IRP plates expiration extended by three months

The RMV has extended the expiration date for International Registration Plan (IRP) plates from June 30 until Sept. 30, 2020.

Law enforcement agencies have been made aware that many jurisdictions have granted waivers or extensions for registration dates.

While the new expiration date for IRP registrations provides flexibility for RMV business partners and customers, the RMV currently accepting and processing IRP registrations and encourage you to renew your plates now.

Click here for information on how to renew your IRP plates.

Jury awards in trucking cases rising at “exponential pace”

From Fox Business.

While lawmakers weigh raising the mandated insurance coverage minimum for the trucking industry, new data shows that cases with so-called nuclear verdicts have increased dramatically throughout recent years.

Read the full post online at Fox Business.

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut – New quarantine restrictions on travelers

The Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have announced a joint incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days. Unfortunately, as of this moment, the announcement did not indicate whether the quarantine requirement would include truck drivers.

Our understanding is that essential workers, including truck drivers, are not subject to the 14-day quarantine as long as they are practicing social distancing precautions and other measures that safeguard the public health. It is expected that the additional protocols for essential workers will be issued soon since these new travel restrictions went into effect today.

FMCSA grants waiver from some CDL and CLP regulations

Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 National Emergency – For States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles.

Summary

FMCSA grants, until September 30, 2020, a waiver from certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders and to other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). FMCSA has initiated this action in response to the President’s declaration of a national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b) and the public health emergency declared by the Health and Human Services Secretary related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and section 4 of Executive Order No. 13924, Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery, 85 FR 31353 (June 9, 2020).

This waiver is effective July 1, 2020 and expires on September 30, 2020.

The full waiver, including a PDF is available online at the FMCSA website.

A Notice of Enforcement Policy Regarding Expiring Driver’s Licenses and Medical Examiner’s Certificates During COVID-19 National Emergency has also been posted.

FMCSA will exercise its enforcement discretion to not take enforcement action for the following:

  • 49 CFR 383.23(a)(2) – a CLP or CDL holder operating a CMV with an expired license, but only if the CLP or CDL was valid on February 29, 2020, and expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  • 49 CFR 383.37(a) – a motor carrier that allows a CLP or CDL driver to operate a CMV during a period in which the driver does not have a current CLP or CDL, but only if the CLP or CDL was valid on February 29, 2020, and expired on or after March 1, 2020.
  • 49 CFR 391.11(b)(5) – a CMV driver (i.e., CLP, CDL, or non-CDL license holder) or motor carrier that allows a CMV driver to operate a CMV during a period in which the driver’s operator license has expired, but only if the driver’s license was valid on February 29, 2020, and expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the driver is otherwise qualified to drive under 391.11.
  • 49 CFR 391.45(b) – a CMV driver or motor carrier that allows a CMV driver to operate a CMV during a period in which the driver does not have the current medical certificate and any required medical variance as required by 49 CFR 391.45(b), but only if the driver has evidence of a medical certification and any required medical variance that was valid on February 29, 2020 and expired on or after March 1, 2020.

FMCSA extends Emergency Declaration

Please review the most recent updated FMCSA update.  It is important to note that it does not cover all the carriers that have been covered up to now, so please review carefully.

New online tool: Commerce routing during disasters

The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Idaho National Laboratory has launched a Commercial Routing Assistance app that could help fuel distributors and others navigate through emergencies.

The federally funded app is free to users and was developed in partnership with trade groups, including the Petroleum Marketers Association of America. The app incorporates vetted data to plot routing options, providing state-by-state information on regulatory waivers, government closures, prohibitions, restrictions on movement, and other orders that affect intrastate and interstate commerce, PMAA said in an announcement.

There are two URLs to access the Commercial Routing App.

The All Hazards Consortium website includes a brief video tutorial with an overview and directs you to the Commercial Routing Assistance website.

RMV to open Braintree B2B Service Center June 22

The RMV is opening a new, dedicated B2B Center at the Braintree Service Center on Monday, June 22.

This is in addition to the existing Attleboro, Boston (Haymarket), Chicopee, Milford, and Wilmington dedicated B2B Service Centers. New IRP transactions will not be processed at the Braintree B2B, but will still be conducted at the Milford and Wilmington Service Centers.

In following “social-distancing” practices, these B2B facilities and services will be for drop-off B2B transactions/bundles only. You will not be allowed to wait in any of these locations for pickup. All RMV B2B facilities are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

President Trump signs PPP Flexibility Act

The PPP Flexibility Act makes several critical changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The changes provide relief to many businesses currently using PPP loan proceeds and preparing to seek loan forgiveness within the requirements of the CARES Act.

Key Points

  • The forgiveness period is extended from 8 weeks to 24 weeks (which should almost guarantee that everyone can get the entire amount forgiven)
  • The maximum amount that can be used for items other than payroll is increased from 25% to 40%

You can find additional information concerning the PPP Flexibility Act online at National Law Review.

RMV re-opens Boston Haymarket B2B Service Center

Due to the evolving situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and in an effort to continue protecting RMV staff, customers, and business partners, the RMV is re-opening an additional B2B Center at the Boston Haymarket RMV today (June 8).

This is in addition to the existing Attleboro, Chicopee, Milford, and Wilmington dedicated B2B Service Centers. New IRP transactions will not be processed at Haymarket (Boston) B2B.

In following social-distancing practices, these B2B facilities and services will be for drop-off B2B transactions/bundles only.

The RMV continues to serve members of the general public on an appointment-only basis at additional locations, consolidated into the larger service centers, and has redeployed teams from nearby, closed offices to ensure staffing resources are available to assist customers and business partners like you.

Please note: Any B2B service requests appearing at other open service centers will be redirected to Attleboro, Chicopee, Haymarket (Boston) Milford, and Wilmington RMVs.

In keeping with recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the RMV has also adopted enhanced cleaning practices for its facilities, purchased additional contactless hand sanitizer dispensing stations, issued anti-viral disinfectant wipes and individual-size hand sanitizers to certain employees, and expanded areas to be disinfected.

OSHA revised guidance for recording COVID-19 illnesses

On May 19, OSHA revised its April 10 interim guidance regarding the enforcement of the agency’s injuries and illness recording requirement of COVID-19 cases. The most notable revision is the elimination of enforcement discretion in areas where there is ongoing community transmission of COVID-19, and where the ability of employers in specific industries to determine work-related transmission is difficult.

OSHA expects all employers to investigate employee COVID-19 illnesses to determine whether the illness is likely work-related, based on information reasonably available to the employer. If, after a reasonable and good faith inquiry, the employer cannot determine whether it is more likely than not that exposure in the workplace played a causal role concerning a particular case of COVID-19, the employer does not need to record that COVID-19 illness.

Click here for a summary of the revised OSHA guidance.