FMCSA extends historic 50 state COVID-19 waiver through December 31

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a new months-long extension to an emergency declaration providing regulatory relief for truckers hauling certain goods amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The FMCSA has again extended a first-of-its-kind nationwide emergency declaration through December 31, 2020, due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. The waiver provides relief from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), which includes Hours of Service requirements.

The waiver applies to truckers who are hauling the following types of goods in “direct assistance” to support emergency relief efforts:

  1. Livestock and livestock feed
  2. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  3. Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  4. Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores

“Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” the FMCSA states.

The FMCSA also reiterated that the HOS waiver does not give motor carriers the right to compel fatigued drivers to operate. Any driver who informs a motor carrier that they need rest is to be given 10 hours before they are required to return to duty.

The initial HOS waiver was issued on March 13 and has since been extended and expanded several times as the pandemic continues. The previous extension was set to expire on September 14.

For more information on the emergency declaration extension, please click here.