: 
  • Restaurants
  • Fitness and exercise centers and nail technicians 
  • Retail stores for broader in-store shopping 
  • Lodging and campgrounds for Maine residents and those who have met the 14 day quarantine requirement 
  • Day camps for Maine children and those who have met the 14 day quarantine requirement 
  • Coastal State parks

  • Stage 3 (July & August): Tentatively beginning July 1st
  • Contemplates maintaining the prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people and other Stage 1 and Stage 2 restrictions, including the 14-day quarantine on people entering Maine. 
  • With appropriate safety precautions, Stage 3 would allow for some degree of opening for: 
  • Lodging, such as hotels, campgrounds, summer camps, or RV parks for Maine residents and visitors. The Administration is developing guidelines to assist them in safely reopening, and reservations should not be taken until those guidelines are issued.  
  • Outdoor recreation such as charter boats and boat excursions  
  • Bars
  • Personal services such as spas, tattoo and piercing parlors, and massage facilities, among others 

  • Stage 4 (Timeline Undetermined): Stage 4 contemplates lifting restrictions and allowing all businesses and activities to resume with appropriate safety precautions.
Congress Asked to Suspend 12% FET Temporarily

The American Trucking Associations is among the large group of organizations seeking a temporary suspension of the 12% Federal Excise Tax (FET) on the purchase of new tractors and trailers in response to the significant decline in sales/manufacturing due to the pandemic. The request is to suspend the FET until the end of 2021.

The letter to Senate and House leaders lays out the rationale for the temporary suspension – saving jobs, jumpstarting the economy and encouraging sales of cleaner and safer heavy-duty trucks/trailers by making them more affordable. However, despite this request, concern remains for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and the implications this suspension would have on adequate and appropriate funding for our roads and bridges.

The Maine Motor Transport Association has signed on as a supporter of this letter to congressional leaders because disincentivizing new vehicle purchases will diminish HTF revenues regardless, and it would only be a temporary measure.

FMCSA Proposes to Plug ‘Information Gap’ in Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Rule
Transport Topics

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a proposed rule that would plug an existing “information gap” to ensure that state driver licensing agencies are prohibited from issuing, renewing, upgrading or transferring a commercial driver license or learner permit to truck drivers with drug and alcohol violations.

“The commercial motor vehicle driving ban is intended to keep these drivers off the road until they comply with return-to-duty requirements,” FMCSA announced April 27.

Carriers, state driver licensing agencies and law enforcement officials use the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse — a database of violations — to check a driver’s violations.

FMCSA PIN Consolidation Starts Today

What’s Happening?  

Consolidation of USDOT PIN and MC/MX Docket PIN 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Office of Registration will soon consolidate the USDOT, MC and MX Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) into one USDOT PIN. This system deployment effort will eliminate the need for multiple, MC and MX PINs.

Who’s Impacted? 

All carriers and other FMCSA regulated entities. After deployment, customers will only need a USDOT PIN to access FMCSA systems. If an alternate PIN (e.g., MC) is used, the system will notify that the information does not match the record on file and they will be prompted with a link to reset or request a USDOT PIN.

When is the change taking place? 

Expect to see the change in FMCSA systems beginning April 27, 2020. 

When deployed, you will only be able to use its USDOT PIN to access FMCSA systems, submit changes and request updates to its US DOT and operating authority records. Updates can be done online via the FMCSA online registration system or by selecting the “FMCSA Registration and Updates” link under FMCSA Services from the SAFER website.
Click here if you do not have your USDOT PIN or need to reset it.

How do I get more information? 

Call our FMCSA Customer Contact Center at: 1-800-832-5660 (business hours 8am to 8pm, Eastern, Mon-Fri) – or – here online; and

Click here for general information.
We will keep MMTA members posted as new information comes in. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to email Tim, Randy or Brian if you have questions.