FMCSA: Waivers granted for expired CDLs, CLPs, and medical cards

The FMCSA has granted a waiver for certain CDL, CLP, and medical-certification requirements through June 30 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Posted March 24, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a waiver for certain commercial driver’s license (CDL), commercial learner’s permit (CLP), and medical-certification requirements due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The waiver will allow certain drivers to operate with an expired driver’s license and/or medical card until June 30, 2020, if they were unable to renew them due to the outbreak.

The waiver is effective March 20, 2020, through June 30, 2020. It applies to CDL holders, CLP holders, and other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) during the national emergency declaration due to COVID-19.

Several states are experiencing above-normal employee absences or have closed state driver licensing agencies due to the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, many CDL and CLP holders are unable to renew their licenses and permits and are unable to provide medical certificates to their state agencies.

Drivers who held a valid CDL or CLP and/or medical card as of February 29, 2020, that expired on or after March 1, 2020, may continue to drive with the expired license, permit, or certificate until June 30. Under the medical-card waiver, drivers must have proof of a valid medical certification that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020.

The emergency waiver applies to the following requirements from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations:

  • The maximum eight-year renewal period for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020. (49 CFR 383.73(b)(9) and 383.73(d)(6))
  • The maximum one-year renewal period for CLPs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests. (49 CFR 383.73(a)(2)(iii) and 383.25(c))
  • The requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test. (49 CFR 383.25(e))
  • 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 that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020. (49 CFR 391.45)
  • The requirement that, in order to maintain the medical certification status of “certified,” CDL or CLP holders provide the state driver licensing agency with an original or copy of a subsequently issued medical examiner’s certificate, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020. (49 CFR 383.71(h)(3))
  • The requirement that the state driver licensing agency 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 the CDL or CLP holders have proof of a medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020. (49 CFR 383.73(o)(2))
  • The requirement that the state driver licensing agency initiate a CDL or CLP downgrade upon the expiration of the medical examiner’s certificate or medical variance, provided that the CDL or CLP holders have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after March 1, 2020. (49 CFR 383.73(o)(4))

This article was written by David Lubach of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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