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November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule in the Federal Register (82 FR 52229). The rule, among other items, added four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone). It also added methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte and removed the testing for methylenedioxyethylamphetaime (MDEA). The change in the testing panel will begin on January 1, 2018.

FEBRUARY 22, 2018 - If you're a short-haul driver who typically reports back to the same work location each day, you might be able to take advantage of the 16-hour short haul exemption - a FMCSA hours of service exemption that allows short-haul drivers to extend their 14 hour driving window by two additional hours once a week. This exemption doesn't extend your 11 hour daily driving limit, but does provide you with up to 16 hours to complete your workday. Here's what you need to know about using this exemption so that you can ensure you're fully compliant with your hours of service regulations: You must return to your work reporting location on the days you claim the exemption, as well as for your previous five work days. You must be released from duty within 16 hours. You can only use this exemption once in any consecutive 7-day period unless you've taken a 34-hour restart since your last 16-hour shift. You cannot use this exemption if you qualify for the non-CDL short-haul exemption. This exemption is available to non-CDL drivers who stay within 150 air miles. Those who qualify can take up to two 16 hour shifts per week and aren't required to keep logs. Keep in mind, this exemption doesn't otherwise change your DOT hours of service requirements. You must still adhere to your weekly limit of 60/70 on-duty hours, as well as take a 30-minute break during each shift.

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 was enacted on December 16, 2014, suspending enforcement of requirements for use of the 34-hour restart, pending a study. Based on the findings from the CMV Driver Restart Study, the 34-hour restart rule in operational effect on June 30, 2013, is restored to full force and effect. The requirement for two off-duty periods of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. in section 395.3(c) of the Agency's hours-of-service rules will not be enforced, nor will the once-per-week limit on use of the restart in 395.3(d). The use of the 34 hour restart is no longer limited to once per week nor will it require two time periods between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM.

The following are not required to use ELDs (but carriers may choose to use ELDs even if they are not required): Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period. Driveaway-towaway drivers (were the vehicle driven is the commodity) or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer (at least one set of wheels of the vehicle being transported must be on the surface while being transported. Drivers of vehicles with engines manufactured before model year 2000.

Hours-of-Service Regulations Summary of December 2011 Final Rule Maximum Driving Hours - FMCSA retained the current 11 hour driving time limit, but placed a limit on the number of consecutive driving hours. No driving may occur if more than 8 consecutive hours have passed since the last break of 30 minutes or more. 34 Hour Restart - The rule allows a driver to restart their weekly 60/70 hour clock any time that they receive a consecutive 34 hour rest break. 14 Consecutive Hour Day (now called Driving Window) - The rule retains a 14 consecutive hour driving window. With a 30 minute rest break, maximum on-duty time within the 14 hour window is 13.5 hours. No driving may occur after 14 consecutive hours since coming on duty; non-driving work is allowed past the 14 hour driving window. Mandatory Rest Break - Drivers will not be permitted to drive if 8 hours have passed since their last break of 30 minutes or more. (Only 1 break may be required depending upon timing). Off-Duty in A Parked CMV or In Passenger Seat - The rule includes a new "on-duty" definition that allows drivers to record time spent in a parked CMV as off-duty time. Also, team drivers would be permitted to record up to 2 hours of time spent in the passenger seat of a CMV in operation as off-duty time, if it is just before or after an 8 hour sleeper berth period. Oilfield Exemption - Waiting time at an oil well or natural gas site will not count toward calculation of the 14 hour window but must be recorded as off-duty on a paper or electronic log. Egregious Violations - A driver who exceeds, and/or a motor carrier that allows a driver to exceed, the driving time limit by 3 hours or more is considered to have committed an egregious violation and be subject to the maximum civil penalties of $2,700 for drivers and $11,000 for motor carriers - for each offense. Effective Date & Compliance Date - This rule was effective in late February 2012, and the new "on-duty" definition, the oilfield exemption change, and the egregious violations provisions become effective then. Interstate motor carriers and drivers are not required to comply with the remainder of the new rules (the restart changes and the rest break requirement) until July 1, 2013

$172.202 Description of hazardous material on shipping papers: *As you can see, the U N# is now listed first on the shipping paper (a)The shipping description of a hazardous material on the shipping paper must include: (1)The identification number prescribed for the material as shown in Column (4) of the $172.101 table; (2)The proper shipping name prescribed for the material in Column (2) of the $172.101 table; (3)The hazard class or division number prescribed for the material, as shown in Column (3) of the $172.101 table. The subsidiary hazard class or division number is not required to be entered when a corresponding subsidiary hazard label is not required. Except for combustible liquids, the subsidiary hazard class(es) or subsidiary division number(s) must be entered in parentheses immediately following the primary hazard class or division number. In addition- (i)The words "Class" or "Division" may be included preceding the primary and subsidiary hazard class or division numbers. (ii)The hazard class need not be included for the entry "Combustible liquid, n.o.s."

The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.

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