March 31st CVTA COVID-19 Update

March 31, 2020

Below you will find trucking industry updates that have occurred since our previous COVID-19 announcement.

1. FMCSA Issues Two Waivers Regarding CDL Testing

Recently the FMCSA took additional steps to aid those currently with CLPs, but may be unable to physically obtain a CDL due to DMV closure. The first waiver permits a CLP holder who has passed the skills test, either with an SDLA or with a third-party tester, to drive a CMV on public roads and highways with the CDL holder anywhere in the vehicle.
The second waiver permits a State to administer a skills test to an individual irrespective of whether they took training in the testing State.

CVTA is thankful for the FMCSA’s continuing efforts to keep the supply chain moving and hopes for further waivers or actions that would permit individuals to obtain CLPs, or operate in lieu of the standard CLP process after successful testing.

The relevant passages are listed below:

“Several States are experiencing greater than normal employee absences or have closed offices of their State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA) in response to the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, some SDLAs may be unable to process and issue a commercial driver’s license (CDL) credential to eligible CLP holders who have passed the driving skills test. Given the national emergency, there is a public need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment, and persons, which requires an adequate and sustained supply of drivers eligible to operate a CMV. This waiver provides needed relief from specified FMCSRs for States and CLP holders.”

“This wavier:

  • Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) that a CLP holder is accompanied by a CDL holder, with the proper CDL class and endorsements, seated in the front seat of the vehicle while the CLP holder operates a CMV on public roads or highways. Under the terms, conditions, and restrictions of this waiver,
    • [1] 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,
      • [a]provided that the CDL holder is elsewhere in the cab,
      • [b] 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,
      • [c] 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.
  • Waives the restriction under 49 CFR 383.79(a) that limits a State to administer a driving skills test, in accordance with subparts F, G, and H of 49 CFR part 383, to a nondomiciled CDL applicant who has taken driver training in that State. Under the terms, conditions, and restrictions of this waiver, a State may elect to administer a driving skills test to any nondomiciled CDL applicant, regardless of where the applicant received driver training.”

“This waiver is effective March 28, 2020, and expires either on June 30, 2020 or the revocation of the President’s declaration of national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b) related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), whichever is sooner.”

Full notice available by clicking here.

2. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Issues Updated CISA Guidance

On Saturday, CISA updated its guidance to widen and specify the various functions that constitute essential services. Important to CVTA members is the specification of the ‘Transportation and Logistics” provision, which now includes DMV employees.

The passage reads:

“Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) employees, towing/recovery services, roadside assistance workers, intermodal transportation personnel, and workers who maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdiction travel).”

Notably, however, many States that cite to CISA guidance in their own State decrees have closed their DMV offices. Hopefully, this updated guidance, the FMCSA’s continued support, and CVTA’s members’ ongoing grassroots efforts will encourage state governors to take action to reopen their SDLAs and CDL Training Schools.

The full guidance can be found by clicking here.