Using a Commercial Motor Vehicle as a “Personal Conveyance”


What is use of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) as a personal conveyance?

A driver has gone “off duty” at the end of his run or shift and needs to eat at a local restaurant or make a personal purchase of something from a local box store.

What rules apply? Will the driver have to log on-duty to drive there? If the driver has no available hours, does he or she need to call a taxi? What do the regulations say?

Personal Conveyance is use of a motor vehicle for non commercial purposes.

Are there any specific regulations covering use of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) as a personal conveyance?

To answer that we need to look at Question 26 the DOT’s Hours of Service guidance  . . . (DOT Guidance, while not subjected to all of the rigors of the rule-making process, are clarifications of the regulations and, as such, are binding on drivers and motor carriers.)

Question 26: If a driver is permitted to use a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for personal reasons, how must the driving time be recorded?


a driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work, time spent traveling from a driver’s home to his/her terminal (normal work reporting location), or from a driver’s terminal to his/her home, may be considered off-duty time.

Similarly, time spent traveling short distances from a driver’s en route lodgings (such as en route terminals or motels) to restaurants in the vicinity of such lodgings may be considered off-duty time. The type of conveyance used from the terminal to the driver’s home, from the driver’s home to the terminal, or to restaurants in the vicinity of en route lodgings would not alter the situation unless the vehicle is laden. A driver may not operate a laden CMV as a personal conveyance. The driver who uses a motor carrier’s Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for transportation home, and is subsequently called by the employing carrier and is then dispatched from home, would be on-duty from the time the driver leaves home.

A driver placed out of service for exceeding the requirements of the hours of service regulations may not drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) to any location to obtain rest.

Personal Conveyance Guidelines In Summary

  1. The driver is off-duty
  2. All travel by CMV is local.
  3. The vehicle is unladen (carrying no freight, or even pulling a trailer)
  4. The driver cannot have been placed Out-of-Service (OOS) for exceeding his or her hours.

While in Personal Conveyance mode, all other CMV safety and safe driving rules apply. It is verboten, for example, to use a CMV to drive to a local store to buy alcohol § 392.5: Alcohol prohibition (or to consume alcoholic beverages while driving the CMV off-duty §382.201), to give unauthorized passengers a lift (§392.60: Unauthorized persons not to be transported), or do anything work-related (like repairing or servicing or fueling the vehicle) .

To avoid misunderstandings, your vehicle operating policy should cover the use of a CMV or company vehicle for personal conveyance, as well as breaks. I recommend to always keep a copy of this policy in the CMV (and a copy of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)), to avoid any potential hassles if a driver stopped while driving a CMV in the personal conveyance mode.

Thank you for reading this.

Comments via Linkedin:

Paul Johnson, R. L. Leek Industries:

If he is using it for personal use he may stay off duty but must note miles and flag off duty driving.

Max Doman, Hazardous Materials Specialist:

Depends. Is he the owner or a company man. What if he was rear ended, is it defendable in court? Always cover your a$&..

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