In an effort to help Puerto Rican citizens relocating to the United States in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is waiving certain requirements to help them obtain commercial learner’s permits or commercial driver’s licenses.
The agency has issued a 90-day waiver from proof of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residence and domicile requirements for these individuals relocating from Puerto Rico. The Commercial Vehicle Training Association filed a request with FMCSA for the 90-day waiver to allow CLP and CDL applicants who cannot provide necessary documents to establish identity, due to circumstances surrounding the storms.
FMCSA says the hurricanes resulted in a number of Puerto Rican citizens relocating to various states. Because their initial relocation would occur shortly before the drivers begin training to obtain a CLP, FMCSA says these individuals “likely will be unable to provide documentation necessary to establish a ‘state of domicile’ as defined in 49 CFR 383.5 prior to the completion of the CDL training program and the acceptance of a job driving commercial motor vehicles.”
While utilizing the waiver, CLP applicants must be “actively enrolled in a CDL training school within the state of application,” FMCSA says, and provide proof of enrollment. CLPs issued to those using the waiver are only valid for 90 days.
A CDL issued under the waiver can only be valid for six months and may not be renewed unless the individual provides proof that their license-issuing state is their state of domicile.
FMCSA is also seeking public comment on a longer exemption beyond the current 90-day waiver for Puerto Rican citizens relocating due to the hurricanes. Comments can be made here through March 22.