APA Advisory -  FMCSA Grants HOS/ELD Waiver to APA 

June 25, 2021


SUBJECT:  Limited Relief for Independence Day Period

We are pleased to report that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced its decision to grant in part APA's request for exemption from the FMCSA's Hours of Service (HOS) 14-hour rule for the period of June 28 - July 8, 2021. Participants listed on the waiver are permitted to exclude off-duty and sleeper berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14-hour limit. While participants on the exemption are permitted, when calculating the cumulative 14 hour on-duty limit, to log off duty time by means other than the required sleeper-birth requirement and may include breaks during the day where no work is performed; they remain subject to the 14-hour cumulative on-duty limit, the 11-hour driving time limit, and the 60 / 70 hour weekly on-duty time limits.

Additionally, participants may use paper records of duty status (RODS) in lieu of electronic logging devices (ELDs) during the designated Independence Day periods however, drivers subject to the ELD requirements prior to June 28 must continue to use ELDs, maintain ELD data for 6 months from the date the electronic record is generated, and make ELD data accessible to law enforcement upon request.

APA Executive Director, Julie Heckman, has been challenging FMCSA on this sudden change to the terms of APA’s exemption all afternoon.  She has been advised that the new Deputy Administrator is not familiar with our industry, which is also why the exemption is not being issued for a 5-year period as requested.  With regard to FMCSA now requiring drivers currently subject to ELD’s (meaning any driver you currently have employed that utilizes an ELD or drivers you utilize during the busy holiday period who normally operate under an ELD in their other job, you should utilize the TRALA exemption which authorizes an exemption from ELDs in CMVs rented for 8 days or less.  FMCSA is exploring with their leadership expanding those terms to address our 11-day period but as of today, the TRALA exemption only covers 8 days or less.  A copy of the TRALA exemption is attached.

While the official exemption notice is pending publication in the Federal Register, June 29, in the interim please maintain a copy of the attached notice from La Tonya Mimms, Chief, Driver and Carrier Operations, FMCSA. 

Because your company is listed as one of the participants in the waiver, we are sending this advisory as a reminder that companies must make certain that each driver maintains a complete copy of the exemption in their vehicle when transporting fireworks and equipment. For now, use the attached FMCSA letter from Ms. Mimms and a copy of the TRALA exemption, if applicable to your operations. 

Additionally, please include the listing of eligible companies and highlight your carrier information for easy reference. We expect the official Federal Register notice will be published early next week. In the interim, utilize these resources if you need to prepare the paperwork for your trucks this weekend. The final notice will be emailed to you as soon as it is published and will also be posted on the APA website.  

Advisory 2021-16