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FMCSA CDL Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency – For States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles

FMCSA has issued a waiver from certain regulations pertaining to commercial driver’s license and commercial learner’s permit holders. This waiver addresses some of the challenges the industry is experiencing during the national emergency we are facing. The waiver can be found here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/fmcsa-cdl-waiver-32420

Some medical providers nationwide are diverting their resources to the COVID-19 response, and reducing the resources available to conduct commercial driver medical examinations (CDME). As a result, drivers are finding it difficult to ensure their medical card does not expire.

As it pertains to physicals, FMCSA:

  • 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 90 days or longer and 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.

The waiver is issued through June 30, 2020, and has the following terms and conditions that apply to medical cardholders:

  • Drivers claiming relief under this waiver from the requirement for a valid medical certificate must have proof of a valid medical certificate that expired on or after March 1, 2020, and carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificates.
  • Drivers who cannot produce evidence of a prior medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020, are not covered under this waiver, including new drivers who have never obtained a medical certification.
  • Drivers who, since their last medical certificate was issued, have been diagnosed with a medical condition that would disqualify the driver from operating in interstate commerce, or who, since their last medical certificate was issued, have developed a condition that requires an exemption or Skill Performance Evaluation from FMCSA are not covered under this waiver.
  • This waiver does not apply to medical examiner’s certificates issued initially for less than 90 days.

Carriers who choose to allow their drivers to utilize this waiver should consider creating a plan now to address obtaining the recertification as June 30 approaches. As written, drivers need to have their recertification in place by July 1, or they will be considered out-of-service. Waiting until June 30th might find drivers unable to get the recertification due to high demand at the clinics.

If you choose to continue to have your drivers pursue their recertification, FSSolutions is also monitoring clinic and collection site partner operations and can provide updates to our clients. Our recommendations to all clients is to contact the sites directly to make an appointment for your applicant/employee, and to confirm hours of operation, during this emergency.

We are grateful for the trust you have placed in us and will continue to evaluate our employer health services and keep you apprised of any additional changes. Should you have any questions or concerns, our staff is ready to assist you.

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