COVID-19 - Driver's License

COVID-19 - Driver's License

Updated June 16, 2020

Driver’s License
FMCSA grants, until September 30, 2020, a waiver from certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders and to other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This applies to all drivers, not just those hauling the commodities or people listed in the Emergency Declaration.

In brief, if the CDL or CLP expires prior to September 30, 2020, or if a driver’s medical certificate expires prior to September 30, 2020, the driver may continue to drive.
  1. This does not apply if the driver’s license expired before March 1, 2020.
  2. This waiver does not apply to a CDL or CLP holder if the driver’s privileges have been suspended or withdrawn for traffic offenses.
  3. Drivers claiming relief under this waiver from the requirement for a valid medical certificate must have proof of a valid medical certificate that expired on or after March 1, 2020, and carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificate. The state will not downgrade the driver’s CDL when the medical certificate expires.
  4. Drivers who cannot produce evidence of a prior medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020, are not covered under this waiver, including new drivers who have never obtained a medical certification.
  5. 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 have developed a condition that requires an exemption or Skill Performance Evaluation from FMCSA are not covered under this waiver.
  6. This waiver does not apply to medical examiner’s certificates originally issued for less than 90 days. 

Some states will allow on-line license renewal and you should encourage your drivers to take advantage of this if it’s available. It would also be a best practice to have your drivers renew their physicals as soon as practicable and not wait for the September 30th deadline.

The September 30th date is when the waiver expires but it’s important to keep in touch with your local authorities to determine when they’ve resumed conducting business. As of this date all states have curtailed their operations and suspended enforcement of expired documents. However, there’s no uniformity on the timeline they’re using. Some are extending licenses for 60 days, others for longer. Also, keep in mind this advice from FMCSA:
FMCSA expects the states to promptly bring its CDL and CLP issuance practices and medical certification status and downgrade practices back into conformance as soon as the national emergency ends or when the state driver’s license agency resumes normal operations.  The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) is keeping track of the temporary operating status for the licensing agency in each state.

Use this link to view the current operating status for each state: 

Each motor carrier must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of an accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5) involving any CDL holder, CLP holder, or non-CDL driver operating under the terms of this waiver. Notification shall be by email to MCPSD@DOT.GOV and include the following information:
  1. Date of the accident;
  2. City or town, and State in which the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene;
  3. Driver's name and license number;
  4. Vehicle number and State license number;
  5. Number of individuals suffering physical injury;
  6. Number of fatalities;
  7. The police-reported cause of the accident (if available at time of the report); and
  8. Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, or motor carrier safety regulations.