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Emergency Declarations, Waivers, Exemptions and Permits


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.


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.

State Emergency Declarations by State


DescriptionEffectiveExpires on
Florida Governor and Secretary Declares State of Emergency Due to Tropical Storm Erika8/28/20159/28/2015


DescriptionEffectiveExpires on
State of Maryland Declares State of Emergency Regarding Hurricane Joaquin10/1/201511/1/2015


DescriptionEffectiveExpires on
State of Montana Issues Executive Order Proclaiming an Emergency Exists due to Wildfires8/15/20159/15/2015

North Carolina

DescriptionEffectiveExpires on
North Carolina Governor Declares a State of Emergency Due to Potential Impacts from Hurricane Joaquin10/1/201511/1/2015

South Carolina

DescriptionEffectiveExpires on
Extension of South Carolina Declaration of Emergency granted due to Ongoing Existence of Emergency10/30/201511/29/2015
South Carolina Declares State of Emergency due to Effects of Strengthening Hurricane10/1/201511/1/2015


DescriptionEffectiveExpires on
Commonwealth of Virginia Declares a State of Emergency Due to Severe Weather and the Threat of Hurricane Joaquin9/29/201510/29/2015


DescriptionEffectiveExpires on
Washington Governor Declares State of Emergency due to Severe Storms11/18/201512/18/2015
Washington Governor Proclaims a State of Emergency Exists in All Counties8/21/20159/20/2015
Updated: Monday, November 23, 2015
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