Waivers issued that grant a grace period for some federal regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic have been extended. Regulations involving driver training, CDL renewals, and medical cards have all been loosened to help truckers keep hauling the nation’s goods uninterrupted.
Truckers whose CDLs are set to expire or expired on or after March 1st, are allowed to drive with an expired license or commercial learner’s permit until September 30th. This extends a deadline which was initially set to expire June 30th.
Medical cards are also included in the grace period. The FMCSA says it has granted the waiver due to closures of state DMVs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Several states continue to experience greater than normal employee absences or have closed offices of their State Driver Licensing Agencies in response to the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to use social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” reads the FMCSA waiver. “Under the Federal guidance for reopening America these conditions are likely to continue at this time.”
In addition to easing restrictions on existing drivers, the FMCSA has made concessions to CDL applicants and trainees as well. The FMCSA waiver lets CLP holders drive without a CDL holder in the front seat with them as long as the CDL driver is still somewhere in the cab of the vehicle. CDL applicants can also still take tests outside of their state of residence, and can take the skills portion of their exam without having a tester in the vehicle with them.