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Emergency Exemption for Transportation Providers Extended Until July 14th

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Daren Hansen - Sr. Editor - Transportation Safety - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

June 17 , 2020

Since March, the FMCSA’s emergency exemption has been in effect with a few extensions.  Another extension has been issued and will be in effect until July 14th or until the national emergency is terminated, whichever happens first. However, this revised exemption is limited to the transportation of:

  • Medical equipment and supplies related to the diagnosis, testing, and treatment of the Coronavirus,
  • Livestock and livestock feed,
  • Equipment and supplies that are necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of COVID-19 transmission (personal protective equipment, soap, and disinfectants).

Drivers and motor carriers operating under this exemption are not required to comply with Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations — as long as they are providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, they must continue to comply with the commercial driver’s license, drug and alcohol testing, financial responsibility (insurance), hazardous materials, and size and weight requirements. They must also comply with:

  • All applicable state laws and regulations, including speed limits and other traffic restrictions;
  • 49 CFR §392.3, which prohibits the operation of a CMV while the driver is too ill or fatigued to drive safely; and
  • Prohibitions on texting while driving and using a handheld cell phone while driving.

Also included in the exemption is a requirement to provide fatigued drivers with 10 hours of rest upon completion of their relief efforts.

Recordable crashes must be reported within 24 hours by the motor carrier to the FMCSA office in the state where they are based. Phone or written notification is required and must include the date, time, location, driver name, vehicle ID, and a short description of the crash.

Some Are No Longer Eligible for the Emergency Exemption

The following items or personnel are no longer eligible for the emergency exemption as of the end of the day on June 14, 2020: fuel; food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems; supplies, equipment, and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID- 19; persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and people who provide other medical or emergency services.


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Emergency Exemption for Transportation Providers Extended Until July 14th