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COVID-19 Waivers Ending Soon
5 mins read

Although social distancing and travel restrictions are still in place across much of the United States, the roughly-year long waivers for driver CDL and medical card expiration dates are set to expire.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had initially issued these waivers last summer—then extended them several times—due to the national state of emergency as a result of the pandemic.

Finally, A Better Way to Manage DOT Physicals 

However, all waivers are now set to expire on May 31. This means that, as of June 1, you must be fully compliant.

With that deadline less than a month away, the time to prepare is now.

What the Waiver Allowed

Per the waiver, states were allowed to extend the validity of expiring interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license and learner’s permits. CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1 could be extended beyond the 8-year maximum period and learner’s permits due for renewal on or after March 1 could be extended beyond the 1-year maximum period. The requirement to retake general and endorsement knowledge tests was also waived, as was the 14-day waiting period for permit holders to take the CDL skills test.

Meanwhile, drivers have been allowed to extend their expiring medical certifications if their medical cards expired on or after December 1, 2020; their existing medical card was issued for at least 90 days; and they were not diagnosed with a disqualifying medical condition since their previous medical exam. Drivers, though, have been required to carry copies of their expired medical certificate and any required variance.

However, this waiver was left up to each individual state, so even with just a month to go, you should double check the status in your home state. You could have been operating non-compliantly for the past several months if your state did not adopt the waiver permission.

And as always, waiver or no, carriers are required to notify FMCSA within five business days of an accident. The agency also reserves the right to revoke waivers if drivers are involved in accidents or fail to comply with waivers, and if carriers fail to report accidents.

What You Need to do Now

Act now: Ensure that your drivers update their expired CDLs and get DOT physicals. These new documents must then be collected and placed in each Driver Qualification File (DQF) to replace the outdated and expired documents.

As a DOT-regulated carrier, you know that current CDLs and medical certificates are essential to running a compliant business. Furthermore, DQFs must be kept up to date to retain compliance.

With offsite audits on the rise and the annual International Roadcheck right around the corner—to be held May 4 to 6—you simply can’t risk the chance of noncompliance. Failing to follow federal regulations can lead to violations, hefty fines, failed audits, and downgraded safety ratings. Not to mention, it can significantly hurt your business because current and prospective suppliers and partners will undoubtedly be less likely to work with you—and your insurance premiums could increase dramatically.

Digital Recordkeeping Now Required! Get Offsite Audit Ready Now

How to Keep Drivers Compliant

No doubt, it can sometimes be a pain to chase down drivers—especially if you have several working for you—to ensure that their CDLs and medical certificates are indeed up to date.

But Foley can help. Our new Driver Self Service feature in customer portals simplify the process by allowing drivers to upload and send these essential credentials electronically. All they have to do is take and upload an image from wherever they are!

Also through this program, whenever a CDL or medical card is up for review, we notify and also automatically email your drivers (whether 60 or 30 days before a document is due), and send reminders periodically as that due date approaches. If you have Foley’s DOT Physical service, you can also make appointments for drivers directly in your account—then follow-up on them.

Once drivers submit electronic versions of their documents, they are available in your portal account. You can review them, reject or approve them, and the final version will be added to each driver’s digital DQF. You can then focus on what’s most important—running your business—until you receive a new alert or notification.

It’s that simple! Interested in learning more about any of Foley’s compliance tools? Contact us today!

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