Massachusetts RMV implements further credential extensions

The Massachusetts RMV has implemented further extensions for expiring motor vehicle inspection stickers, passenger plate registrations, professional credentials, and licenses and permits, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Permits (CDLs / CLPs).

While 60-day extensions had already been implemented for most credentials, passenger plate registrations, and inspection stickers expired or expiring in March and April, this new action will apply the same 60-day extension to those expiring in May. Additionally, credentials expiring in March 2020 that previously were extended by 60 days will have an additional 60-day extension applied.

The following new changes are associated with commercial activities. Details on all of the extensions are available on the RMV’s COVID-19 information page.

  • All commercial and non-commercial driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that expire in May 2020 will now expire in July 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time. Customers holding a license marked “Limited-Term” that has expired or will expire between March 1 and May 31, 2020 should visit Mass.Gov/RMV for more information and to check the validity of their credential.
  • The RMV also recently introduced an online renewal option for CDL holders if they are self-certified in the Non-Excepted Interstate (NI) category for medical certification.
  • In accordance with updated guidance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), all CDL Medical Certificates expiring between March 1 and April 30, 2020 will not expire until June 30, 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time. Extensions to CDL Medical Certificates are intended to prevent license downgrades and elective medical visits, as well as alleviate demand on medical providers, during the State of Emergency.
  • Professional credentials for School Bus Certificates, School Pupil Transport Licenses (7D), Inspector Licenses, Inspection Station Licenses, Driving Instructor Licenses and Driving School Licenses that expire in May 2020 will be extended for 90 days after the State of Emergency is lifted and do not need to be renewed at this time.

Trucking industry leaders named to White House economic revival group

Press release from the American Trucking Association, April 15. Administration Calls on Industry Leaders to Chart Path Forward.

Arlington, Virginia – American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear is among the selection of transportation leaders named by President Trump to the administration’s Great American Economic Revival initiative, which is convening bipartisan groups of industry leaders from across all sectors of the U.S. economy. These groups will work with the White House to chart the path forward for the economy as it rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am honored to serve our President and the nation in this capacity, representing the trucking industry and joining four ATA member company CEO’s, to bridge this crisis to a safe, speedy and full recovery,” said Spear. “Just as they have during the mitigation and response efforts, truckers will be at the forefront as we revive our economy’s engine and get our country moving again. No industry will be more vital, and we embrace the opportunity to play a leading role in this national effort.”

The following trucking CEOs were also named to the administration’s transportation group:

  • Fred Smith, FedEx
  • David Abney, UPS
  • John Roberts III, J.B. Hunt
  • Darren Hawkins, YRC Worldwide

Trucking is the central link in the United States’ supply chain, moving more than 70 percent of the nation’s freight tonnage. More than 80% of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking for delivery of their goods and commodities. In 2018, the trucking industry hauled 11.49 billion tons of the nation’s goods.

Throughout the mitigation and response phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, truckers continue to serve on the frontlines, delivering food, PPE, medicine and other essential supplies to meet the needs of medical professionals, first responders and the American people.


FMCSA extends, expands emergency declaration

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued notice it is extending Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 issued March 13, and expanded on March 26.

The declaration continues the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for the fifty States and the District of Columbia.

This declaration extends the exemption through May 15, 2020, and further expands the relief expressly to cover liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems.

The declaration – dated April 8 – is available as a downloadable PDF.

FAQs – Paycheck Protection Program loans

As a follow-up to our April 7 teleconference, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided a list of frequently asked questions concerning Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The information is current as of April 8.

The SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, intends to provide timely additional guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the PPP, established by section 1102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

TAM will monitor for release of related documents and additional information, and will continue to provide updates.

OSHA Posters & Info: COVID-19 guidance for the workplace

For employers, particularly those providing essential services, the United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued a new poster listing steps all workplaces can take to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

The poster highlights 10 infection prevention measures every employer can implement to protect workers’ safety and health during the coronavirus pandemic. Safety measures include encouraging sick workers to stay home; establishing flexible worksites and staggered work shifts; discouraging workers from using other workers’ phones, desks and other work equipment; and using Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals with label claims against the coronavirus.

Copies of this and other new OSHA documents can be found on the OSHA website.

Travel authorization letter template

In most states or locales where non-essential businesses have been told to close, or in the case of curfews, employees of essential businesses may be asked to show evidence of their employment within those essential businesses when traveling to and from work.

TAM has created a template for a COVID-19 Essential Employee Authorization Letter to assist. If your employees or drivers do not have such a letter they should. If you feel you need to update or formalize what you are already utilizing, click here to download the template (.DOCX format).

Massachusetts RMV COVID-19 webinar playback available

Last week TAM was fortunate to have officials from the Massachusetts RMV present a webinar on issues impacting your commercial activities. They also made themselves available to answer questions. Lots of good information was provided, and the RMV has made the video and audio of the call available if you were unable to attend or would like to review.

A simple registration process is required to view and listen to the call. Keep in mind the information was current as of April 1, and information has been changing daily.

The content of the webinar starts approximately 4 minutes into the presentation.

While the RMV did their best to provide answers to live questions, the information provided is not “official policy” and the RMV is reviewing all the responses to ensure accuracy. If you have questions, contact us and we can forward your question to the RMV.

Instructional Video: What drivers need to know about COVID-19

Professional drivers are on the front lines of this global COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical supplies to the nation.

ITI’s new course COVID 19: What Drivers Need To Know helps drivers understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, how it could affect their work and safety, and steps to keep themselves and others safe.

The Trucking Association of Massachusetts wishes to thank Instructional Technologies for allowing us to share this important video.

The course contains the most up-to-date information from the CDC on the symptoms of COVID-19, preventing spread of the virus and what to do if you get sick. It also deals with driver-specific concerns, including…

  • High Touch Areas
  • Regulatory Changes
  • Rest and Roadside Services
  • Distracted Driving
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Reliable Sources

The full course video is included below.

How to qualify for COVID-19 CARES Act loan and grant options

There are many ways that companies will be able to tap into federal assistance through the CARES Act. It is important to note that all sectors are urging federal agencies to expedite their regulations to ensure impacted businesses can access loans immediately and processes will evolve. More detailed application guidelines are set to come up by the end of the week.

Assuming that that happens we will schedule a call next week to review the process and answer any questions you may have. We will continue to seek more specific information and provide it as it becomes available.

In general note…

  1. There are several different SBA loan programs that appear will be available. One key program is called the “Paycheck Protection Program” and was put in place by the CARES Act.
  2. The loans will be issued by banks as part of the existing SBA 7(a) loan program, so applications will be done through a bank.
  3. Some medium-sized businesses that are normally not eligible for SBA loans may be eligible for these PPP loans. The CARES Act makes them available to all businesses with 500 or less employees eligible, even if they aren’t eligible for normal SBA loan programs.
  4. The PPP loans will have have forgiveness built in , specifically the amount spent on operating expenses during an 8-week period after the loan is received. Payroll, rent, utilities, mortgage interest are all part of the formula.

Massachusetts RMV to host COVID-19 webinar April 1

The RMV is hosting a webinar for TAM Wednesday, April 1 (tomorrow) at 1:30 p.m. ET. They will provide a brief update regarding the evolving situation with COVID-19 and what changes are being made at the RMV to support our interests.

The majority of the session will be dedicated to questions and answers. I encourage you all to ask any questions you may have. Colleen Ogilvie, Deputy Registrar of Operations, will host the call, and several members from the RMV commercial business unit will be on hand to answer questions.

You will receive a direct email from “RMVAtlasSupport” with a link to register for the webinar, you can also register now online.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email, and prior to the webinar you will receive log-in information via email.