Final Rules, Guidance, and Waivers

Since the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, the regulatory landscape of the trucking industry has changed drastically. Between 2010 and 2016 alone, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published 71 final rules concerning trucks and buses. Not including trucking regulations published by other government agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, etc. The tables below summarize regulatory action over the past few years, as well as recent regulatory guidance and waivers, in order to better educate and inform our industry.

Final Rules
Docket No.AgencyTitleSummaryEffective DateCompliance Date
EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0162/NHTSA-2010-0079 Environmental Protection Agency/National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationGreenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Effeciency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and VehiclesEPA and NHTSA, on behalf of the Department of Transportation, are each finalizing rules to establish a comprehensive Heavy-Duty National Program that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption for on-road heavy-duty vehicles, responding to the President's directive on May 21, 2010, to take coordinated steps to produce a new generation of clean vehicles. NHTSA's final fuel consumption standards and EPA's final carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards are tailored to each of three regulatory categories of heavy-duty vehicles: Combination Tractors; Heavy-duty Pickup Trucks and Vans; and Vocational Vehicles. The rules include separate standards for the engines that power combination tractors and vocational vehicles. Certain rules are exclusive to the EPA program. These include EPA's final hydrofluorocarbon standards to control leakage from air conditioning systems in combination tractors, and pickup trucks and vans. These also include EPA's final nitrous oxide (N2 O) and methane (CH4) emissions standards that apply to all heavy-duty engines, pickup trucks and vans. 11/14/1111/14/11
FMCSA-2012-0377 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationProhibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle DriversFMCSA adopts regulations that prohibit motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries from coercing drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in violation of certain provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)—including drivers' hours-of-service limits; the commercial driver's license (CDL) regulations; drug and alcohol testing rules; and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs). In addition, the rule prohibits anyone who operates a CMV in interstate commerce from coercing a driver to violate the commercial regulations. This rule includes procedures for drivers to report incidents of coercion to FMCSA, establishes rules of practice that the Agency will follow in response to reports of coercion, and describes penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers. This rulemaking is authorized by section 32911 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (MCSA), as amended. 11/30/1501/29/16
FMCSA-2010-0167 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationElectronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting DocumentsThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to establish: Minimum performance and design standards for hours-of-service (HOS) electronic logging devices (ELDs); requirements for the mandatory use of these devices by drivers currently required to prepare HOS records of duty status (RODS); requirements concerning HOS supporting documents; and measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs. 02/16/1612/18/17
EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0827/NHTSA-2014-0132 Environmental Protection Agency/National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationGreenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Effeciency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles-Phase 2EPA and NHTSA, on behalf of the Department of Transportation, are establishing rules for a comprehensive Phase 2 Heavy-Duty (HD) National Program that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel consumption from new on-road medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and engines. NHTSA's fuel consumption standards and EPA's carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards are tailored to each of four regulatory categories of heavy-duty vehicles: Combination tractors; trailers used in combination with those tractors; heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans; and vocational vehicles. The rule also includes separate standards for the engines that power combination tractors and vocational vehicles. Certain requirements for control of GHG emissions are exclusive to the EPA program. These include EPA's hydrofluorocarbon standards to control leakage from air conditioning systems in vocational vehicles and EPA's nitrous oxide (N2 O) and methane (CH4) standards for heavy-duty engines. Additionally, NHTSA is addressing misalignment between the Phase 1 EPA GHG standards and the NHTSA fuel efficiency standards to virtually eliminate the differences. This action also includes certain EPA-specific provisions relating to control of emissions of pollutants other than GHGs. EPA is finalizing non-GHG emission standards relating to the use of diesel auxiliary power units installed in new tractors. In addition, EPA is clarifying the classification of natural gas engines and other gaseous-fueled heavy-duty engines. EPA is also finalizing technical amendments to EPA rules that apply to emissions of non-GHG pollutants from light-duty motor vehicles, marine diesel engines, and other non-road engines and equipment. Finally, EPA is requiring that engines from donor vehicles installed in new glider vehicles meet the emission standards applicable in the year of assembly of the new glider vehicle, including all applicable standards for criteria pollutants, with limited exceptions for small businesses and for other special circumstances.12/27/1612/27/16
FMCSA-2011-0031 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationCommercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol ClearinghouseFMCSA amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to establish requirements for the Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse), a database under the Agency's administration that will contain information about violations of FMCSA's drug and alcohol testing program for the holders of commercial driver's licenses (CDLs). This rule is mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). It will improve roadway safety by identifying commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who have committed drug and alcohol violations that render them ineligible to operate a CMV. 01/04/1701/06/20
PHMSA–2015–0273 Pipline Hazardous Materials Safety AdministrationHazardous Materials: Harmonization With International Standards (RRR)PHMSA is issuing a final rule to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to maintain consistency with international regulations and standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements. These revisions are necessary to harmonize the HMR with recent changes made to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations. Additionally, PHMSA is adopting several amendments to the HMR that result from coordination with Canada under the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council. 03/30/1703/30/17
FMCSA-2007-27748 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationMinimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle OperatorsFMCSA establishes new minimum training standards for certain individuals applying for their commercial driver's license (CDL) for the first time; an upgrade of their CDL (e.g., a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL); or a hazardous materials (H), passenger (P), or school bus (S) endorsement for the first time. These individuals are subject to the entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements and must complete a prescribed program of instruction provided by an entity that is listed on FMCSA's Training Provider Registry (TPR). FMCSA will submit training certification information to State driver licensing agencies (SDLAs), who may only administer CDL skills tests to applicants for the Class A and B CDL, and/or the P or S endorsements, or knowledge test for the H endorsement, after verifying the certification information is present in the driver's record. 06/05/1702/07/20
FMCSA-2015-0149 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationWithdrawal of Proposed Enhancements to the Safety Measurement SystemOn June 29, 2015 and October 5, 2016, FMCSA proposed enhancements to the Agency’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) and published a preview version of the changes. However, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) required the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study of FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program and the Safety Measurement System (SMS). NAS published their report titled, “Improving Motor Carrier Safety Measurement” on June 27, 2017. This notice announces that FMCSA will not complete the enhancements previously proposed and the preview is removed from the SMS website.07/16/1807/16/18
FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationNational Hazardous Materials Route RegistryThis notice provides revisions to the National Hazardous Materials Route Registry (NHMRR) reported to the FMCSA as of March 31, 2018. The NHMRR is a listing, as reported by States and Tribal governments, of all designated and restricted roads and preferred highway routes for transportation of highway route controlled quantities (HRCQ) of Class 7 radioactive materials (RAM) (HRCQ/RAM) and nonradioactive hazardous materials (NRHMs).08/09/1808/09/18
FMCSA-2016-0333 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationProcess for Department of Veterans Affairs Physicians to be Added to National Registry of Certified Medical ExaminersFMCSA amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to establish an alternative process for qualified advanced practice nurses, doctors of chiropractic, doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, and other medical professionals who are employed in the VA and are licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations (qualified VA examiners) to be listed on the Agency's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, as required by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and the Jobs for Our Heroes Act. After successful completion of online training and testing developed by FMCSA, these qualified VA examiners will become certified VA medical examiners who can perform medical examinations of, and issue Medical Examiner's Certificates to, commercial motor vehicle operators who are military veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system. This rule will reduce the costs for qualified VA examiners to be listed on the National Registry. 08/10/1808/10/18
PHMSA-2016-0097 Pipline Hazardous Materials Safety AdministrationHazardous Materials: California Meal and Rest Break RequirementsPHMSA finds that California’s meal and rest break requirements create an unnecessary delay in the transportation of hazardous materials, and are therefore preempted with respect to all drivers of motor vehicles that are transporting hazardous materials. The agency also finds that the California meal and rest break requirements are preempted with respect to drivers of motor vehicles that are transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosive material and are subject to the attendance requirements of 49 C.F.R. § 397.5(a), because it is not possible for a motor carrier employer’s drivers to comply with the off-duty requirement of the California rule and the federal attendance requirement. Finally, the California meal and rest break requirements are preempted as to motor carriers who are required to file a security plan under 49 C.F.R. § 172.800, and who have filed security plans requiring constant attendance of hazardous materials, because the California requirements are an obstacle to carrying out the requirements of 49 C.F.R. § 172.800 with respect to such motor carriers. 09/21/1809/21/18
RIN 2126-AC09 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationGeneral Technical, Organizational, Conforming, and Correcting Amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety RegulationsFMCSA amends its regulations by making technical corrections throughout the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The Agency makes minor changes to correct inadvertent errors and omissions, remove or update obsolete references, and improve the clarity and consistency of certain regulatory provisions. The amended regulations are: (1) Sections 360.1 (Suspended) and 360.1T Fees for Registration-Related Services. (2) Section 380.603 Applicability. (3) Section 382.107 Definitions. (4) Appendix B to Part 385—Explanation of Safety Rating Process. (5) Sections 390.5 (Suspended) and 390.5T Definitions. (6) Section 391.23 Investigations and Inquiries. (7) Section 395.2 Definitions. (8) Section 397.73 Public Information and Reporting Requirements and Section 397.103 Requirements for State Routing Designations 09/27/1809/27/18
FMCSA-2005-23151 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationQualifications of Drivers; Diabetes StandardsFMCSA revises its regulations to permit individuals with a stable insulin regimen and properly controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to be qualified to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. Previously, ITDM individuals were prohibited from driving CMVs in interstate commerce unless they obtained an exemption from FMCSA. This rule enables a certified medical examiner (ME) to grant an ITDM individual a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), MCSA-5876, for up to a maximum of 12 months. To do so, the treating clinician (TC), the healthcare professional who manages, and prescribes insulin for, the treatment of the individual’s diabetes, provides the Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment Form (ITDM Assessment Form), MCSA-5870, to the certified ME indicating that the individual maintains a stable insulin regimen and proper control of his or her diabetes. The certified ME then determines that the individual meets FMCSA’s physical qualification standards and can operate CMVs in interstate commerce. 11/19/1811/19/18
FMCSA-2017-0047 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationMilitary Licensing and State Commercial Driver’s License ReciprocityThis rule allows, but does not require, State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) to waive requirements for the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) knowledge test for certain individuals who are, or were, regularly employed within the last year in a military position that requires, or required, the operation of a CMV. This rule includes the option for an SDLA to waive the tests required for a passenger carrier (P) endorsement, tank vehicle (N) endorsement, or hazardous material (H) endorsement, with proof of training and experience. 11/27/1811/27/18
Regulatory Guidance and Waivers
Docket No.AgencyTitleSummaryEffective DateCompliance Date
FMCSA-2017-0360 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationHours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles; Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Transportation of Agricultural CommoditiesFMCSA announces regulatory guidance to clarify the applicability of the “Agricultural commodity” exception in the “Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers” regulations. This regulatory guidance clarifies the exception with regard to: drivers operating unladen vehicles traveling either to pick up an agricultural commodity or returning from a delivery point; drivers engaged in trips beyond 150 air-miles from the source of the agricultural commodity; determining the “source” of agricultural commodities under the exemptions; and how the exception applies when agricultural commodities are loaded at multiple sources during a trip. This regulatory guidance is issued to ensure consistent understanding and application of the exception by motor carriers and State officials enforcing HOS rules identical to or compatible with FMCSA's requirements.06/07/1806/07/23
FMCSA-2017-0108 Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationHours of Service of Drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles: Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Use of a Commercial Motor Vehicle for Personal ConveyanceOn December 19, 2017, FMCSA proposed revisions to the regulatory guidance concerning driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty, referred to as “personal conveyance.” Over 380 comments were received in response to the draft guidance. This document provides revised guidance and addresses issues raised by commenters. This guidance applies to all CMV drivers required to record their hours of service (HOS) who are permitted by their carrier to use the vehicle for personal use.06/07/1806/07/23