Government shutdown delaying HAZMAT Certification, TWIC Cards, and HOS Changes
According to the Washington Trucking Association, the government shutdown is causing at least a 45-day backlog for TSA to send out letters for the background check requirement for drivers with Hazmat certification. As the shutdown continues, we should be prepared for even longer backlogs. We presume that there is a similar situation concerning drivers needing TWIC cards.
It is suggested that drivers needing either Hazmat certification or TWIC cards to begin their renewal process 60-90 days ahead of their expiration date to avoid any disruptions in their ability to haul certain loads (or any loads at all).
Another issue caused by the government shutdown is that it will delay HOS rule changes. The FMCSA is operating at full staff, but new rules require input from other Federal agencies that are operating with a skeleton crew. According to Commercial Carrier Journal, “FMCSA officials hinted in December that a notice of proposed rulemaking…could come as early as March”. Even the ELD exemption for livestock haulers is not a done deal, because it was included in the budget that wasn’t approved.
Specifically for Washington State, there is an issue surrounding Heavy Use Vehicle Tax and Washington State Prorate. If the specific form with the paid stamp is not submitted to WA State Prorate, the carrier cannot pay the prorate and their ability to operate is jeopardized. A member has not received their Schedule 1 back from IRS and has run into difficulty in paying their 2019-2020 prorate.
The state did say that if you submit your completed form 2290 along with proof of payment, WA State Prorate will accept that documentation and you can pay your prorate based on these forms.