A federal waiver giving drivers with commercial driver’s licenses and medical cards additional time to renew was scheduled to expire June 30. However, the FMCSA has just announced that it’s extending the waiver through September 30, 2020. First issued March 24, this waiver was granted because state motor vehicle departments were closed due to the pandemic. However, many states currently still have closed offices or not enough staff. According to the renewal notice published June 15, “Several States continue to experience greater than normal employee absences or have closed offices of their State Driver Licensing Agencies [SDLAs] 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.” With so many offices closed or operating at limited capacity, renewing a CDL or medical permit remains difficult—and in some cases impossible—for many drivers.
Additionally, the FMCSA has reissued a separate Notice of Enforcement Policy affirming that the agency will not take enforcement action against drivers operating a commercial vehicle if the driver held a valid CDL on February 29, 2020. Nor against the carriers employing those drivers.