COVID-19 CDL FAQs

Posted on Mar 27, 2020 in
The following is a Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) discussion on the State of Hawaii’s COVID-19 emergency procedures as it relates to drivers of commercial motor vehicles.  As of June 1, 2021, there are no longer any waivers or extensions to an expired commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP).  However, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a waiver until November 30, 2021 for a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) and medical variance issued for a period of 90 days or longer and expired on or after June 1, 2021, unless the waiver is terminated earlier by FMCSA.  The renewal and issuance of new CDLs and CLPs at county CDL offices returned to their normal daily office processing levels since January 1, 2021.   (The temporary interim procedures conveyed in the FAQs are subject to change.  Please continue to check this website for the latest revisions.)  

(Revised August 31, 2021)

 
  1. Am I still allowed to legally drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if my commercial driver’s license (CDL) has expired?
After May 31, 2021, there are no extensions being granted for an expired CDL.  
  1. Am I still medically qualified to legally drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if my medical examiner’s certificate (MEC) has expired?
FMCSA waives until November 30, 2021, a MEC or medical variance issued for a period of 90 days or longer and expired on or after June 1, 2021.  FMCSA requires that drivers claiming relief under this waiver must have proof of a valid MEC and any required variance that expired on or after June 1, 2021, and carry a paper copy of their expired MEC.  Drivers that need a paper copy of their MEC should obtain a copy from their medical examiner.  The FMCSA waiver allows the CDL holder with an expired MEC that meet this criteria additional time to get examined by their medical professional to update their MEC.  
  1. Am I still allowed to legally drive a commercial motor vehicle containing hazardous materials if my TSA Hazardous Materials Threat Assessment for my hazardous materials endorsement (HME) has expired?
No.  TSA has not provided any additional exemption for an expired hazardous materials endorsement (HME) that expired on or after March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, beyond the additional 180-day exemption from the HME expiration date.  The 180-day HME expiration date exemption period ended for all drivers on June 29, 2021.  
  1. Will my class of CDL be downgraded to a Class 3 driver’s license if my medical examiner’s certificate has expired?
FMCSA waives until November 30, 2021, a MEC or medical variance issued for a period of 90 days or longer and expired on or after June 1, 2021.  The CDL will not be downgraded for a MEC or medical variance that satisfies this condition.  The FMCSA waiver allows the CDL holder with an expired MEC that meet this criteria additional time to get examined by their medical professional to update their MEC.  It is very important to be aware that once the waiver period has ended on November 30, 2021, the CDL will be downgraded based on the original MEC expiration date and not the waiver expiration date.   For CDL holders that hold a MEC that expired and would have been downgraded during the waiver period but was extended due to the waiver, the CDL will be downgraded immediately after November 30, 2021 and the CDL holder will need to visit the county CDL office to reinstate their CDL and pay the applicable fees.  
  1. Will my commercial learner’s permit (CLP) be valid if it expires during this emergency period?
After May 31, 2021, there are no extensions being granted for an expired CLP.  CLP holders must still meet the requirements for a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate.  
  1. What will happen to my expired CDL that was extended until May 31, 2021 during the past emergency period?
After May 31, 2021, there are no extensions being granted for an expired CDL and the CDL will no longer be valid to drive any commercial or non-commercial motor vehicle.  Be aware that the up to 1-year reinstatement period to renew your CDL will be calculated from the original CDL expiration date.  
  1. What will happen to my expired CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) that expired and allowed a TSA expiration date exemption during the emergency period once the COVID-19 emergency proclamation has ended?
After May 31, 2021, there are no extensions being granted for an expired CDL regardless of the HME TSA expiration date.  The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends that the HME application be initiated at least 60-days before the end of the TSA exemption of the expiration date.  Failure to do so may result in the expiration of the HME for the CDL.  The 180-days exemption for an expired HME that was granted by TSA is no longer valid.  
  1. My commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) expired after the 19th emergency proclamation period ended on May 31, 2021. What happens if I could not get an appointment in time to renew my CDL or CLP?
After May 31, 2021, there are no extensions being granted for an expired CDL and CLP.  The CDL or CLP will no longer be valid to drive a commercial or non-commercial motor vehicle once it has expired.  CDL holders will no longer be licensed to legally operate a motor vehicle on public roadways.  CLP holders will no longer be licensed to legally operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roadways and if the CLP was held for longer than 360 days, you will not be eligible to renew the CLP but must reapply for an initial CLP and re-take the knowledge test(s).  Please contact your county DMV to make the appropriate arrangements for an appointment.  (See the following link to get the county contact information: https://hidot.hawaii.gov/driverslicense/ )  
  1. My commercial driver’s license (CDL) was granted the extension from the expiration date through May 31, 2021. When I renew my CDL, will I get issued my renewed CDL with the extra days? 
After May 31, 2021, there are no extensions being granted for an expired CDL.  Your renewed CDL will expire on your birth date (or hazardous materials endorsement end date) and the new expiration period and fees will be calculated based on when your CDL originally expired.  
  1. Must I still hold my commercial learner’s permit (CLP) at least 14-days before being eligible to take the skills tests?
Yes, you must now hold the CLP for at least 14-days before being eligible to take the skills tests.  The latest Hawaii COVID-19 emergency proclamation no longer suspends the 14-day waiting period requirement.

Did this answer your question?