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FMCSA Grants Waivers for CDLs and Driver Medical Cards

On March 24, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued waivers for commercial drivers licenses and medical cards due to the coronavirus outbreak throughout the U.S.
 
Given the lack of medical personnel available and the many restrictions that have been placed on patients in medical facilities, it became obvious in the last few weeks that drivers due to have physical examinations would not be able to see someone in a timely fashion.
 
In addition, commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) being administered for renewal face similar challenges now that many Department of Motor Vehicle offices are closed and there is an essential need for medical supplies, food, water, and other supplies to be delivered to those in need.
 
Some of the waivers include the following:
 
• Extends until June 30, 2020 the maximum period of CDL validity by waiving 49 CFR 383.73(b)(9) and 383.73(d)(6) for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020.
 
• Extends until June 30, 2020 the maximum period of CLP validity by waiving 49 CFR 383.73(a)(2)(iii) and 383.25(c) 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 the requirement under 49 CFR 383.25(e) that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test.
 
•Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 391.45 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 that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020. e.
 
• Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 383.71(h)(3) 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, 2020.3
 
• Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 383.73(o)(2) 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 that the CDL or CLP holders have proof of a valid medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
 
• Waives the requirements under 49 CFR 383.73(o)(4) 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.
 
• In accordance with 49 CFR 383.23(a)(1) and 391.41(a)(1)(i), 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.
 
 
To view the entire waiver release by the FMCSA click here.
 
For questions, please contact Jake Jacoby at jjacoby@trala.org or at 703-299-9120.