Who is DOT regulated?

When things go wrong . . .

“When things go wrong, don’t go wrong with them.” Elvis

(I) Application of the federal DOT regulations is determined on a trip-by-trip basis, based on the “intent” of the trip. Most states have adopted the federal motor carrier safety regulations.

Example 1: An employee (of a contractor) offers to carry some work supplies across state lines to a work site with his personal 11,000 pound Gross Vehicle Weight Rated (GVWR) pickup.

Both the vehicle and driver would be DOT regulated* on that trip.

Example 2: An employee (of a contractor) uses the same, personal truck to carry his own work tools to a work site.

The vehicle and driver would NOT be regulated on that trip.

Example 3: A contractor uses his personal 11,000 pound Gross Vehicle Weigh Rated pickup truck to carry his own work tools across state lines to a work site.

Both the vehicle and driver would be regulated* on that trip.

*If engaged in “commerce” (see 49 CFR Part 390.5 – Definitions)

(II) If engaged in “commerce,” DOT compliance requirements are based on the weight of the vehicle. Each “Part” of the regulations should be taken into consideration; application of the DOT regulations are determined on a “Part-by-Part” basis.

Is your vehicle (power unit or trailer or combination) over 10,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight Rating GVWR (empty or laden – it doesn’t matter)?

If yes, it is a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) under 49 CFR Part 390 – (see “Definitions”) and parts 390, 391,392, 393, 395, 396, etc., apply.

If the GVWR is under 26,001 pounds (or under 10,000 pounds GVWR for the trailer) it is a non-CDL vehicle then Parts 40, 382, and some of 383 would not apply.


Answer: “All of them.”

As a rule of thumb, assume “all” of the DOT regulations apply to your operation and then work backwords for any exceptions to the rule.

– Any quick fixes will leave you frustrated;

– Doing nothing can cost you time and money in the long run;

– Delayed action is perilous.

If you own or operate a truck used in business, then it is likely both the truck and driver are DOT regulated.


Start today on the path toward compliance and save time and money. To learn more, please visit: www.part380.com



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