Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 National Emergency – For States, CDL (commercial driver’s license) Holders, CLP (commercial learning permit) Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles.
The FMCSA recently announced an extension until September 30, 2020 of the maximum period of CDL validity for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020.
This 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 and any required medical variance (such as an exemption letter or a skill performance evaluation (SPE) certificate) that were issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
Through September 30, 2020, the FMCSA will not take enforcement against drivers for operation of a CMV if the driver held a valid CDL on February 29, 2020, or against motor carriers for use of such a driver.
This waiver does not apply to CDL holders, CLP holders, or non-CDL drivers whose medical certifications expired prior to March 1, 2020.
- Drivers claiming relief under this waiver from the requirement for a valid medical certificate must have proof of a valid medical certificate and any required medical variance 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 and any required medical variance 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 originally issued for less than 90 days.
This waiver is effective July 1, 2020 and expires on September 30, 2020.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Nikki McDavid, Chief of the Commercial Driver’s License Division, Office of Safety Programs, 202-366-0831, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590- 0001.
The practical consequences of this will be that fewer CDL medical examinations will be performed during the early waiver period, but more examinations will be performed in the period immediately prior to the waiver expiration date. The FMCSA may extend the waiver period if the agency determines that barriers continue to exist preventing drivers from being able to obtain medical examinations on a timely basis – basically if the agency determines that COVID-19 continues to limit examination availability.
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