Covid-19 Hours of Service Extension

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) latest notification, it plans to continue the national emergency warrants extension that is exempted from certain requirements in 49 CFR Part 395 (maximum driving time) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

What is FMCSA’s Declaration No. 2020-002?

FMCSA, in its declaration, announced on March 13, 2020, that a 50-state waiver would allow hours of service flexibility for commercial carriers due to COVID-19. This continued for around 2.5 years, and with the latest FMCSA declaration, it is confirmed that it would continue till October 15, 2022. 

FMCSA has consistently monitored the situation and has amended the Emergency Declaration to emphasize and remove the classification of equipment, supplies, and persons covered by the Emergency Declaration to aid the changes for emergency relief. 

Since the presidentially declared emergency is still relevant along with substantial supply chain capacity issues, the FMCSA is continuing the exemption to support direct emergency assistance for supply chains. This extension of the modified Emergency Declaration helps the national emergency conditions: to promote swift transportation of essential supplies and provide ease for motor carriers and drivers.

Transportation Waiver Criteria:

To get an exemption, the transportation must be both of qualifying commodities and incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies.

Emergency Declaration Restrictions & Conditions

Feedback on Carriers’ Use of COVID Hours of Service Waiver

Currently, FMCSA focuses on collecting feedback to analyze how the current hours of service relaxation impact the delivery of commodities and the safety of vehicles. Feedback can be given here.