Because truck drivers are essential workers and many state driver license agencies have...

Because truck drivers are essential workers and many state driver license agencies have backlogs, FMCSA has again extended its waiver for license renewals.

Photo: USA Truck

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the waiver of commercial drivers’ licenses, learners permits, and medical certificate requirements that was set to expire on Dec. 31.

This waiver becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2021 and expires on Feb. 28, 2021. States must individually authorize the extensions. 

The extension was needed because potential backlogs that still exist at some state driver’s license agencies across the country from shutdowns earlier in the year. On top of that, some areas have implemented new, stricter stay-at-home orders and other emergency measures in the face of major surges in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, which will likely cause further economic and logistical disruptions.

In response to emergency declarations from President Trump, in March, June, and September, FMCSA granted waivers covering various regulatory provisions affecting CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers operating commercial motor vehicles, the latest of which will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, many states are experiencing greater than normal employee absences, reduced hours of operation, or closures of their licenses offices.

And the pace of return to normal operations after lockdowns earlier this year has varied across the country, causing backlogs that have left many CDL and CLP holders unable to renew their CDLs and CLPs or provide medical certificates to the license office.

In addition, due to limited operations or backlogs among medical examiners, drivers may not be able to get appointments for the required physical examinations.

For details, see the complete waiver.

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