Northeast States Issue Waivers and Exemptions From Certain Federal Regulations Following Snowstorm

In the wake of the major snowstorm that impacted the Northeast last weekend, several states have declared a state of emergency, and with those declarations, temporary relief from certain federal motor carrier safety regulations. Waivers or exemptions from federal regulations would apply only to motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort.

  • Connecticut has issued a Hours of Service (HOS) waiver effective until February 13, and a waiver of IRP requirements effective until further notice.

  • Maine has issued an HOS waiver until February 12.

  • Massachusetts issued an HOS waiver only for companies providing direct assistance through the delivery of gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil and propane in connection with the emergency, effective until February 16.

  • New Jersey issued an exemption to HOS regulations only for the delivery of heating fuels, effective until February 18.

  • New York issued a declaration which modified HOS rules for the "intrastate transportation of heating fuels to homes and businesses for heating purposes and the transportation of heating fuels from terminal locations to heating fuel delivery companies and motor fuels for transportation purposes, performed by motor carriers." This is effective until February 20. New York also issued HOS waivers for carriers responding to the emergency in areas in or around New York City, including Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. This declaration for the New York City area is in effect "for the duration of the motor carrier's or driver's direct assistance in providing emergency relief, or up to 30 days from the date of the initial declaration."

  • Rhode Island issued an HOS waiver for the for transportation of home heating fuel, propane, and liquid natural gas, effective until February 13.


Click here to see the actual declarations of emergency mentioned above.


Please note that FMCSA makes the following statements regarding the emergency declarations:

  1. These Federal exemptions, when in effect, only apply to 49 CFR Parts 390-399. They do NOT apply to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size & weight, or State/Federal registration and tax requirements. (However, a Governor's Declaration may add some of those exemptions-read the declaration for details.)

  2. Even if an Emergency Declaration is still in effect, the emergency must be on-going and you must be providing direct emergency relief in order to be exempt from safety regulations.

  3. The list of Emergency Declarations below may not be complete. Declarations may be in effect even if not listed here.

  4. Drivers and carriers should coordinate with State and Federal emergency officials before providing assistance.

  5. Even though safety regulations may be suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers, or under any conditions presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways.

For questions, please contact Joe Sculley at  or by calling (703) 299-9120.