In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has eased the standards related to commercial learner’s permit holders and obtaining a commercial driver’s license.
As part of a three-month waiver, set to expire on June 20, FMCSA will not require:
- a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holder to be accompanied by a properly licensed CDL holder to be sitting in the front seat of the truck whenever the CLP holder operates a commercial vehicle on public roads or highways; or
- a state to only administer a driving skills test to an out-of-state CDL applicant who has taken driver training in that state.
The first part of the waiver now only requires the CDL holder to be somewhere in the cab to allow the CPL holder to drive on public roads and highways. CPL holders must make sure they possess a valid non-CDL driver’s license, their CLP, and a medical certificate.
Also, to expedite the CDL process, states may administer driving tests to any applicant, no matter what state they received CDL training.
According to the FMCSA announcement, the waiver is in response to COVID-19 outbreaks and the president declaring a national emergency. With several states experiencing increased employee absences and/or driver licensing agency office closures, some DMVs are unable to process and issue commercial driver’s licenses.
“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,” reads the statement.