Daily dispatch, March 31: Real ID requirement for drivers delayed; diesel price average falls another 7 cents

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020:

Real ID requirement delayed amid coronavirus pandemic
The Department of Homeland Security announced last week it is delaying the Real ID enforcement deadline which, in part, requires truck drivers to have an upgraded license to enter military bases and other federal facilities. The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards that are required for accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants and boarding commercial airplanes.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf issued a statement March 26 saying the Real ID enforcement deadline was being pushed from Oct. 1, 2020, to Oct. 1, 2021, giving fleets who service military bases and federal facilities more time to make sure their drivers are compliant with the new ID requirements.

“Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the Real ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline,” Wolf said. “States across the country are temporarily closing or restricting access to DMVs. This action will preclude millions of people from applying for and receiving their Real ID. Extending the deadline will also allow the department to work with Congress to implement needed changes to expedite the issuance of Real IDs once the current health crisis concludes.”

Diesel prices continue to slide
Diesel fuel prices across the U.S. hit another two-year low during the most recent week ending March 30, falling to $2.586 per gallon nationwide, according to the Department of Energy’s weekly update.

Prices have been on the decline for 12 consecutive weeks, falling a total of 48.58 cents since the slide began during the week ending Jan. 13.

The latest price update is down 7.3 cents from the previous week. The most recent week’s price is the lowest since the week ending Aug. 7, 2017, when prices were $2.581 per gallon across the country.

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During the most recent week, prices fell in all regions with the most significant increase being seen in California, where prices dropped by 15.7 cents.

California continues to hold the nation’s most expensive fuel at $3.395 per gallon, followed by the the Central Atlantic region at $2.866 per gallon.

The cheapest fuel can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $2.363 per gallon, followed by the Midwest region at $2.432 per gallon.

Prices in other regions, according to DOE, are:

  • New England – $2.793
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.514
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.592
  • West Coast less California – $2.798

ProMiles’ numbers during the same week saw fuel prices fall by 7.6 cents to $2.498 per gallon nationwide. Chris Lee with ProMiles says this is the first time prices have been below $2.50 per gallon nationwide since July 2017.

According to ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $3.327 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $2.368 per gallon.