COVID-19 Waivers To Wind Down As Renewals Deadline Pushed To May 31

Truckers and COVID-19 | DOT Compliance Services | CNS

The eighth FMCSA extension was previously set to expire on Feb. 28, but extends hours of service for COVID relief haulers for the following categories only:

  • Livestock and livestock feed
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19
  • Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
  • 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
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores

Motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19 are exempt from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

According to the FMCSA, “Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”

 

Medical Card and CDL Renewal Extension Ending May 31

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FMCSA feared drivers would have trouble renewing commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and commercial learners permits (CLP) or getting DOT physicals for their medical cards.

So, the FMCSA announced and has extended a waiver effective until May 31, 2021, that waives the requirement that the State either change the medical certification status to “not certified” or  downgrade a CDL or CLP driver whose Medical Examiner’s Certificate has expired.

In other words, the extended waiver now permits, but does not require, states to extend the validity of CDLs and CLPs due for renewal since March 1, 2020 and waives the requirement that drivers have a medical exam and certification, provided they have proof of a valid medical certification and any required medical variance issued for a period of 90 days or longer and expired on or after Dec. 1, 2020.

State drivers license agencies (SDLAs) must bring their CDL and CLP issuance and medical certification practices back into conformance by May 31, 2021.

Commercial drivers who wish to retain a HAZMAT endorsement during CDL renewal are required to retake the Hazmat knowledge test in accordance with 49 CFR 383.71(d)(3) and 383.73(d)(4). FMCSA has not issued a waiver or an exemption from this requirement.

The FMCSA also issued an Enforcement Notice, explaining that it will not take enforcement action against drivers and motor carriers that fall under the terms of the waiver.

FMCSA will not take enforcement action against a driver with an expired medical certificate if the driver had a valid medical certificate issued for a period of 90 days or longer that expired on or after December 1, 2020.

However, we have seen some roadside enforcement still give violations out when drivers are meeting the waiver guidelines.

 

CNS will assist with DataQs, DOT Physicals and Drug and Alcohol Testing

Incorrect violations can be challenged and our DataQ process and our DOT consultants are well-versed in the FMCSA rules and regulations, with specific knowledge on what officers are required to note in their report. We are able to challenge one DataQ or schedule a monthly review of all roadside inspections and report on which violations can be challenged.

Our DOT Compliance Specialists can help with DataQs. Call one of our DOT Compliance Specialists at 888.260.9448 to discuss your options or you can request more information in the form below.

CNS collection sites and network of collection sites are open for DOT physicals and required drug and alcohol testing.

You can schedule a DOT physical locally or a drug and alcohol test nationwide by calling CNS at 888.260.9448.


DataQ