Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations? A: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) are rules developed by the United States Department of Transportation and are found in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 390 through 397. These regulations are in place to ensure that commercial vehicles are safe, not just for other motorists on the highways, but are in safe operating condition for drivers of these types of vehicles. Missouri has adopted these regulations as state statute, making them applicable to intrastate operation as well as interstate operation. These regulations can be obtained from J. J. Keller and Associates in Neenah, Wisconsin, or from LabelMaster in Chicago, Illinois, from the Internet at www.fmcsa.dot.gov, from a government bookstore, from Missouri Motor Carrier's Association, or at a full service truck stop with a professional driver's shop. Q: Who must comply with the FMCSR? A: The FMCSR are applicable to anyone who operates a commercial vehicle. Q: What is a commercial vehicle? A: A commercial vehicle is defined in Part 390.5 of the FMCSR as:
Any self propelled or towed motor vehicle operated in commerce, and;
Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), or a gross combination weight rating (GCWR), or a gross vehicle weight, or a gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more, or;
Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation, or;
Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver) and is not used to transport passengers for compensation, or;
A vehicle, regardless of weight, used to transport a type or quantity of hazardous materials required to be placarded.
Also, there are some exceptions in state statute for some types of vehicles, such as solid waste haulers and farm licensed vehicles. There is an exception for medical certificate requirements for some drivers.
Q: What regulations would be applicable to my operation? A: The quick answer is all of the regulations apply, but is also dependent upon the type of operation you are engaged in and the size and type of vehicles you operate. Typically, the regulations dealing with driver qualifications such as medical certificate or medical waiver; vehicle markings; vehicle equipment such as required braking equipment for any trailers pulled, steering, suspension, tires, load securement and emergency equipment; drivers' hours of service and record of duty status; and vehicle inspection and maintenance. Q: Do I need a USDOT number? A: If you operate a vehicle meeting the definition of a commercial vehicle, the answer is yes. This number is assigned to those carriers, both for hire and private, that operate commercial vehicles in interstate as well as in intrastate commerce. If you are a private carrier, operating solely in intrastate commerce (your vehicles never leave the state) you are required to have a USDOT number assigned to your company and mark that number on your vehicles. However in this case, there is not an agency in the state authorized to give those USDOT numbers to private carriers operating solely in intrastate commerce. You are required to have that number, but there is no place for you to seek remedy at this time. Q: How do I license my truck? A: Missouri truck licenses are based on the gross weight of the truck and any trailer and load carried. An example would be a truck weighing 7,800 pounds pulling a trailer weighing 3,500 pounds hauling a load of lumber weighing 6,000 pounds. The truck must be licensed to cover this entire situation, or for at least 18,000 pounds in this example. Q: Do my drivers need a CDL? A: This requirement is based upon the size and type of vehicle operated. Missouri CDL requirements are based on gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle, or combination of vehicles. Then the gross vehicle weight rating or actual gross weight of the trailer must be considered. If you have questions regarding this issue please contact the nearest Missouri State Highway Patrol troop headquarters office and speak to a CDL Examiner. Q: Do my drivers need a medical certificate? A: If they operate a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce, yes. If they operate a commercial vehicle in intrastate commerce, the answer may change a little. A driver is not required to be medically certified to operate a commercial vehicle if they operate solely intrastate (they do not operate a commercial vehicle outside the borders of Missouri) and had a valid chauffeur's license on or before May 13, 1988.