FMCSA Eases CLP Training and Testing Rules Due to “Unique Circumstances” of COVID-19

Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is easing certain rules related to the training and testing of those seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

On Saturday, March 28, the Agency issued a three-month waiver to allow commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without a CDL holder in the front passenger seat.

Additionally, the waiver, which became effective on Saturday, allows State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) to administer a driving skills test to any out of state CDL applicant, regardless of where the applicant received driver training.


In explanation of it waiver, the FMCSA said:

COVID-19 outbreaks have led to widespread closures of State and Federal government offices, reduction of government services, and disruption of transportation systems, including possible driver shortages and related interruption of supply chains, which are heavily dependent on continued CMV operations.

FMCSA finds that the circumstances surrounding this waiver are unique because such government operations are not providing their usual level of service.

Given the national emergency, there is a public need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment, and persons, which requires an adequate and sustained supply of drivers eligible to operate a CMV.

The waiver expires on June 30, 2020.


Since President Trump declared the coronavirus outbreak a National Emergency on March 13, the FMCSA has taken unprecedented actions to ease Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).

Only hours after President Trump issued the National Emergency, the Agency issued an historic 50-state hours of service (HOS) waiver for CMV operators directly engaged in transporting relief supplies.


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Then, less than a week later, the FMCSA expanded its first HOS waiver to include the transportation of fuel and other raw materials.

On March 24, the Agency provided a temporary waiver for expiring CDLs, CLPs and medical cards.


While this latest action is the first time the FMCSA has issued such a waiver related to CLP holders on a broad scope, the Agency has issued similar waivers in recent years.

The FMCSA has granted similar requests to large carriers such as Prime, C.R. England and CRST.

Read FMCSA’s CLP and SDLA waiver HERE.



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