Fully Encompassing FMCSA Waiver Extending Renewals and More Until 2021

Truckers COVID-19 FMCSA Waiver | DOT Compliance Services | CNS

The waivers have been extended to May 31, 2021 and include vaccine distribution.

After 6 months of the COVID-19 health emergency, most states that reopened their State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) have only resumed limited operations.

As a result, many commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learners permit (CLP) holders may be unable to renew their CDLs and CLPs or provide medical certificates to their state driver licensing agencies.

Similarly, many physical exam sites are dealing with limited operations or backlogs, preventing drivers from scheduling appointments for their federally required medical card physicals.

For this reason, the FMCSA has announced a waiver effective until the end of the year, that includes previous waiver extensions, for CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers transporting essential supplies and equipment.

What this fully encompassing waiver will do until 2021

  • Extends expiring Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) waiver until December 31, 2020 due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020
  • Extends expiring Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) waiver until December 31, 2020 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 that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test until December 31, 2020
  • Waives the requirement that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non- CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided they have proof of a valid medical certification and any required medical variance that were issued for a period of 90 days or longer: 
    • If medical certification was valid on February 29, 2020 and expired on or after March 1, 2020 but before June 1, 2020, the requirement is waived until October 31, 2020
    • If medical certification expired on or after June 1, 2020, the requirement is waived until December 31, 2020
  • Waives the requirement that, in order to maintain the medical certification status of “certified,” CDL or CLP holders provide the State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) with an original or copy of a subsequently issued medical examiner’s certificate and any required medical variance:
    • Who have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after March 1, 2020 but before June 1, 2020, the requirement is waived until October 31, 2020
    • Who have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after June 1, 2020, the requirement is waived until December 31, 2020
  • Waives the requirement that the SDLA 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: 
    • Who have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after March 1, 2020 but before June 1, 2020, the requirement is waived until October 31, 2020
    • Who have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after June 1, 2020, the requirement is waived until December 31, 2020
  • Waives the requirements that the SDLA initiate a CDL or CLP downgrade upon the expiration of the medical examiner’s certificate or medical variance:
    • Who have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after March 1, 2020 but before June 1, 2020, the requirement is waived until October 31, 2020
    • Who have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after June 1, 2020, the requirement is waived until December 31, 2020
  • Until December 31, 2020, FMCSA continues to recognize the validity of CDLs issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories and Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States  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

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

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DataQ Challenging

Our DOT Compliance Specialists can help with DataQ’s. You can call 888.260.9448 to talk to a specialist or request more information in the form above.

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.

Regarding accident reporting, each employer must notify the FMCSA within 5 business days of an accident involving any driver operating under the terms of this waiver. For more information on accident reporting during the waiver, go to the FMCSA press release.

CNS collection sites and network of collection sites are open for DOT physicals and required drug and alcohol testing. Schedule a DOT physical or drug test by calling CNS today at 888.260.9448.


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