COVID-19 Information for CMV Companies and Drivers

 

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This page contains information related to exemptions, emergency relief and other guidance related to the current COVID-19 crisis for commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers.  Please review the information for details on how they might effect your operations. 
Please be advised that these provisions are for guidance so that critical resources can be distributed to those that need it most. 
Regardless of any provision or exception, carriers and drivers are always expected to operate vehicles under their control in a safe and prudent manner to protect life and property while transporting goods over the highways at all times.

Site updated as of 12:00 AM 3/23/2021

GENERAL INFORMATION AND FAQs

National Corona Virus Information (general)

FMCSA COVID-19 Information and Resources

General FAQs

FMCSA COVID-19 Emergency Declarations FAQs

FMCSA Hours of Service FAQs

Summary of Emergency Declaration Information in Colorado

Executive Order - Mandatory Face Coverings in Colorado

Emergency Declarations by State

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Emergency Declarations Portal (contains searchable list for current for International, National and State waivers and exemptions)

RELIEF FROM FEDERAL REGULATIONS FOR CERTAIN CMV OPERATIONS

The President of the United States has declared a state of emergency under 42 U.S.C. 5121.  In response, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an exemption of 49 CFR Parts 300-399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)

This Emergency Declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operation that are providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for:

  1. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;

  2. 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;

  3. Food for emergency restocking of stores;

  4. Immediate precursor raw materials -- such as paper, plastic or alcohol -- that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3);

  5. Fuel;

  6. Liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems;

  7. Equipment , supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19;

  8. Persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and

  9. Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.

DIRECT ASSISTANCE DOES NOT INCLUDE: Routine commercial deliveries, or transportation of mixed loads that include essential supplies, equipment and persons, along with supplies, equipment and persons that are not being transported in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks.

Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts, drivers must be relieved of all duty and afforded 10 hours consecutive hours off duty for property carriers, or 8 hours consecutive off duty for passenger carriers.

Commercial Motor Carriers who are currently under an Out Of Service order are not eligible for this exemption.

Effective until termination of emergency or 5/31/2021 at 11:59 pm

Link to FMCSA website information: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/expansion-and-extension-modified-emergency-declaration-no-2020-002-under-49-cfr-ss-0

DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING

(Note: It is important to remember that This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in anyway.  This guidance is intended only to provide clarity regarding existing requirements under the law.)

Please click on this link to access information, provided by DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance (ODAPC), about the impact of the COVID-19 national emergency on DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for employers, employees, and service agents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations provide reasonable flexibility to motor carrier employers and their drivers subject to testing under 49 CFR part 382 to address the COVID-19 national emergency.

The FMCSA is aware that, as described in ODAPC’s guidance, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency are interfering with, and in some cases, may be preventing, employer and driver compliance with current drug and alcohol testing requirements.

In addition to the guidance provided by ODAPC, see below for further information specifically related to FMCSA’s testing requirements.

Recommended actions for FMCSA-regulated employers unable to conduct:

Random Testing – You are required by 49 CFR 382.305(k) to ensure that the dates for administering random alcohol and controlled substances tests are spread reasonably throughout the calendar year. DOT guidance further recommends that you perform random selections and tests at least quarterly.

For further guidance see https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Best_Practices_for_DOT_Random_Drug_and_Alcohol_Testing_508CLN.pdf.

If, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency, you are unable to perform random selections and tests sufficient to meet the random testing rate for a given testing period in order to achieve the required 50% rate for drug testing, and 10% for alcohol testing, you should make up the tests as soon as reasonably possible.  You should document in writing the specific reasons why you were unable to conduct tests on drivers randomly selected, and any actions taken to locate an alternative collection site or other testing resources.

Pre-Employment Testing – If you are unable to conduct a pre-employment controlled substances test, in accordance with 49 CFR 382.301(a), you cannot allow a prospective employee to perform DOT safety sensitive functions until you receive a negative pre-employment test result, unless the exception in 49 CFR 382.301(b) applies.

For further guidance see: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/three-month-waiver-response-economic-consequences-covid-19-public-health-emergency

Post-Accident Testing – You are required to test each driver for alcohol and controlled substances as soon as practicable following an accident as required by 49 CFR 382.303. However, if you are unable to administer an alcohol test within 8 hours following the accident, or a controlled substance test within 32 hours following the accident, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency, you must document in writing the specific reasons why the test could not be conducted, as currently required. See 49 CFR 382.303(d) and FMCSA Guidance at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/drug-alcohol-testing/commercial-motor-vehicle-operator-involved-accident-which

Reasonable suspicion testing – You should document in writing the specific reasons why the test could not be conducted as required; include any efforts you made to mitigate the effect of the disruption, such as trying to locate an alternative collection site. This documentation should be provided in addition to the documentation of the observations leading to a test, as required by 49 CFR 382.307(f). Follow current regulations addressing situations in which reasonable suspicion testing is not conducted, set forth in 49 CFR 382.307(e)(1), (2).

Return-to-duty (RTD) testing – In accordance with 49 CFR 40.305(a), you must not allow the driver to perform any safety-sensitive functions, as defined in 49 CFR 382.107, until the RTD test is conducted and there is a negative result.

Follow-up testing -  If testing cannot be completed, you should document in writing the specific reasons why the testing could not be conducted as in accordance with the follow-up testing plan; you should include any efforts you made to mitigate the effect of the disruption, such as trying to locate an alternative collection site. You should conduct the test as soon as practicable.

FMCSA-Regulated Employees:

Please follow the ODAPC guidance, as set forth below, and available at: https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/compliance-with-dot-drug-and-alcohol-testing-regulations.

If you are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, you should contact your medical provider and, if necessary, let your employer know about your availability to perform work.

  • If you have COVID-19-related concerns about testing, you should discuss them with your employer.
  • FMCSA joins ODAPC in suggesting that employers respond to employee concerns in a sensitive and respectful way.

As a reminder, it is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the circumstances of what may be considered an employee’s refusal to test and determine whether or not the employee’s actions should be considered a refusal as per 49 CFR § 40.355(i).  

Link to FMCSA website information: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/fmcsa-covid-19-drug-alcohol-testing-guidance 

COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSES

CDL WAIVERS, EXTENSIONS AND VARIANCES:

The FMCSA issued a waiver for States, CDL holders, CLP holders, and interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles who transport goods in response to the COVID-19 emergency.  The Colorado Department of Revenue has chosen to exercise the following four provisions from that waiver.

  1. Waives the requirement that CDL, CLP and non-CDL drivers have a current medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  2. Waives the requirement that CDL or CLP holders to provide the State Driver Licensing Agency with a current medical certificate, provided they have proof of a valid medical certificate that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  3. Waives the requirement that the State Driver Licensing Agency change the CDL or CLP holder’s medical certification status to “not certified” upon the expiration of the medical certificate provided the CDL or CLP holder has proof of a valid medical certificate that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  4. Waives the requirement that the State Driver Licensing Agency downgrade the CDL or CLP upon the expiration of the medical certificate as long as the driver has proof of a valid medical certificate or medical variance that expired on or after March 1, 2020.

This waiver is valid for the period beginning March 20, 2020 12:01 am, continuing through May 31, 2021 11:59 pm.

DOES NOT APPLY TO:  A CDL or CLP that expired before March 1, 2020; a CDL or CLP holder if the driver’s privileges have been suspended or withdrawn for traffic offenses; drivers who cannot produce evidence of a prior medical certificate; drivers who have never obtained a medical card; drivers who developed a condition that required an exemption for skills performance evaluation; medical certificates that were originally issued for less than 90 days.

Drivers claiming relief under this waiver must have proof of a valid medical certificate that expired on or after March 1, 2020 and carry that proof with them.

Each motor carrier must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of an accident involving any CDL, CLP or non-CDL driver operating under the terms of this waiver.

Find current information at:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/waiver-response-covid-19-national-emergency-states-cdl-holders-clp-holders-and-2

 

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CARRIERS/DRIVERS

REQUALIFICATION OF CYLINDERS (FOR 2.2 NON-FLAMMABLE GAS):

In its continued efforts to support the need to move critical hazardous materials products during the COVID-19 public health emergency, PHMSA will impose an enforcement discretion for cylinders that have exceeded their periodic requalification test dates (not to exceed 12 months).  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will not take enforcement action against any person who fills a DOT-specification cylinder used to transport Division 2.2 non-flammable gas by motor vehicle.  The enforcement discretion does not extend to transport by air, vessel, or railroad.  This waiver was issued on April 6, 2020 and remain in effect until the Department of Health and Human Services determines that the public health emergency related to COVID-19 no longer exists.

FMCSA link for current information:

https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/phmsa-issues-notice-enforcement-discretion-cylinders

 

SIZE AND WEIGHT

TEMPORARY WEIGHT ALLOWANCE:

CDOT issued an exemption that will allow all tractor-trailer combinations to operate on all state roads and the interstates at 85,000 pounds gross weight. This waiver on weights shall remain in effect for the duration for the declared emergency, as per Governor Polis, unless further declarations are made in writing or are rescinded.

REGISTRATION, PERMITS AND TAXES

REGISTRATIONS:

Colorado DMV offices are open at various levels and times across the state.  Please use the link below to find your county's availability to conduct business.

Online and mail-in services are also available.  https://dmv.colorado.gov/closures-and-delays 

IFTA CARRIERS:

Online resources are available. https://tax.colorado.gov/ifta-operations-modifications

DIRECT CONTACT INFORMATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
United States

Phone: (877) 831-2250

Colorado State Patrol

COVID-19 Related Questions - Call Center: (833) 598-5553

Motor Carrier Safety Section - (303) 273-1875

Hazardous Materials Section - (303) 273-1911

Ports of Entry:

Cortez                  (970) 565-9420
Denver Mobile     (303) 273-1871
Dumont                (303) 567-4807
Fort Collins          (970) 482-1622
Fort Morgan         (970) 867-5623
Lamar                   (719) 336-4712
Limon                   (719) 775-9758
Loma                    (970) 858-1068
Monument            (719) 481-2281
Trinidad                (719) 846-2408

 

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