FMCSA Issues Extension on CDL & Medical Certificate Renewals due to COVID-19 Pandemic

March 8, 2021

Do you have commercial drivers on staff trying to renew their expired, or soon to be expiring, commercial driver’s license (CDL) and/or medical certifications? Well, you aren’t alone. In addition to various state and local stay at home orders, the pandemic has forced many state driver’s licensing agencies to close or function with significantly reduced hours and staff. Trying to get a renewal appointment over the past 12 months has been a challenge for many drivers. Clinic locations have also been difficult to book appointment for medical certifications who are also operating with limited staff and hours, as well as heavy patient restrictions due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Fortunately, the FMCSA has issued another extension on CDL and Medical Certificate renewals due to COVID. It has been almost year since the FMCSA first granted a waiver from specific regulations applicable to CDL holders. Several extensions have been issued, with this most recent extension of the waiver now granted through May 31, 2021.

This latest extension was granted as many states continue to experience a higher number of government agency employee absences and field office closures due to the pandemic, resulting in many CDL holders being unable to complete the required application processes. CDL endorsements and special certificates have also been extended. CDL drivers whose medical certifications are set to expire on or after December 1, 2020 now have until May 31, 2021 to obtain and submit a new medication certification in accordance with applicable state and federal requirements.

State licensing agencies are seeking cooperation with law enforcement to avoid CDL drivers being cited for expired licenses or medical certificates. If you have commercial drivers, be sure to inform them of this latest wavier extension in the event they are questioned by law enforcement.

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