49 U.S. Code § 31301 - Definitions

prev | next
In this chapter—
(1) “alcohol” has the same meaning given the term “alcoholic beverage” in section 158 (c) of title 23.
(2) “commerce” means trade, traffic, and transportation—
(A) in the jurisdiction of the United States between a place in a State and a place outside that State (including a place outside the United States); or
(B) in the United States that affects trade, traffic, and transportation described in subclause (A) of this clause.
(3) “commercial driver’s license” means a license issued by a State to an individual authorizing the individual to operate a class of commercial motor vehicles.
(4) “commercial motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property that—
(A) has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of at least 26,001 pounds, whichever is greater, or a lesser gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight the Secretary of Transportation prescribes by regulation, but not less than a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds;
(B) is designed to transport at least 16 passengers including the driver; or
(C) is used to transport material found by the Secretary to be hazardous under section 5103 of this title, except that a vehicle shall not be included as a commercial motor vehicle under this subclause if—
(i) the vehicle does not satisfy the weight requirements of subclause (A) of this clause;
(ii) the vehicle is transporting material listed as hazardous under section 306(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9656 (a)) and is not otherwise regulated by the Secretary or is transporting a consumer commodity or limited quantity of hazardous material as defined in section 171.8 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; and
(iii) the Secretary does not deny the application of this exception to the vehicle (individually or as part of a class of motor vehicles) in the interest of safety.
(5) except in section 31306, “controlled substance” has the same meaning given that term in section 102 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 802).
(6) “driver’s license” means a license issued by a State to an individual authorizing the individual to operate a motor vehicle on highways.
(7) “employee” means an operator of a commercial motor vehicle (including an independent contractor when operating a commercial motor vehicle) who is employed by an employer.
(8) “employer” means a person (including the United States Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State) that owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle or assigns employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
(9) “felony” means an offense under a law of the United States or a State that is punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year.
(10) “foreign commercial driver” means an individual licensed to operate a commercial motor vehicle by an authority outside the United States, or a citizen of a foreign country who operates a commercial motor vehicle in the United States.
(11) “hazardous material” has the same meaning given that term in section 5102 of this title.
(12) “motor vehicle” means a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semitrailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used on public streets, roads, or highways, but does not include a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semitrailer operated only on a rail line or custom harvesting farm machinery.
(13) “serious traffic violation” means—
(A) excessive speeding, as defined by the Secretary by regulation;
(B) reckless driving, as defined under State or local law;
(C) a violation of a State or local law on motor vehicle traffic control (except a parking violation) and involving a fatality, other than a violation to which section 31310 (b)(1)(E) or 31310 (c)(1)(E) applies;
(D) driving a commercial motor vehicle when the individual has not obtained a commercial driver’s license;
(E) driving a commercial motor vehicle when the individual does not have in his or her possession a commercial driver’s license unless the individual provides, by the date that the individual must appear in court or pay any fine with respect to the citation, to the enforcement authority that issued the citation proof that the individual held a valid commercial driver’s license on the date of the citation;
(F) driving a commercial motor vehicle when the individual has not met the minimum testing standards—
(i) under section 31305 (a)(3) for the specific class of vehicle the individual is operating; or
(ii) under section 31305 (a)(5) for the type of cargo the vehicle is carrying; and
(G) any other similar violation of a State or local law on motor vehicle traffic control (except a parking violation) that the Secretary designates by regulation as serious.
(14) “State” means a State of the United States and the District of Columbia.
(15) “United States” means the States of the United States and the District of Columbia.

Source

(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e),July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1014; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4011(a),June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 407; Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 201(a)(3), (c),Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1759, 1760; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32203(a),July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 784.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
31301(1)
49 App.:2716(1), (13).
Oct. 27, 1986, Pub. L. 99–570, § 12019(1)–(4), (6)–(15), 100 Stat. 3207–187, 3207–188.
31301(2)
49 App.:2716(3).
31301(3)
49 App.:2716(4).
31301(4)
49 App.:2716(6).
31301(5)
49 App.:2716(7).
31301(6)
49 App.:2716(2).
31301(7)
49 App.:2716(8).
31301(8)
49 App.:2716(9).
31301(9)
49 App.:2716(10).
31301(10)
49 App.:2716(11).
31301(11)
49 App.:2716(5).
Oct. 27, 1986, Pub. L. 99–570, § 12019(5), 100 Stat. 3207–188; Apr. 2, 1987, Pub. L. 100–17, § 133(c)(2), 101 Stat. 172; Dec. 18, 1991, Pub. L. 102–240, § 4010, 105 Stat. 2156.
31301(12)
49 App.:2716(12).
31301(13)
49 App.:2716(14).
31301(14)
49 App.:2716(15).

In clause (1), the text of 49 App.:2716(13) is omitted as surplus because the complete name of the Secretary of Transportation is used the first time the term appears in a section.
In clause (4)(A), the words “at least 26,001 pounds” are substituted for “26,001 or more pounds”, and the word “prescribes” is substituted for “determines appropriate”, for consistency in the revised title.
In clause (4)(B), the words “at least 16 passengers” are substituted for “more than 15 passengers” for consistency.
Clause (4)(C)(i) is substituted for “and which has a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds (or such gross vehicle weight rating as determined appropriate by the Secretary under subparagraph (A))” to eliminate unnecessary words. In subclause (iii), the words “deny the application of this exception” are substituted for “waive the application of the preceding sentence” for clarity and because of the restatement.
In clause (11), the words “public streets, roads, or” are added for consistency in the revised title.
In clause (12)(C), the words “involving a fatality” are substituted for “arising in connection with a fatal traffic accident” to eliminate unnecessary words.
Amendments

2012—Pars. (10) to (15). Pub. L. 112–141added par. (10) and redesignated former pars. (10) to (14) as (11) to (15), respectively.
1999—Par. (12)(C). Pub. L. 106–159, § 201(a)(3), inserted “, other than a violation to which section 31310 (b)(1)(E) or 31310 (c)(1)(E) applies” after “a fatality”.
Par. (12)(D) to (G). Pub. L. 106–159, § 201(c), added subpars. (D) to (F) and redesignated former subpar. (D) as (G).
1998—Par. (4)(A). Pub. L. 105–178, § 4011(a)(1), inserted “or gross vehicle weight” after “rating” first two places that term appears and “, whichever is greater,” after “26,001 pounds”.
Par. (4)(C)(ii). Pub. L. 105–178, § 4011(a)(2), inserted “is” before “transporting” in two places and before “not otherwise regulated”.
Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) ofPub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.
Program To Assist Veterans To Acquire Commercial Driver’s Licenses

Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32308,July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 794, provided that:
“(a) Study.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [see section 3(a), (b) ofPub. L. 112–141, set out as Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment notes under section 101 of Title 23, Highways], the Secretary [of Transportation], in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, and in consultation with the States and other relevant stakeholders, shall commence a study to assess Federal and State regulatory, economic, and administrative challenges faced by members and former members of the Armed Forces, who received safety training and operated qualifying motor vehicles during their service, in obtaining commercial driver’s licenses (as defined in section 31301 (3) of title 49, United States Code).
“(2) Requirements.—The study under this subsection shall—
“(A) identify written and behind-the-wheel safety training, qualification standards, knowledge and skills tests, or other operating experience members of the Armed Forces must meet that satisfy the minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation for the operation of commercial motor vehicles under section 31305 of title 49, United States Code;
“(B) compare the alcohol and controlled substances testing requirements for members of the Armed Forces with those required for holders of a commercial driver’s license;
“(C) evaluate the cause of delays in reviewing applications for commercial driver’s licenses of members and former members of the Armed Forces;
“(D) identify duplicative application costs;
“(E) identify residency, domicile, training and testing requirements, and other safety or health assessments that affect or delay the issuance of commercial driver’s licenses to members and former members of the Armed Forces; and
“(F) include other factors that the Secretary determines to be appropriate to meet the requirements of the study.
“(b) Report.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than 180 days after the commencement of the study under subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives that contains the findings and recommendations from the study.
“(2) Elements.—The report under paragraph (1) shall include—
“(A) findings related to the study requirements under subsection (a)(2);
“(B) recommendations for the Federal and State legislative, regulatory, and administrative actions necessary to address challenges identified in subparagraph (A); and
“(C) a plan to implement the recommendations for which the Secretary has authority.
“(c) Implementation.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and in cooperation with the States, shall implement the recommendations identified in subsection (b) and establish accelerated licensing procedures to assist veterans to acquire commercial driver’s licenses.
“(d) Accelerated Licensing Procedures.—The procedures established under subsection (a) shall be designed to be applicable to any veteran who—
“(1) is attempting to acquire a commercial driver’s license; and
“(2) obtained, during military service, documented driving experience that, in the determination of the Secretary, makes the use of accelerated licensing procedures appropriate.
“(e) Definitions.—In this section:
“(1) Commercial driver’s license.—The term ‘commercial driver’s license’ has the meaning given that term in section 31301 of title 49, United States Code.
“(2) State.—The term ‘State’ has the meaning given that term in section 31301 of title 49, United States Code.
“(3) Veteran.—The term ‘veteran’ has the meaning given that term in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.”
Exemptions From Requirements of This Chapter for Certain Farm Vehicles

For provisions relating to exemptions from certain requirements of this chapter with respect to certain farm vehicles and individuals operating those vehicles, see section 32934 ofPub. L. 112–141, set out as a note under section 31136 of this title.
Grant Program for Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators

Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, § 4134,Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1744, as amended by Pub. L. 111–147, title IV, § 422(h),Mar. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 87; Pub. L. 111–322, title II, § 2202(h),Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3525; Pub. L. 112–5, title II, § 202(h),Mar. 4, 2011, 125 Stat. 17; Pub. L. 112–30, title I, § 122(g),Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 349; Pub. L. 112–102, title II, § 202(g),Mar. 30, 2012, 126 Stat. 274; Pub. L. 112–140, title II, § 202(g),June 29, 2012, 126 Stat. 395; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32603(g),July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 808, provided that:
“(a) Establishment.—The Secretary [of Transportation] shall establish a grant program for persons to train operators of commercial motor vehicles (as defined in section 31301 of title 49, United States Code). The purpose of the program shall be to train operators and future operators in the safe use of such vehicles.
“(b) Federal Share.—The Federal share of the cost for which a grant is made under this section shall be 80 percent.
“(c) Funding.—From amounts made available under section 31104 (i) of title 49, United States Code, the Secretary shall make available $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2014 to carry out this section.”
CDL Task Force

Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, § 4135,Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1744, provided that:
“(a) In General.—The Secretary [of Transportation] shall convene a task force to study and address current impediments and foreseeable challenges to the commercial driver’s license program’s effectiveness and measures needed to realize the full safety potential of the commercial driver’s license program, including such issues as—
“(1) State enforcement practices;
“(2) operational procedures to detect and deter fraud;
“(3) needed improvements for seamless information sharing between States;
“(4) effective methods for accurately sharing electronic data between States;
“(5) adequate proof of citizenship;
“(6) updated technology; and
“(7) timely notification from judicial bodies concerning traffic and criminal convictions of commercial driver’s license holders.
“(b) Membership.—Members of the task force should include State motor vehicle administrators, organizations representing government agencies or officials, members of the Judicial Conference, representatives of the trucking industry, representatives of labor organizations, safety advocates, and other significant stakeholders.
“(c) Report.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 2005], the Secretary, on behalf of the task force, shall complete a report of the task forces [sic] findings and recommendations for legislative, regulatory, and enforcement changes to improve the commercial drivers [sic] license program and submit such the [sic] report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.
“(d) Funding.—From the funds amounts made available by section 4101(c)(1) [119 Stat. 1715], $200,000 shall be available for each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007 to carry out this section.”
Exemptions From Requirements Relating to Commercial Motor Vehicles and Their Operators

For provisions relating to waiver of requirements of this chapter with respect to vehicles used for snow or ice removal, see section 229(a)(5) ofPub. L. 106–159, set out as a note under section 31136 of this title.

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


49 CFR - Transportation

49 CFR Part 236 - RULES, STANDARDS, AND INSTRUCTIONS GOVERNING THE INSTALLATION, INSPECTION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF SIGNAL AND TRAIN CONTROL SYSTEMS, DEVICES, AND APPLIANCES

49 CFR Part 382 - CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND ALCOHOL USE AND TESTING

49 CFR Part 383 - COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE STANDARDS; REQUIREMENTS AND PENALTIES

49 CFR Part 384 - STATE COMPLIANCE WITH COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE PROGRAM

49 CFR Part 389 - RULEMAKING PROCEDURES—FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.