FMCSA Eases Requirements for States to Report Disqualified Drivers
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is continuing to ease Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) in response to the national emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In yet another unprecedented action last Friday, the FMCSA issued a Notice of Enforcement Discretion to State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), no longer requiring SDLAs to report driver convictions or disqualifications within the 10-day period required by federal law.
“FMCSA is exercising its discretion not to issue a finding or make a determination of substantial non-compliance for SDLAs unable, within 10 days, to post a driver’s disqualification or conviction to the driver’s record, to transmit notification of the disqualification or conviction to the driver’s State of record, or to report a driver’s conviction to the Federal Convictions and Withdrawal Database (FCWD),” the Notice states. ” In addition, FMCSA will not issue a finding or make a determination of substantial non-compliance for SDLAs unable to disqualify drivers as expeditiously as possible.”
The FMCSA conducts annual reviews of SDLAs and has the authority to withhold Federal-aid Highway funding from States found to be in substantial non-compliance.
The Agency says the reason it is deferring enforcement is due to widespread SDLA closures and reduced hours amid COVID-19 mitigation policies, and thus, it may not be possible for certain States to comply with federal regulations.
Motor carrier executives are already expressing concern over the new action by the FMCSA as it could put trucking companies in a difficult position of hiring or retaining drivers who should have previously been disqualified.
The FMCSA says the Notice is in effect through June 30, 2020, or the end of the declared national emergency, after which time the SDLAs will be required to once again come into compliance.
“In no case will continued non-compliance be permitted more than 90 days after the effective period of this Notice,” the FMCSA says.
Read the entire Notice HERE.
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