FMCSA Issues Temporary Waiver for Expiring CDLs, CLPs and Medical Cards

Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) issued a temporary waiver for commercial drivers whose commercial driver’s license (CDL), commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and/or medical cards have expired or are set to expire after March 1, 2020.

On Tuesday, the Agency issued new regulatory waivers in response to the National Emergency declared by President Donald Trump regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“FMCSA grants, until June 30, 2020, a waiver from certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate CDL and CLP holders and to other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs),” the Agency’s waiver states.

 

Stakeholders have been asking the Agency to take action as a growing number of state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and medical testing facilities have been temporary shut down or instituted work from home policies.

The FMCSA further explained its action:

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).

 

In addition to issuing the waiver, the Agency also issued 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.


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Also as part of the FMCSA’s action, CLP holders will not be required to wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test.

 

Scopelitis, a transportation law firm which represents mid-to-large sized trucking companies, cautioned: “The waiver does not apply to licenses that expired prior to March 1, 2020; to drivers whose driving privileges have been suspended or revoked; drivers who have never obtained a medical certification in the first place; drivers who, since their last medical examination, have developed a medical condition that would disqualify them from operating a commercial motor vehicle; or drivers whose expiring medical card was valid for a period of fewer than 90 days.”

To read the entire waiver, click HERE.

 


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