FMCSA realizes that long haul drivers may be on the road for days or weeks at a time. The CDC has issued guidance that, when drivers return to their domicile location, they should follow the recommendations of the State or local officials in the areas in which they live. The CDC recommends that all people take precautions to stay safe and keep others safe, including;
- Washing their hands regularly
- Staying home when sick
- Covering their coughs and sneezes
- Maintaining distance from others
Generally speaking, adults aged 65 and older and people of any age who have heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes with complications (such as, but not limited to, kidney disease, heart disease, and neuropathy) may be at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
Commercial Driver License Waiver; Because of these actions, many commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are unable to renew their driver’s license and are unable to provide medical certificates to their State Driver Licensing Agencies. FMCSA has granted a three-month waiver from certain regulations applicable to commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders operating commercial motor vehicles (CMV as defined in 383.5). This waiver is effective March 28, 2020 and expires either on June 30, 2020, or the revocation of the President’s declaration of national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b) related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), whichever is sooner.
Check with Your State BMV/DMV for further details. As example, Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV/DMV) Commissioner Peter L. Lacy announced 6 BMV/DMV branches will be open by appointment only beginning Monday, April 6 to process new Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLP), new Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL), and upgrade/downgrade for the CDL to add the tank vehicle or hazardous materials endorsement credential transactions. This decision was made to support the current critical need to increase the number of new licensed commercial truck drivers on the road delivering supplies and to aid in the start of agricultural season in Indiana.
Medical Examiner’s Certificates; In addition, many medical providers nationwide have canceled regularly scheduled appointments to dedicate resources to the COVID-19 response or for related reasons, and 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 CMV drivers including Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) holders, Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders, and non-CDL commercial drivers. Ensuring that drivers are available to operate CMVs during the national emergency declaration is critical to continued operation of the transportation and energy supply networks and the safety and economic stability of our Nation.
This Notice of Enforcement Policy, effective from March 24, 2020 to June 30, 2020, provides needed relief from specified FMCSRs for CLP holders, CDL holders, and non-CDL drivers and motor carriers using those drivers (including CDL holders from Canada and Mexico). This Notice of Enforcement Policy applies to all CLP holders, CDL holders, and non-CDL drivers whose license was issued for less than the maximum period established by 49 CFR 383.25 and 383.73 and was valid on February 29, 2020 and expired on or after March 1, 2020.