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Note:
This is an excerpt from FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Planner specific to your interests. As you navigate through the pages, pay close attention to any notes and highlights. Click here to read the entire Safety Planner and find more resources to help you comply with safety regulations.

1.3 Who Must Comply with the FMCSRs and HMRs?

Applicability of the regulations depends on a number of factors includingthe types of vehicles you operate, whetheryou transport passengers orhazardous materials, and if you operate for-hire (for compensation).

Motor carriers are responsible for ensuring that their drivers know and comply with the FMCSRs and HMRs listed in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations . If a driver fails to comply, it will affect the carrier’s safety record. The table below can help you determine which regulations may apply to you, but specific exceptions and exemptions are detailed within each “Part” of the Federal code.

Type of Vehicle

Applicable Regulations

I operate a self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle:

  1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR), or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or
  2. Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
  3. Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  4. Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C (49 CFR Parts 171-177).

I operate a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle is a:

  1. Combination Vehicle (Group A)—having a GCWR or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a GVWR or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or
  2. Heavy Straight Vehicle (Group B)—having a GVWR or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater; or
  3. Small Vehicle (Group C) that does not meet Group A or B requirements but that either—
    1. Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
    2. Is of any size and is used to transport hazardous materials as defined in 49 CFR 383.

Interstate operations:

All of the above regulations, plus:

Intrastate ONLY operations may be subject to:

I operate a vehicle of any size that is used to transport hazardous materials (identified under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act), and which requires the vehicle to be placarded in accordance with 49 CFR 177.823.

All of the above regulations, plus:

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