In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a three-month waiver to some of the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) requirements.
CLP waiver allows a CLP holder to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without the holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) present in the front seat of the vehicle, as normally required in §383.25. The waiver applies if the CLP holder is in possession of:
A document from a state driver licensing agency or third-party tester showing that the CLP holder has passed the CDL driving skills test, and
A valid non-CDL driver’s license, CLP, and medical certificate (unless covered under a COVID-19 waiver that FMCSA issued on March 24, 2020).
Under this provision, though the CDL holder is not required to be in the front seat of the vehicle, he or she must be in the cab of the vehicle. This provision does not allow a CLP holder to operate a CMV solo.
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The waiver does not apply if the CLP holder’s driving privileges have been suspended or withdrawn, or if the CLP holder is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions under the drug and alcohol regulations (49 CFR 382).
The waiver also allows states to administer a driving skills test to any nondomiciled CDL applicant regardless of where the applicant received driver training.
This waiver, set to expire on June 30, 2020, is the second CLP-related COVID-19 waiver that the FMCSA has granted within the last week. On March 24, the FMCSA granted a waiver for certain CDL, CLP, and medical-certification requirements, allowing certain drivers to operate with an expired driver’s license and/or medical card until June 30 if they were unable to renew because of the outbreak.
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