FMCSA Gives Driver HOS Relief in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In order to help with the crisis, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has relaxed the Hours of Service (HOS) rules for key workers.

The United States Department of Transporation’s FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has issued a declaration of relaxation of HOS rules to help commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide outbreak of the Cornovirus (COVID-19).

This is the first time the FMSCA has issued such a relief.

“Because of the decisive leadership of President Trump and Secretary Chao, this declaration will help America’s commercial drivers get these critical goods to impacted areas faster and more efficiently,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen. “FMCSA is continuing to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and stands ready to use its authority to protect the health and safety of the American people.”

The declaration has provided for relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The relaxation of HOS rules applies to those who are transporting:

  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Supplies and equipment, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, soap and disinfectants, necessary for health care workers, patient and community safety, sanitation, and prevention of COVID-19 spread in communities.
  • Food for emergency restocking of stores.
  • Equipment, supplies and persons necessary for establishment and management of temporary housing and quarantine facilities related to COVID-19.
  • Persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for transport for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes.
  • Personnel to provide medical or other emergency services.

The relaxation of the HOS rules has also included stipulations to protect the continued safety of the nation’s roadways. Once the drivers who are subject to the relaxed rules have completed their delivery, the driver must get a minimum of 10 hours off-duty, and eight hours if transporting passengers.

For the latest rules and regulations relating to hours of service (HOS) or the FMCSA’s response to the Coronavirus, please visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s official website at