FMCSA releases notice of enforcement discretion determination

March 21, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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The FMCSA has announced it will not enforce Temporary Operating Authority Registration fees for motor carriers, including passenger carriers requesting temporary authority to transport property, in order to provide direct assistance to the nation’s emergency relief efforts.

FMCSA released the notice of enforcement discretion determination on Friday, March 20. The notice follows FMCSA’s emergency declaration on March 13 and expanded emergency declaration on March 18. The declarations gave temporary relief from hours-of-service regulations to truck drivers who are hauling essential freight amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The notice means the fee provisions will not be enforced against motor carriers requesting Temporary Operating Authority Registration.

According to FMCSA acting Administrator Jim Mullen, the notice takes the following measures:

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  • Acknowledges the national emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment and persons as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks set forth in Regional Declaration of Emergency 2020-002.
  • Considers the interest of public safety and the immediate need for emergency relief.
  • Creates no individual rights of action and establishes no precedent for future determinations.
  • Is inapplicable to motor carriers whose operating authority registration is suspended or revoked.

FMCSA added that the notice will expire upon the termination or expiration of Regional Emergency Declaration 2020-002, including any future extensions.

Emergency declaration

Also on March 20, the agency published a list of frequently asked questions regarding the emergency declaration.

Among the questions addressed on the FAQ are questions about the 30-minute rest break, the 34-hour restart, and what a driver needs to do if backhauling.

An FMCSA spokesman said the page will be updated periodically with additional questions and answers.
The full list can be found here.

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.