FMCSA Further Extends State’s 50-Hour COVID-19 Service Waiver
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today that it will once again extend the expiring declaration of emergency by providing regulatory relief to truck drivers carrying certain relief supplies during the pandemic.
The new extension of the FMCSA waiver was issued on May 26, 2021 and will extend an emergency declaration from 50 states providing regulatory relief to truck drivers carrying certain items until August 31, 2021.
The last waiver extension was issued on February 17, 2021 and was scheduled to expire on May 30, 2021.
The waiver provides an exemption from Parts 390 to 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), which includes hours of service requirements, for drivers providing direct assistance during the COVID-19 crisis.
The exemption applies to the truck driver who transports the following supplies in direct support of COVID-19 relief efforts:
- Livestock and animal feed
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
- Vaccines, constituent materials and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies / kits for administering vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
- Supplies and equipment needed for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and sanitizers
- Food, stationery and other groceries for emergency replenishment of distribution centers or stores.
“Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal amount of eligible emergency relief added to achieve the benefits of this declaration of emergency,” said FMCSA.
The FMCSA also reiterated that the HOS waiver does not give motor carriers the right to force tired drivers to operate. Any driver who informs a road carrier that he needs a rest must be given 10 hours before having to resume his duties.
The original FMCSA emergency waiver was issued in March 2020 and has since been extended and extended several times as the pandemic continues.
Click here to view the waiver issued on May 26.