FMCSA extends waiver to allow student truck drivers to operate without co-driver in passenger seat

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended an expiring waiver to relax restrictions on student drivers due to the continuing Coronavirus crisis.

On June 17, the FMCSA announced the extension of a waiver that allows a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) holder will be able to operate a truck without a CDL holder in the passenger seat so long as certain circumstances are met:

“…a CLP holder may operate a CMV on public roads or highways without an accompanying CDL holder present in the front seat of the vehicle, provided that the CDL holder is elsewhere in the cab, the CLP holder is in possession of evidence from the testing jurisdiction, including an authorized third- party tester, that the CLP holder has passed the CDL driving skills test, and, unless the FMCSA waiver issued on March 24, 2020 applies, that the CLP holder has a valid non- CDL driver’s license, CLP, and medical certificate.” 

The extended waiver also allows CLP holders to take the driving skills test in any state, not just the state in which they received their driver training.

The waiver was issued as part of a number of emergency efforts to relax regulations for truckers during

The waiver was previously set to expire on June 30, 2020 but will now be extended through September 30, 2020.

The FMCSA says that “Due to the limited scope of this waiver and the ample precautions that remain in place, FMCSA has determined that the waiver is likely to achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to the level of safety that would be obtained absent the waiver.”