Yesterday evening, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced an extension of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-02, providing regulatory relief related to COVID-19, set to expire May 31, 2021.
According to the ATA, Motor carriers should read the latest extended Emergency Declaration carefully. In previous versions, the declaration had been narrowed significantly in scope and now includes a category for food, paper products, and grocery store restocking if it falls under the category of “direct assistance goods.”
The extension of HOS relief now applies to certain categories of COVID-19 relief operations for drivers transporting:
- Livestock and livestock feed;
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the 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; and,
- Food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
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. The LMTA encourages members to review the extended declaration to determine if their operations are included. Please note, this expanded declaration becomes effective at 12:00 a.m. June 1st, and expires on August 31st, 2021.
The following FMCSA Emergency Declarations still are active in Louisiana:
- Louisiana State of Emergency 89-JBE-2021: Effective: 05/17/2021 | Expires on: 06/16/2021; shall remain in effect from Monday, May 17, 2021 to Wednesday, June 16. 2021, unless terminated sooner.
- Louisiana State of Emergency 84 JBE 2021- Colonial Pipeline: Effective: 05/12/2021 | Expires on: 05/26/2021; shall remain in effect from Wednesday, May 12, 2021 to Wednesday, May 26, 2021, unless terminated sooner.
Other FMCSA Resources:
Please view the linked waivers, Notices of Enforcement Discretion Decision (NEDDs), and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which update FMCSA’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) guidance previously issued on February 17, 2021.FMCSA intends to review the status of these guidance documents as of July 1, 2021, and may take action to terminate the waivers sooner, if conditions warrant. These waivers, NEDDs, and FAQs are posted at the links below and have been updated to extend the expiration date through August 31, 2021, and include the following:
- Waiver on Expiring CDLs and Medical Certificates: Waives through August 31, 2021, the 8-year limit to the validity period of the CDL, 1 year period of the CLP, the 14-day waiting period for a CDL test, and the requirement for a medical examination for those drivers who had a valid medical certificate that expired on or after March 1, 2021, including SDLA requirements under 49 CFR 383.73.
- NEDD on Expiring CDLs and Medical Certificates: Extends the previous NEDD issued on this topic through August 31, 2021, and amends the Medical Examiner’s Certificate periods of validation to only those that expired on or after March 1, 2021.
- CLP Jump Seat Waiver : Waives through August 31, 2021, the need for a CLP Holder, who has passed the CDL exam, to be accompanied by a CDL Holder seated in the front seat with documentation of a passed CDL Test. Further, it waives 49 CFR 383.79(a) that limits a State to administering a driving skills test to an out-of-State CDL applicant who has taken driver training in that State.
- Third Party Tester Waiver: Waives the requirements in 49 CFR § 384.228(b)-(c) for third party CDL test examiners who previously completed a CDL skills test examiners training course that meets the requirements of 49 CFR § 384.228(d) and have maintained a valid CDL test examiner certification. This waiver allows third party CDL skills test examiners previously authorized by the State to administer the CDL skills test to administer the CDL knowledge test as well without completing a CDL knowledge test training course.
- Expanded FAQs: Updates time periods to conform to the new waivers and NEDDs.
- The General 383/384 NEDD: Updates the NEDD for requirements in 49 CFR 383 and 384 to the December 31, 2021 dates. This includes the one 49 CFR 383 section on restricted CDL validity and three provisions under 383.75 related to third party testers, and those provisions in 384 related to establishing domicile, training requirements for third party testers, and requirements for inspections and monitoring of third party tester, giving States until to December 31, 2021 to accomplish monitoring that would have otherwise occurred during the time period of January 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021. In addition, extends the validity period in 383.75(f)(3)(ii) to not exceed 360 days for each 12-month period for restricted CDLs.
- Guidance on Cross Border Transportation: Updates guidance effective June 1, 2021, that FMCSA continues to recognize the validity of commercial driver’s licenses issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories and Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States, in accordance with 49 CFR part 383, 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.