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Emergency Declarations, Waivers, Exemptions and Permits

Overview

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is coordinating with the following states that have Declared Emergency Declarations. We recommend you check each State's Web site and search for "Issued Emergency Declarations" if you are interested in more details. For those carriers or drivers interested in providing services or who need to understand FMCSA regulations, the following applies.

Categories

Emergency Declaration Information

To provide vital supplies and transportation services to a disaster area in the United States, emergency declarations may be issued by the President, Governors of States, or FMCSA. These declarations trigger the temporary suspension of certain Federal safety regulations, including Hours of Service, for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort. See 49 CFR 390.23 for the actual emergency regulation.

Relief from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is limited to a maximum of 30 days, unless extended by FMCSA itself.

The information below reflects currently available relief:

  1. Drivers responding to provide "direct assistance" to an "emergency" meeting the definitions in 49 CFR 390.5 and declared by FMCSA or a governor, are exempt from applicable regulations in all States on their route to the emergency, even though those States may not be involved in the emergency or stated in the declaration of emergency.
  2. These exemptions, when in effect, only apply to 49 CFR Parts 390-399. They do NOT exempt drivers/carriers from the requirements relating to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size & weight, or State/Federal registration and tax requirements. (However, a Governor's Declaration may add some of those exemptions—read the declaration for details.)
  3. Even if an Emergency Declaration is still in effect, the emergency must be on-going and you must be providing direct emergency assistance in order to be exempt from safety regulations.
  4. The list of Emergency Declarations below may not be complete. Declarations may be in effect even if not listed here. Read the declaration itself for all details.
  5. There is no requirement to carry a copy of the declaration in the vehicle unless stated so in the declaration itself.
  6. Drivers and carriers should coordinate with State emergency officials before providing assistance. State regulations regarding size and weight, permits, taxes, etc. may not have been waived.
  7. Even though safety regulations may be suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers, or under any conditions presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways.

Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transporation (HHEATT) Act of 2014

On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed into law the "Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act of 2014" or "HHEATT Act." This law reactivates emergency exemptions that were issued or extended by FMCSA between February 5 and March 21, 2014, to provide regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations directly supporting the delivery of propane and home heating fuels to areas under emergency. The declarations or extensions will remain in effect until May 31, 2014, unless terminated by FMCSA, in consultation with the governors of the applicable states. The act does not apply to intrastate motor carrier operations and only eligible interstate shipments may be covered by the exemption.

HHEATT Act

Description Effective Expires On

Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transporation Act of 2014 (PDF)

Affected States: Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia

3/21/2014

5/31/2014

Rescission of Certain Emergency Exemptions

Affected States: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin

4/10/2014 5/31/2014

FMCSA Regional Declarations

Description Effective Expires On
     

State Emergency Declarations by State

Nebraska

Description Effective Expires on
Governor Declares State of Emergency - Severe Weather 6/16/14 Effective until emergency no longer exists

North Carolina

Description Effective Expires On

Governor McCreary Issues Temporary Suspension of Motor Vehicle Regulations for Movement of Emergency Supplies and Equipment due to Tropical Storm Arthur

7/2/14 30 days or the duration of the emergency, whichever is less

Governor McCreary Declares  State of Emergency for 26 North Carolina Counties due to Tropical Storm Arthur

7/2/14 Shall remain in effect until rescinded
Updated: Wednesday, July 2, 2014