FMCSR Extends Emergency Relief to September 14

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extends the Emergency Relief of specific regulations including hours of service rules for those in the supply chain supporting coronavirus related relief efforts. A copy of the notice can be found here.

This relief expires September 14, 2020 at 11:59pm or revocation of the presidentially declared COVID-19 national emergency.

The regulatory relief is limited to the transport of:

(1) livestock and livestock feed;

(2) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;

(3) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants; and

(4) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.

Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.1 

Emergency Declaration Restrictions & Limitations

Motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the national emergency are not granted emergency relief from, and must continue to comply with, the following Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and conditions:

  1. 49 CFR § 392.2 related to the operation of a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with State laws and regulations, including compliance with applicable speed limits and other traffic restrictions.
  2. 49 CFR § 392.3 related to the operation of a commercial motor vehicle while a driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the motor vehicle.
  3. Motor carriers shall not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that he/she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours before the driver is required to return to service.
  4. 49 CFR §§ 392.80 and 392.82 related to the prohibitions on texting while driving and using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving.
  5. A motor carrier whose driver is involved in a crash while operating under this emergency declaration must report any recordable crash within 24 hours, by phone or in writing, to the FMCSA Division Office where the motor carrier is domiciled. The carrier must report the date, time, location, driver, vehicle identification, and brief description of the crash.
  6. Nothing in the Emergency Declaration or this Extension shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substance and alcohol uses and testing requirements (49 CFR Part 382), the commercial driver’s license requirements (49 CFR Part 383), the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements (49 CFR Part 387), the hazardous material regulations (49 CFR Parts 100-180), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically exempted under 49 CFR § 390.23.
  7. Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief granted by this declaration until they have met the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded by FMCSA in writing.
  8. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19 or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce. (49 CFR § 390.23(b)). Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with Parts 390 through 399. When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and normal operations, equals 14 hours.

2020 Emergency Response Guidebook

2020 Emergency Response Guidebook

The 2020 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) has been released.  This is the small orange book that should is used by emergency responder during a hazmat incident.  The 2020 ERG replaces the 2016 edition.  

For those of you who cannot wait until you have this book in your hands. There is an app or you can download a copy below.

For the App, search the App Store for ERG 2020 by the National Library of Medicine and you can download for free.  

Files to download. The ERG is available in English, Spanish and French.

2020 ERG – English

2020 ERG – French

2020 ERG – Spanish

2020 ERG Windows Software – download here

Additional ERG files as well as a video showing how to use the ERG can be found at

Stay Safe!

Christine Holloway-Clare is the Vice President of Safety Specialists, Inc. She has been assisting customers comply with the hazardous materials regulations for over 20 years.

Safety Specialists, Inc. offers a wide range of hazardous materials transportation training and consulting options. Online training is available. Monthly online classes for DOT, IATA and IMDG available. Join one today.

Are You A Registered HazMat Shipper?

PHMSA HazMat Registration is due for 2020-2021. Registration is valid from July 1 – June 30.

Who needs to register?

You must register if you are a person who offers for transportation or transports in commerce a shipment containing any of the following categories of hazardous materials (including hazardous wastes):

  1. A highway route-controlled quantity of a Class 7 (radioactive) material, as defined in 49 CFR 173.403. A “highway route-controlled quantity” may be shipped by highway, rail, air, or water.
  2. More than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (explosive) material (see 49 CFR 173.50) in a motor vehicle, rail car, or freight container.
  3. More than one liter (1.06 quarts) per package of a material extremely toxic by inhalation (that is, a “material poisonous by inhalation” that meets the criteria for “hazard zone A” as specified in 49 CFR 173.116(a) for gases or 173.133(a) for liquids).
  4. A hazardous material (including hazardous wastes) in a bulk packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 liters (3,500 gallons) for liquids or gases or more than 13.24 cubic meters (468 cubic feet) for solids. Please note that a person who offers or transports a hazardous material in a bulk packaging with a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons or 468 cubic feet must register, even if placards are not required (for example, a Class 9 material).
  5. A shipment in other than a bulk packaging of 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds) gross weight or more of one class of hazardous materials (including hazardous wastes) for which placarding of a vehicle, rail car, or freight container is required for that class.
  6. A quantity of hazardous material that requires placarding. The placarding requirements are set forth in 49 CFR 172 Subpart F and summarized on
    our website. Note that the transportation of any quantity of a hazardous material, other than Division 6.2 and Class 9 materials, in a bulk packaging requires placarding and therefore registration. This includes residues that remain in an un-purged tank truck or rail tank car. Persons who return such packagings are required to register as offerors of a placarded shipment of hazardous materials.

What does registration cost for 2020-2021?

Small business and non profits – $275

Not small businesses – $2600

How to register?

PHMSA has put together this guide to answer your registration questions.

Register online here.

Regulations regarding PHMSA registration are found in 49 CFR 107.601-107.620.

If you have any questions regarding hazardous materials registration, please let me know. We will be happy to assist you with your hazmat questions. Contact me at or (704) 573-0955.

Christine Holloway-Clare is the Vice President of Safety Specialists, Inc. She has been assisting customers comply with the hazardous materials regulations for over 20 years.

Safety Specialists, Inc. offers a wide range of hazardous materials transportation training and consulting options. Online training is available. Monthly online classes for DOT, IATA and IMDG available. Join one today.