What are the Latest Driver Regulations from the FMCSA?

With all the emergency declarations, waivers, driver regulations and exemptions in play during the 2020 pandemic, do you know what currently applies to your fleet? 

In 2020, truck drivers became essential workers in the United States. By any standard they certainly always have been — but during the time of the Coronavirus pandemic, keeping goods and services on-the-road and on-time became critical not only to the end-user but to the U.S. economy in general. 

In response to this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made a series of declarations, exemptions, and waivers to support drivers during the emergency. Though the first emergency declaration made on March 13 and the expanded HOS regulatory relief announcement on March 18 caused some initial confusion in the industry, they were thought to be temporary measures that would only remain in place until the pandemic had been declared over. Sadly, five months later, the United States still remains in the grip of COVID-19.

Do the FMCSA Regulations Apply to My Fleet?

It depends. Typically, if your drivers are required to use ELD devices, then these rules and regulations would apply to you. There only a few exceptions to the mandatory ELD implementation rule that went into effect in December 2019. They are:

  • 100 Air Mile Radius Drivers. Drivers using the 395.1(e) logbook timecard exceptions (short-haul drivers)
  • Drive-Away/Tow-Away Drivers. Drivers transporting a vehicle for an operation (repair, sale, etc.) wherein the vehicle itself is the product being shipped.
  • Pre-2000 Model Drivers. Drivers operating vehicles manufactured prior to the model year 2000.
  • Limited Log Usage Drivers. Drivers whose paper log usage does not exceed 8 days in a 30-day period.

If you are unsure if these exemptions apply to you or your fleet, you can easily find out by visiting our extensive online ELD resource center, take the online ELD assessment, or speak to one of our expert Fleet Advisors who will be happy to assist you. 

What Are The Latest Driver Regulations in Place?

Most of the current regulations released by the FMCSA have to do with Hours of Service, or HOS. On June 1, the FMCSA revised the HOS regulations to provide greater flexibility for drivers without adversely affecting safety. While motor carriers are not required to comply with these new regulations until September 29, there are a number of emergency exceptions in place to help provide drivers with the ability to continue to deliver essential goods and services throughout the pandemic. 

The FMCSA’s regulations can seem complex and difficult to understand. Here’s the latest highlights, as well as links for further information. Remember: being in compliance is important. Non-compliance can lead to fines and even marks against your overall CSA score. Not sure what applies to you? We’re happy to help

Extension of the Modified Expanded Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 Under 49 CFR § 390.25

Issued: July 13, 2020 – Extended through August 14, 2020

This extension provides continuing regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency efforts related to COVID-19. This declaration is limited to transportation of the following:

  • Livestock and livestock feed
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants

This declaration does not cover routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of the emergency declaration. 

For more information, visit the FMCSA

Where Can I Find Out More Information on FMCSA Rules and Regulations?

The FMCSA has been providing updated information, including an extensive FAQ section, through their website. Additionally, you can speak to one of our expert Fleet Advisors who will be happy to guide you.  

Read More:

The New Normal: Fleet Management in the Time of COVID-19

Coronavirus & Trucking: How to Keep Your Drivers Healthy

The FMCSA Answers Your HOS Waiver Questions