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.  The temporary interim procedures established is in accordance with the Governor’s Supplementary to the Emergency Proclamation signed on March 16, 2020 and subsequent supplementary proclamations relating to the COVID-19 emergency that temporarily suspend specific Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Department of Transportation Administrative Rules, along with the applicable Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) CDL waivers that were finalized on September 18, 2020.  The most recent supplementary proclamation, Fourteenth Proclamation, extends the emergency period end date through November 30, 2020.  

(The temporary interim procedures conveyed in the FAQs are subject to change.  Please continue to check this website for the latest revisions.)

(Revised October 15, 2020)

 
  1. Am I still allowed to legally drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if my CDL has expired?
CDL holders in good standing that have a CDL that expires between March 1, 2020 thru November 29, 2020, may continue to legally drive a CMV through November 30, 2020.  However, CDL holders must still meet the requirements for a valid medical examiner’s certificate.  
  1. Am I still medically qualified to legally drive a commercial motor vehicle if my medical examiner’s certificate (MEC) has expired?
CDL holders in good standing that have a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) that was issued for 90-days or longer that expired on March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020 are granted an extension through October 31, 2020.  MECs that expires on June 1, 2020 or later are granted an extension through December 31, 2020.  The MEC expiration date extension allowances also apply to a CDL holder who has an expired medical variance or skills performance evaluation certificate that was issued for 90-days or longer.  
  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?
CDL holders in good standing that have an expired hazardous materials endorsement (HME) that expires between March 1, 2020 thru July 31, 2020, are granted an additional 180-day extension from the HME expiration date.  However, if your CDL expires between March 1, 2020 thru July 31, 2020 and your Hazmat endorsement 180-day extension goes beyond the end of the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period, November 30, 2020, your CDL with the HME will be valid only until November 30, 2020.  If your HME 180-day extension period ends before November 30, 2020, your CDL will still be valid until November 30, 2020 but your HME ends after the 180-day extension.  
  1. Will my class of CDL be downgraded to a Class 3 driver’s license if my medical examiner’s certificate has expired?
CDL holders in good standing that have an expired Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) issued for 90-days or longer that expired between March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020 will not be downgraded to a Class 3 driver’s license and will be granted a MEC expiration date extension through October 31, 2020.  MECs that were issued for 90-days or longer that expires on or after June 1, 2020, are granted an MEC expiration date extension until December 31, 2020.  The CDL that is granted the CDL expiration date waiver to the end of the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period, November 30, 2020, will not be valid after that time even if the MEC is extended beyond November 30, 2020.  After the end of the MEC waiver extended expiration date, the CDL holder will be medically disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle and will have 53-days to submit a current MEC before being downgraded to a Class 3 driver’s license.  
  1. Will my commercial learner’s permit (CLP) be valid if it expires during this emergency period?
(Correction as of October 15, 2020.) Although FMCSA allows for the extension of the validity period for CLPs that expire after March 1, 2020 with an extended validity period up to December 31, 2020, at this time Hawaii law that specifies that the CLP validity period of 180-days is still in force.  Future proclamations may include the suspension of the related law and allow for the extension of the CLP validity during the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period.  
  1. What will happen to my expired CDL that was extended during this emergency period once the COVID-19 emergency proclamation has ended?
The CDL will no longer be valid to drive any vehicle once the extension period allowed for the expired CDL has ended and the CDL has not been renewed.  
  1. What will happen to my CDL after the emergency period has ended and my medical examiner’s certificate had expired during this time?
Qualifying CDL holders with a medical examiner’s certificates (MEC) that expired between March 1, 2020 thru May 31, 2020 were granted a MEC expiration date extension through October 31, 2020.  MECs that expires on or after June 1, 2020 were granted an extension until December 31, 2020.  The CDL is no longer valid to operate a commercial motor vehicle once your MEC has expired and the CDL will be downgraded to a Class 3 driver’s license if a new MEC is not submitted to the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Safety Office or County CDL office within 53-days after the end of the extended MEC 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?
A new hazardous materials threat assessment must be completed with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and due to longer processing times, TSA recommends that the application be initiated at least 60-days before the end of the TSA extended expiration date.  Failure to do so may result in the expiration of the HME for the CDL.  CDLs that expire during the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period are granted an expiration date waiver until November 30, 2020.  In some instances, where the HME expiration date extends beyond November 30, 2020, the CDL must be renewed no later than the extension date granted for the emergency period.  Should the HME extension date end before the end of the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period on November 30, 2020, your CDL will no longer be valid to legally operate a hazardous material (Hazmat) carrying commercial motor vehicle but may operate a non-Hazmat commercial vehicle until November 30, 2020.   However, CDL holders must still meet the requirements for a valid medical examiner’s certificate.  
  1. My commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) expires right after the emergency period ends. What happens if I cannot get an appointment in time to renew my CDL or CLP?
You will no longer be licensed to legally operate a motor vehicle on public roadways.  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 November 30, 2020. When I renew my CDL, will I get issued my renewed CDL with the extra days? 
No.  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?
(Correction as of October 15, 2020) Yes.  Although FMCSA has provided a special temporary waiver through October 31, 2020, to waive the 14-day requirement, at this time Hawaii law that specifies the mandatory 14-day waiting period is still in force.  Future proclamations may include the suspension of the related law and allow for the waiver of the 14-day requirement during the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period.

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