MAINE BMV UPDATES (September, 2020)

Maine BMV has been working hard to accommodate Maine’s Trucking Industry. Since closing offices during the initial phase of the Pandemic with many employees working from home, most employees have now transitioned back to working from the office.

All branch offices are now open for “limited” walk in traffic based on the office size, with the exceptions of Springvale and Kennebunk. Kennebunk will continue appointment only services until late September, at which time walk in traffic will resume. No decision has yet been made with respect to re-opening at Springvale.

If you are attempting to call the CDL Exam Unit, calls coming in to the unit are answered by staff in the order they are received. BMV encourages patience and stresses that all calls will be answered as quickly as possible.

The CDL written and road test processes have not changed. Applications and supporting material must be filed and then notices of scheduled exams are mailed to the applicant. Because written tests only resumed in mid-August, there is currently a backlog with a waiting period of 4-6 weeks. The wait time for skills testing is approximately 6-8 weeks, however the wait time could vary by location, with the lower volume areas taking longer.

The hazmat endorsement process has not changed and notifications to drivers with expiring credentials has resumed. BMV expects to catch up on the backlog in the next few weeks and written exams are scheduled in 4 to 6 weeks.

Something to pay particular attention to is that Maine BMV will soon resume sending notices of downgrade to CDL holders whose DOT Medical Card is expiring. This notice is sent 60 days before the expiration of the medical certificate along with a new self-certification. If a current DOT card is not sent to BMV along with the self-certification prior to the expiration of the DOT card, the MVR will indicate that the driver is “not medically certified”. In order to avoid being listed as “not medically certified”, it is important to renew expiring medical cards and licenses prior to expiration.

As a reminder, FMCSA has issued an emergency declaration and enforcement waiver for expiring credentials that were valid on March 1, 2020. Although this waiver is currently in effect until September 30th and may be extended, it is up to individual states to decide the downgrade process. All this means that drivers with expiring credentials and DOT cards may not receive enforcement action at roadside or during audit, but the waiver will not circumvent licenses becoming downgraded. Bottom line is that drivers and motor carriers should take all reasonable steps to renew CDL’s and medical cards prior to expiration.

Should you have questions regarding BMV operations or need assistance with registrations, permits, or other BMV services, please feel free to contact the staff at MMTA to assist.