Motor carriers must ensure and verify that their CMV drivers meet the minimum requirements specified in 49 CFR 391 before operating a vehicle. CMV owner–operators must comply with both rules that apply to motor carriers and rules that apply to drivers. An owner–operator is a person who operates a CMV under his or her own authority (U.S. DOT Number), as both a motor carrier and self-employed driver.
To drive a CMV in interstate commerce, drivers must comply with the general qualifications outlined in 49 CFR 391.11, including:
- Be at least 21 years of age.
- Speak and read English satisfactorily to:
- Converse with the general public;
- Understand traffic signs and signals;
- Respond to official questions; and
- Make legible entries on reports and records.
- Drive the vehicle safely.
- Be physically qualified to perform all duties of a driver.
- Have only one valid commercial motor vehicle operator’s license issued by one State or jurisdiction.
- Provide an employing motor carrier with:
- A list of all motor vehicle violations; or
- A signed statement that the driver has not been convicted of any motor vehicle violations during the past 12 months.
- Pass a driver’s road test or equivalent.
A disqualified driver must not drive a commercial motor vehicle for any reason. See 49 CFR 391.15.