Thursday, June 04, 2020

FMCSA’s new HOS final rule effective September 29

Last month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued its long-awaited final rule for revisions to hours of service (HOS) regulations for commercial drivers. The agency’s intent is to provide greater flexibility for drivers subject to those rules without adversely affecting safety.

Key revisions include 1) expanding the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allowing a 14-hour work shift to take place as part of the exception; 2) expanding the driving window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional 2 hours; 3) requiring a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break; and 4) modifying the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7, rather than at least 8 hours of that period in the berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside of the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours, and that neither qualifying period counts against the 14-hour driving window.

FMCSA published its final rule in the Federal Register on Monday, June 1, which locks in the Final Rule to take effect after 120 days. Therefore, this final rule is effective September 29, 2020.

Petitions for Reconsideration of this final rule must be submitted to the FMCSA Administrator no later than July 1, 2020. Visit for more information.