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 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 last amended on February 16, 2021.  FMCSA CDL related waivers expire on May 31, 2021.  The most recent proclamation, Nineteenth Proclamation, extends the State’s emergency period end date through June 8, 2021. (The temporary interim procedures conveyed in the FAQs are subject to change.  Please continue to check this website for the latest revisions.)

(Revised April 12, 2021)

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 May 30, 2021, may continue to legally drive a CMV through the end of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration waiver expiration date of May 31, 2021.  However, CDL holders must still meet the requirements for a valid medical examiner’s certificate.

 

2. 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 December 1, 2020 or later are currently granted an extension through May 31, 2021 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  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 that expired on December 1, 2020.

   

3. 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 on or after March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, are granted an additional 180-day exemption from the HME expiration date.  However, if your CDL expires at the end of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) waiver period on May 31, 2021 and your Hazmat endorsement 180-day exemption goes beyond that expiration date, your CDL with the HME will be valid only until the FMCSA waiver expiration date.  If your HME 180-day exemption ends before the FMCSA waiver expiration date, your CDL will still be valid until the FMCSA waiver expiration date but your HME ends after the 180-day exemption period.

   

4. 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) that was issued for 90-days or longer that expired on September 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020, are granted an extension until February 28, 2021 and also MECs that were issued for 90-days or longer that expires on or after December 1, 2020, are granted an extension until May 31, 2021 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  The 53-day downgrade period will be calculated from the date of the applicable FMCSA MEC extension date.

   

5. Will my commercial learner’s permit (CLP) be valid if it expires during this emergency period?

CLP holders in good standing that have a CLP that expires between March 1, 2020 thru May 30, 2021, may continue to legally drive a CMV through the end of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration waiver expiration date of May 31, 2021.  However, CLP holders must still meet the requirements for a valid medical examiner’s certificate.

   

6. 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 commercial vehicle after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration waiver expiration date on May 31, 2021.  The expired CDL will be downgraded to a Class 3 and remain valid until the end of the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period on June 8, 2021.  Be aware that the up to 1-year reinstatement period to renew your CDL will be calculated from the original CDL expiration date once the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period has ended.

   

7. 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 Certificate (MEC) that was issued for 90-days or longer that expired on September 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020, were granted an extension until February 28, 2021 and also MECs that expire on or after December 1, 2020 are granted an extension until May 31, 2021.  A 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 applicable FMCSA MEC extended expiration date.

   

8. 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 exemption of the expiration date.  Failure to do so may result in the expiration of the HME for the CDL.  CDLs that expires March 1, 2020 thru May 30, 2021 were allowed a waiver until May 31, 2021 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  In some instances, where the HME expiration date extends beyond May 31, 2021, the CDL must be renewed no later than the waiver extension date allowed by FMCSA.  Should the HME extension date end before the end of the FMCSA waiver expiration date on May 31, 2021, 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 May 31, 2021.   However, CDL holders must still meet the requirements for a valid medical examiner’s certificate.

   

9. 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?

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 you have held your CLP 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/ )

   

10. My commercial driver’s license (CDL) was granted the extension from the expiration date through April 13, 2021. 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.

   

11. Must I still hold my commercial learner’s permit (CLP) at least 14-days before being eligible to take the skills tests?

During the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period, the 14-day waiting period has been suspended and CLP holders may take the CDL skills test without any waiting period.

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