Are You Required to Comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?

Checklist tells how to determine FMCS regs apply to your company and drivers

Some issues effecting the pavement maintenance and construction industries are the result of a driver operating a “commercial motor vehicle.” The following are some common violations:

  • Do all drivers that operate a commercial motor vehicle 10,001 lbs. or greater have a valid medical card in their possession issued by a “Certified Medical Examiner”?
  • Are all drivers who are operating a commercial motor vehicle 10,001 lbs. or more GVWR or GCWR across a state line at least 21 years of age?
  • Do the drivers of commercial motor vehicles 10,001 lbs. or more in interstate commerce or intrastate commerce comply with the Hours of Service Regulations 49CFR Part 395?
  • Do your drivers of vehicles 10,001 lbs. or greater GVWR or GCWR meet the Driver Qualification Standards 49CFR 391.11?
  • Does your maintenance program comply with FMCSA Vehicle Maintenance Standards 49CFR Parts 393 and 396 for vehicles 10,001 lbs. or more?
  • Do you have a U.S. DOT number and have you filed an MCS-150 form (Carrier Registration)?
  • Do you have an MC number if you haul other people’s property?
  • Do drivers who transport hazardous materials of any quantity that requires placards possess a CDL, an “H” endorsement (Hazardous Materials) and an “N” (Tanker) endorsement (if applicable) or “X” (Haz Mat tanker endorsement combination depending on you state)?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can fall under FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) jurisdiction. You are under FMCSA and PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) jurisdictions if your drivers are transporting hazardous materials requiring placards.

If your company has at least one CDL driver and one commercial motor vehicle 26,001 lbs. or more, you not only fall under FMCSA Regulations, but you must have a U.S. DOT number and MC number if you haul property owned by others. You are also under the CSA (Compliance Safety and Accountability) Program. This program has the most dramatic impact on the industry in the history of the U.S. DOT.

With 25 years’ experience as a commercial vehicle and accident specialist, John C. Cheruka, CSM, SAC has performed thousands of loss control inspections, trained thousands of CDL drivers, road tested and qualified 2800 truck and bus drivers – among other transportation-related work. He presented "Complying with Federal Motor Vehicle Regs: They Affect More than You Think" at National Pavement Expo in Charlotte, NC. Reach him at P.O. Box 378, Gilbert, PA 18331-0378; phone (888) 546-5289 or visit