August 26, 2019

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Releases New Proposal For Hours of Service Regulation

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) outlining updates to the current hours of service rules.


  • Changes the short-haul exemption to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the on-duty period from 12 hours to 14 hours and extending the distance limit from 100 airmiles to 150 airmiles;
  • Modifies the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted;
  • Gives increased flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to eight hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes, which will allow the break to be satisfied by a driver using duty, not driving status, rather than off duty;
  • Modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow drivers to split their 10-hours off duty into two periods: one period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth (neither period would count against the drivers 14-hour driving window); and
  • Allows one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off duty at the end of the work shift.

Click here for the agency’s materials explaining the NPRM.