First Advantage Corporation

12/03/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2021 09:36

U.S. DOT FMCSA Extends COVID-19 CDL Related Waiver with Response to COVID-19 Emergency

On November 29, 2021, FMCSA issued an extension to the previous CDL/CLP and Medical Examination waivers that were set to expire November 30, 2021. This waiver becomes effective on December 1, 2021 and expires on February 28, 2022.

As with the previous extensions, FMCSA reiterates that the extension "permits, but does not require" states to extend the validity periods and processes referenced below. Accordingly, carriers and drivers should check with the SDLA to confirm their state's expiration periods. Please read the specific provisions below, as the dates and applicability vary.

Important Note: The FMCSA continues to encourage drivers to obtain their renewed licenses and medical certificates and encourages SDLAs to bring their operations back to normal as soon as practicable, consistent with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and guidance, as this waiver expires on February 28, 2022. FMCSA intends to review the status of this waiver as of January 3, 2022 and may take action to terminate the waiver sooner if conditions warrant.

What does the waiver do generally?

  • It provides relief from certain regulations applicable to CDL and CPL holders and to other interstate drivers operating CMVs, CPL holders.
  • The waiver extends the renewal period of Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) and Commercial Learners Permits (CPLs) under specific conditions and associated requirements.
  • There are exceptions in the waiver notice which must be considered and complied with, so it is important to review the waiver notice carefully. See below.
  • There is also a requirement that the FMCSA is notified of accidents involving any CDL holder, CLP holder, or non-CDL holder driver operating under the terms of the waiver within 5 business days to [email protected]. Details follow.

What does the waiver do, specifically?

  • Waives until February 28, 2022, the maximum period of CDL validity for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020;
  • Waives until February 28, 2022, the maximum period of CLP validity for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests;
  • Waives until February 28, 2022, the requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test;
  • Waives until February 28, 2022, the requirement that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification and any required medical variance that were issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after September 1, 2021.
  • Waives until February 28, 2022, the requirement that, in order to maintain the medical certification status of "certified," CDL or CLP holders provide the SDLA with an original or copy of a subsequently issued medical examiner's certificate and any required medical variance, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2021.
  • Waives until February 28, 2022, the requirement that, in order to maintain the medical certification status of "certified," CDL or CLP holders provide the SDLA with an original or copy of a subsequently issued medical examiner's certificate and any required medical variance, provided they have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2021.
  • Waives until February 28, 2022, 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, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2021.
  • Waives until February 28, 2022, that the SDLA initiate a CDL or CLP downgrade upon the expiration of the medical examiner's certificate or medical variance, provided the CDL or CLP holders have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2021.

Exceptions to Consider:

Generally

The waiver does not alter any of the knowledge and skills testing requirements for obtaining either a CDL, a CLP, or a necessary endorsement. It does not allow states to extend the license of a CDL or CLP holder whose credential expired prior to March 1, 2020. It does not apply to a CDL or CLP holder if the driver's privileges have been suspended or withdrawn for traffic offenses or if the driver is otherwise disqualified to operate a CMV. And, this waiver does not authorize states to extend the validity of a non-domiciled CLP or CDL beyond the nondomiciled driver's approved legal presence.

Specifically

  • This waiver does not apply to a CDL or CLP holder if the driver's license or permit expired before March 1, 2020.
  • This waiver does not apply to a non-domiciled CLP or CDL holder if the non-domiciled driver's legal presence is not valid.
  • This waiver does not apply to a CDL or CLP holder if the driver's privileges have been suspended or withdrawn for traffic offenses or if the driver is otherwise disqualified to operate a CMV.
  • Drivers claiming relief under this waiver from the requirement for a valid medical certificate must have proof of a valid medical certificate and any required medical variance in accordance with the periods of eligibility set forth above and carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificates.
  • Drivers who cannot produce evidence of a prior medical certification and any required medical variance in accordance with the periods of eligibility set forth above, are not covered under this waiver, including new drivers who have never obtained a medical certification.
  • Drivers who, since their last medical certificate was issued, have been diagnosed with a medical condition that would disqualify the driver from operating in interstate commerce, or who, since their last medical certificate was issued, have developed a condition that requires an exemption or Skill Performance Evaluation from FMCSA are not covered under this waiver.
  • This waiver does not apply to medical examiner's certificates originally issued for less than 90 days.
  • Notification to FMCSA of Accidents. Each motor carrier must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of an accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any CDL holder, CLP holder, or non-CDL driver operating under the terms of this waiver. See 49 CFR 390.15(b) (requiring maintenance of accident registry.) Notification shall be by email to [email protected] The notification must include the following information:
    • Date of the accident;
    • City or town, and state in which the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene;
    • Driver's name and license number;
    • Vehicle number and state license number;
    • Number of individuals suffering physical injury;
    • Number of fatalities;
    • The police-reported cause of the accident (if available at time of the report); and,
    • Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, or motor carrier safety regulations.
  • FMCSA reserves the right to revoke this waiver for drivers' involvement in accidents, motor carriers' failure to report accidents, and drivers' failure to comply with the restrictions of this waiver.

The foregoing information is not offered as legal advice but is instead offered for informational purposes. First Advantage is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. The foregoing information is therefore not intended as a substitute for the legal advice of an attorney knowledgeable of the user's individual circumstances. First Advantage makes no assurances regarding the accuracy, completeness, currency or utility of the foregoing information. Legislative, regulatory, and case law developments regularly impact on general research. Matters and guidance is being issued ongoing related to the COVID-19 emergency, but the foregoing summarizes the information contained in the waiver notice as accurately as possible.There is no substitute for reading the entire waiver and reviewing the same with your legal counsel and company officials.