The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the Emergency Declaration providing driver hours of service relief for transportation providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 public health emergency through February 28, 2022.
Under the Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 public health emergency are granted emergency relief from 49 CFR § 395.3, maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles, for the following categories of shipments:
1) livestock and livestock feed;
(2) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
(3) vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19;
(4) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants;
(5) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;
(6) gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol; and
(7) supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency).
Direct assistance does not include non-emergency transportation of qualifying commodities or routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration. To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies.
FMCSA Extends State Authority to Recognize Expired CDLs, CLPs
Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the authority of States to extend the validity of commercial driver’s licenses and commercial learner’s permits and to waive the 14-day waiting period and granted other waivers from certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate CDL and CLP holders and to other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles.
This authority is now effective through February 28, 2022.
Thus, if a driver’s CDL or CLP is scheduled to expire on or before February 28, 2022, the driver or carrier should check with the State driver licensing agency to determine if the State will grant extended validity under this waiver.
FMCSA has also published a Notice of Enforcement Discretion that it will not take enforcement action through February 28, 2022 for the following:
- 49 CFR 383.23(a)(2) – a CLP or CDL holder operating a CMV with an expired license, but only if the CLP or CDL was valid on February 29, 2020, and expired on or after March 1, 2020. Enforcement discretion regarding this provision also applies to non-domiciled CLP or CDL holders, provided the holder’s legal presence is valid.
- 49 CFR 383.37(a) – a motor carrier that allows a CLP or CDL driver, including non-domiciled CLP or CDL holders with valid legal presence, to operate a CMV during a period in which the driver does not have a current CLP or CDL, but only if the CLP or CDL was valid on February 29, 2020, and expired on or after March 1, 2020.
- 49 CFR 391.11(b)(5) – a CMV driver (i.e., CLP, CDL, or non-CDL license holder) or motor carrier that allows a CMV driver to operate a CMV during a period in which the driver’s operator license has expired, but only if the driver’s license was valid on February 29, 2020, and expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the driver is otherwise qualified to drive under § 391.11.
- 49 CFR 391.45(b) – a CMV driver or motor carrier that allows a CMV driver to operate a CMV during a period in which the driver does not have the current medical certificate and any required medical variance as required by 49 CFR 391.45(b), but only if the driver has evidence of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2021. Drivers whose medical certification or medical variance expired before September 1, 2021 are not covered by this Notice of Enforcement Policy.
This GAWDA Safety Alert is issued by GAWDA Consultant Rick Schweitzer, Esq.
Please contact Rick for further information.