Special Edition V.9 (March 2020)
CORONAVIRUS NEWS
FMCSA Issues Waiver For States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles
March 24, 2020

Below is reprinted, in part, from the FMCSA Waiver.  Click HERE for a link to the entire document.

SUMMARY: FMCSA grants, until June 30, 2020, a waiver from certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders and to other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The Agency has initiated this action in response to the President’s declaration of a national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b) related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Several States are experiencing greater than normal employee absences or have closed offices of their State Driver Licensing Agencies in response to the guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control to use social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many CDL and CLP holders are unable to renew their CDLs and CLPs and are unable to provide medical certificates to their State Driver Licensing Agencies. In addition, many medical providers nationwide have canceled regularly scheduled appointments to dedicate resources to the COVID-19 response. As a result, drivers are unable to obtain appointments for physical examinations with medical examiners to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). 

Given the national emergency, there is a public need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment, and persons, which requires an adequate and sustained supply of CDL holders, CLP holders, and drivers operating CMVs (non-CDL drivers). This waiver provides needed relief from specified FMCSRs for CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers. 

To respond to this unique event and to continue the ability of intrastate and interstate CDL and
CLP holders and interstate non-CDL drivers to transport goods in response to the COVID-19
emergency, this waiver:
  • Extends until June 30, 2020 the maximum period of CDL validity by waiving 49 CFR 383.73(b)(9) and 383.73(d)(6) for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020.
  • Extends until June 30, 2020 the maximum period of CLP validity by waiving 49 CFR 383.73(a)(2)(iii) and 383.25(c) for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests.
  • Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 383.25(e) that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test.
  • Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 391.45 that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020. e.
  • Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 383.71(h)(3) that, in order to maintain the medical certification status of “certified,” CDL or CLP holders provide the State Driver Licensing Agency with an original or copy of a subsequently issued medical examiner’s certificate, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  • Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 383.73(o)(2) that the State Driver Licensing
  • Agency change the CDL or CLP holder’s medical certification status to “not certified” upon the expiration of the medical examiner’s certificate or medical variance, provided that the CDL or CLP holders have proof of a valid medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  • Waives the requirements under 49 CFR 383.73(o)(4) that the State Driver Licensing Agency initiate a CDL or CLP downgrade upon the expiration of the medical examiner’s certificate or medical variance, provided that the CDL or CLP holders have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  • In accordance with 49 CFR 383.23(a)(1) and 391.41(a)(1)(i), FMCSA continues to recognize the validity of commercial driver’s licenses issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories and Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States, in accordance with 49 CFR part 383, when such jurisdictions issue a similar notice or declaration extending the validity date of the medical examination and certification and/or validity of the corresponding commercial driver’s license due to interruption to government service resulting from COVID-19.

States, CDL holders, CLP holders, and interstate non-CDL CMV drivers are covered under this waiver without further action.

FMCSA will not issue a finding of noncompliance under 49 CFR part 384 against States for action or inaction consistent with this waiver.

FMCSA’s legal authorities extend to waiver of the maximum period under the FMCSRs for State issuance of CDLs (8-years). While many States have adopted the maximum 8-year renewal period, other States have adopted shorter periods, and waiving the 8-year limit would provide no relief to drivers with CDLs issued by those States. In the interest of effectively providing automatic CDL renewal relief for as many drivers with recently expired CDLs as possible, FMCSA is therefore issuing a separate Notice of Enforcement Policy stating that, through June 30, 2020, the Agency will not take enforcement against drivers for operation of a CMV if the driver held a valid CDL on February 29, 2020, or against motor carriers for use of such a driver. Most States have adopted the full 1-year maximum period of CLP validity, but FMCSA is similarly including its Enforcement Policy a comparable provision on non-enforcement of recently expired CLPs.

Terms, Conditions, and Restrictions of the Waiver
This waiver covers States, CDL holders, CLP holders and interstate non-CDL CMV drivers for the period beginning at 12:01 a.m. (ET) on March 20, 2020, continuing through 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2020.

  1. This waiver does not apply to a CDL or CLP holder if the driver’s license expired before March 1, 2020.
  2. This waiver does not apply to a CDL or CLP holder if the driver’s privileges have been suspended or withdrawn for traffic offenses.
  3. Drivers claiming relief under this waiver from the requirement for a valid medical certificate must have proof of a valid medical certificate that expired on or after March 1, 2020, and carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificates.
  4. Drivers who cannot produce evidence of a prior medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020, are not covered under this waiver, including new drivers who have never obtained a medical certification.
  5. Drivers who, since their last medical certificate was issued, have been diagnosed with a medical condition that would disqualify the driver from operating in interstate commerce, or who, since their last medical certificate was issued, have developed a condition that requires an exemption or Skill Performance Evaluation from FMCSA are not covered under this waiver.
  6. This waiver does not apply to medical examiner’s certificates originally issued for less than 90 days.
  7. Notification to FMCSA of Accidents. Each motor carrier must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of an accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any CDL holder, CLP holder, or non-CDL driver operating under the terms of this waiver. See 49 CFR 390.15(b) (requiring maintenance of accident registry.) Notification shall be by email to MCPSD@DOT.GOV. The notification must include the following information:
  • i. Date of the accident;
  • ii. City or town, and State in which the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene;
  • iii. Driver's name and license number;
  • iv. Vehicle number and State license number;
  • v. Number of individuals suffering physical injury;
  • vi. Number of fatalities;
  • vii. The police-reported cause of the accident (if available at time of the report); and
  • viii. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, or motor carrier safety regulations.
  1. FMCSA reserves the right to revoke this waiver for drivers’ involvement in accidents, motor carriers’ failure to report accidents, and drivers’ failure to comply with the restrictions of this waiver. 
Please do not hesitate to email Tim or Randy if you have questions.
PHMSA Posts Notice of Enforcement Policy Regarding Training Requirements
March 23, 2020

In recognition that hazardous materials carriers may be experiencing difficulty in either obtaining or providing recurrent training as required by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR, 49 CFR Parts 171-180) due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, PHSA has posted a notice of guidance in this regard. It reads, in part:

“PHMSA gives notice that it will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who is unable to provide recurrent training consistent with HMR training requirements. This enforcement discretion is in response to unprecedented changes in business practices related to the COVID-19 outbreak and is intended to minimize disruptions in the supply-chain. This enforcement discretion will be exercised by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, PHMSA, and the United States Coast Guard.”

The notice is limited to the recurrent training requirements found in 49 CFR 172.704(c)(2). Carriers must comply with all other obligations under the HMR and other applicable laws. The notice will remain in effect for 90 days from the March 23, 2020 date of issuance.

More States Issue Closure Orders
March 24, 2020 - Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Louisiana, Indiana, New Mexico, Washington and Wisconsin now included

As previously reported in this MaineLine E-Newsletter, states (and now cities and towns) are quickly adopting closure orders for non-essential businesses. While it is getting impractical to keep up with a full list and their dates of expiration, we found FMCSA has put together a good list of Emergency Declarations, waivers, exemptions and permit guidance – all by state and all with links too the resources. Here is how they describe it:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is coordinating with the following states that have Declared Emergency Declarations. We recommend you check each State's Web site and search for "Issued Emergency Declarations" if you are interested in more details. For those carriers or drivers interested in providing services or who need to understand FMCSA regulations, the following applies.

As of now, we do not know of one business closure order that does not include trucking as an ESSENTIAL business. If we run across any, we will report that separately.

Crestline Hotels Offering Driver Discounts 
March 24, 2020

Crestline Hotels, which manages countless hotels nationwide under the Marriott banner, kindly reached out to the American Trucking Associations to offer discounted rates and parking for truckers. “We look forward to helping out and to welcoming any of the hard working men and women who are out there driving so that the rest of us can have the much needed supplies that are needed in this crazy time.” 
 
To that end, attached is a list of hotels across the country with addresses, discounted rates, amenities at each hotel, and a point of contact at each location. This is not their full list of hotels of course, just those that can accommodate truck parking. 

Locations Listed:
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, DC.
CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES
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.
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