49 CFR § 390.5 - Definitions.
Unless specifically defined elsewhere, in this subchapter:
(i) A fatality;
(2) The term accident does not include:
(i) An occurrence involving only boarding and alighting from a stationary motor vehicle; or
(ii) An occurrence involving only the loading or unloading of cargo.
Alcohol concentration (AC) means the concentration of alcohol in a person's blood or breath. When expressed as a percentage it means grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Assistant Administrator means the Assistant Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or an authorized delegee.
Bus means any motor vehicle designed, constructed, and/or used for the transportation of passengers, including taxicabs.
Business district means the territory contiguous to and including a highway when within any 600 feet along such highway there are buildings in use for business or industrial purposes, including but not limited to hotels, banks, or office buildings which occupy at least 300 feet of frontage on one side or 300 feet collectively on both sides of the highway.
Certified VA medical examiner means a qualified VA examiner who has fulfilled the requirements for and is listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
Charter transportation of passengers means transportation, using a bus, of a group of persons who pursuant to a common purpose, under a single contract, at a fixed charge for the motor vehicle, have acquired the exclusive use of the motor vehicle to travel together under an itinerary either specified in advance or modified after having left the place of origin.
Coerce or Coercion means either—
(1) A threat by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary, or their respective agents, officers or representatives, to withhold business, employment or work opportunities from, or to take or permit any adverse employment action against, a driver in order to induce the driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle under conditions which the driver stated would require him or her to violate one or more of the regulations, which the driver identified at least generally, that are codified at 49 CFR parts 171–173, 177–180, 380–383, or 390–399, or §§ 385.415 or 385.421, or the actual withholding of business, employment, or work opportunities or the actual taking or permitting of any adverse employment action to punish a driver for having refused to engage in such operation of a commercial motor vehicle; or
(2) A threat by a motor carrier, or its agents, officers or representatives, to withhold business, employment or work opportunities or to take or permit any adverse employment action against a driver in order to induce the driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle under conditions which the driver stated would require a violation of one or more of the regulations, which the driver identified at least generally, that are codified at 49 CFR parts 356, 360, or 365–379, or the actual withholding of business, employment or work opportunities or the actual taking or permitting of any adverse employment action to punish a driver for refusing to engage in such operation of a commercial motor vehicle.
(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.
Conviction means an unvacated adjudication of guilt, or a determination that a person has violated or failed to comply with the law in a court of original jurisdiction or by an authorized administrative tribunal, an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the person's appearance in court, a plea of guilty or nolo contendere accepted by the court, the payment of a fine or court cost, or violation of a condition of release without bail, regardless of whether or not the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated.
Covered farm vehicle—
(1) Means a straight truck or articulated vehicle—
(iii) Used to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to or from a farm or ranch; and
(iv) Not used in for-hire motor carrier operations; however, for-hire motor carrier operations do not include the operation of a vehicle meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition by a tenant pursuant to a crop share farm lease agreement to transport the landlord's portion of the crops under that agreement.
(2) Meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1)(i) through (iv) of this definition:
(i) With a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, whichever is greater, of 26,001 pounds or less may utilize the exemptions in § 390.39 anywhere in the United States; or
(ii) With a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, whichever is greater, of more than 26,001 pounds may utilize the exemptions in § 390.39 anywhere in the State of registration or across State lines within 150 air miles of the farm or ranch with respect to which the vehicle is being operated.
Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential services (such as, electricity, medial care, sewer, water, telecommunications, and telecommunication transmissions) or essential supplies (such as, food and fuel). It does not include transportation related to long-term rehabilitation of damaged physical infrastructure or routine commercial deliveries after the initial threat to life and property has passed.
Direct compensation means payment made to the motor carrier by the passengers or a person acting on behalf of the passengers for the transportation services provided, and not included in a total package charge or other assessment for highway transportation services.
(1) Inclusions. Damage to motor vehicles that could have been driven, but would have been further damaged if so driven.
(i) Damage which can be remedied temporarily at the scene of the accident without special tools or parts.
(ii) Tire disablement without other damage even if no spare tire is available.
(iii) Headlamp or taillight damage.
(iv) Damage to turn signals, horn, or windshield wipers which makes them inoperative.
Driveaway-towaway operation means an operation in which an empty or unladen motor vehicle with one or more sets of wheels on the surface of the roadway is being transported:
(1) Between vehicle manufacturer's facilities;
(2) Between a vehicle manufacturer and a dealership or purchaser;
(3) Between a dealership, or other entity selling or leasing the vehicle, and a purchaser or lessee;
(5) To a motor carrier's terminal or repair facility for repairs associated with the failure of a vehicle component or system; or
(6) By means of a saddle-mount or tow-bar.
Driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol means committing any one or more of the following acts in a CMV: Driving a CMV while the person's alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more; driving under the influence of alcohol, as prescribed by State law; or refusal to undergo such testing as is required by any State or jurisdiction in the enforcement of Table 1 to § 383.51 or § 392.5(a)(2) of this subchapter.
Electronic device includes, but is not limited to, a cellular telephone; personal digital assistant; pager; computer; or any other device used to input, write, send, receive, or read text.
Electronic signature means a method of signing an electronic communication that identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic communication and indicates such person's approval of the information contained in the electronic communication, in accordance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (Pub. L. 105–277, Title XVII, Secs. 1701–1710, 44 U.S.C. 3504 note, 112 Stat. 2681–749).
Emergency means any hurricane, tornado, storm (e.g. thunderstorm, snowstorm, icestorm, blizzard, sandstorm, etc.), high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, mud slide, drought, forest fire, explosion, blackout, or other occurrence, natural or man-made, which interrupts the delivery of essential services (such as, electricity, medical care, sewer, water, telecommunications, and telecommunication transmissions) or essential supplies (such as, food and fuel) or otherwise immediately threatens human life or public welfare, provided such hurricane, tornado, or other event results in:
(1) A declaration of an emergency by the President of the United States, the Governor of a State, or their authorized representatives having authority to declare emergencies; by FMCSA; or by other Federal, State, or local government officials having authority to declare emergencies; or
(2) A request by a police officer for tow trucks to move wrecked or disabled motor vehicles.
Emergency condition requiring immediate response means any condition that, if left unattended, is reasonably likely to result in immediate serious bodily harm, death, or substantial damage to property. In the case of transportation of propane winter heating fuel, such conditions shall include (but are not limited to) the detection of gas odor, the activation of carbon monoxide alarms, the detection of carbon monoxide poisoning, and any real or suspected damage to a propane gas system following a severe storm or flooding. An “emergency condition requiring immediate response” does not include requests to refill empty gas tanks. In the case of a pipeline emergency, such conditions include (but are not limited to) indication of an abnormal pressure event, leak, release or rupture.
Emergency relief means an operation in which a motor carrier or driver of a commercial motor vehicle is providing direct assistance to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives or property or to protect public health and safety as a result of an emergency as defined in this section.
Employee means any individual, other than an employer, who is employed by an employer and who in the course of his or her employment directly affects commercial motor vehicle safety. Such term includes a driver of a commercial motor vehicle (including an independent contractor while in the course of operating a commercial motor vehicle), a mechanic, and a freight handler. Such term does not include an employee of the United States, any State, any political subdivision of a State, or any agency established under a compact between States and approved by the Congress of the United States who is acting within the course of such employment.
Employer means any person engaged in a business affecting interstate commerce who owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle in connection with that business, or assigns employees to operate it, but such terms does not include the United States, any State, any political subdivision of a State, or an agency established under a compact between States approved by the Congress of the United States.
Exempt intracity zone means the geographic area of a municipality or the commercial zone of that municipality described in appendix A to part 372 of this chapter. The term “exempt intracity zone” does not include any municipality or commercial zone in the State of Hawaii. For purposes of § 391.62 of this chapter, a driver may be considered to operate a commercial motor vehicle wholly within an exempt intracity zone notwithstanding any common control, management, or arrangement for a continuous carriage or shipment to or from a point without such zone.
Exempt motor carrier means a person engaged in transportation exempt from economic regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under 49 U.S.C. chapter 135 but subject to the safety regulations set forth in this subchapter.
(2) Being used to transport either—
(i) Agricultural products, or
(ii) Farm machinery, farm supplies, or both, to or from a farm;
(3) Not being used in the operation of a for-hire motor carrier;
(5) Being used within 150 air-miles of the farmer's farm.
(1) Are owned by that person; or
(2) Are under the direct control of that person.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator means the chief executive of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency within the Department of Transportation.
Field Administrator means the head of an FMCSA Service Center who has been delegated authority to initiate compliance and enforcement actions on behalf of FMCSA or an authorized delegee.
For-hire motor carrier means a person engaged in the transportation of goods or passengers for compensation.
Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) is the greater of:
(1) A value specified by the manufacturer of the power unit, if such value is displayed on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) certification label required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or
(2) The sum of the gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs) or the gross vehicle weights (GVWs) of the power unit and the towed unit(s), or any combination thereof, that produces the highest value. Exception: The GCWR of the power unit will not be used to define a commercial motor vehicle when the power unit is not towing another vehicle.
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single motor vehicle.
Hazardous material means a substance or material which has been determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce, and which has been so designated.
Hazardous substance means a material, and its mixtures or solutions, that is identified in the appendix to § 172.101, List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities, of this title when offered for transportation in one package, or in one transport motor vehicle if not packaged, and when the quantity of the material therein equals or exceeds the reportable quantity (RQ). This definition does not apply to petroleum products that are lubricants or fuels, or to mixtures or solutions of hazardous substances if in a concentration less than that shown in the table in § 171.8 of this title, based on the reportable quantity (RQ) specified for the materials listed in the appendix to § 172.101.
Hazardous waste means any material that is subject to the hazardous waste manifest requirements of the EPA specified in 40 CFR part 262 or would be subject to these requirements absent an interim authorization to a State under 40 CFR part 123, subpart F.
Highway means any road, street, or way, whether on public or private property, open to public travel. “Open to public travel” means that the road section is available, except during scheduled periods, extreme weather or emergency conditions, passable by four-wheel standard passenger cars, and open to the general public for use without restrictive gates, prohibitive signs, or regulation other than restrictions based on size, weight, or class of registration. Toll plazas of public toll roads are not considered restrictive gates.
(1) The act of providing intermodal equipment to a motor carrier pursuant to an intermodal equipment interchange agreement for the purpose of transporting the equipment for loading or unloading by any person or repositioning the equipment for the benefit of the equipment provider, but it does not include the leasing of equipment to a motor carrier for primary use in the motor carrier's freight hauling operations; or
(2) The act of providing a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle by one motor carrier of passengers to another such carrier, at a point which both carriers are authorized to serve, with which to continue a through movement.
(3) For property-carrying vehicles, see § 376.2 of this subchapter.
Intermodal equipment interchange agreement means the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement (UIIFA) or any other written document executed by an intermodal equipment provider or its agent and a motor carrier or its agent, the primary purpose of which is to establish the responsibilities and liabilities of both parties with respect to the interchange of the intermodal equipment.
Intermodal equipment provider means any person that interchanges intermodal equipment with a motor carrier pursuant to a written interchange agreement or has a contractual responsibility for the maintenance of the intermodal equipment.
Interstate commerce means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—
Intrastate commerce means any trade, traffic, or transportation in any State which is not described in the term “interstate commerce.”
Lease, as used in subpart G of this part, means a contract or agreement in which a motor carrier of passengers grants the use of a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle to another motor carrier, with or without a driver, for a specified period for the transportation of passengers, whether or not compensation for such use is specified or required, when one or more of the motor carriers of passengers is not authorized to operate in interstate commerce pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 13901–13902. The term lease includes an interchange, as defined in this section, or other agreement granting the use of a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle for a specified period, with or without a driver, whether or not compensation for such use is specified or required. For a definition of lease in the context of property-carrying vehicles, see § 376.2 of this subchapter.
Lessee, as used in subpart G of this part, means the motor carrier obtaining the use of a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle, with or without the driver, from another motor carrier, through a lease as defined in this section. The term lessee includes a motor carrier obtaining the use of a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle from another motor carrier under an interchange or other agreement, with or without a driver, whether or not compensation for such use is specified. For a definition of lessee in the context of property-carrying vehicles, see § 376.2 of this subchapter.
Lessor, as used in subpart G of this part, means the motor carrier granting the use of a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle, with or without the driver, to another motor carrier, through a lease as defined in this section. The term lessor includes a motor carrier granting the use of a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle, with or without the driver, to another motor carrier under an interchange or other agreement, whether or not compensation for such use is specified. For a definition of lessor in the context of property-carrying vehicles, see § 376.2 of this subchapter.
Mobile telephone means a mobile communication device that falls under or uses any commercial mobile radio service, as defined in regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, 47 CFR 20.3. It does not include two-way or Citizens Band Radio services.
Motor carrier means a for-hire motor carrier or a private motor carrier. The term includes a motor carrier's agents, officers and representatives as well as employees responsible for hiring, supervising, training, assigning, or dispatching of drivers and employees concerned with the installation, inspection, and maintenance of motor vehicle equipment and/or accessories. For purposes of subchapter B, this definition includes the terms employer, and exempt motor carrier.
Motor vehicle means any vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semitrailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used upon the highways in the transportation of passengers or property, or any combination thereof determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, but does not include any vehicle, locomotive, or car operated exclusively on a rail or rails, or a trolley bus operated by electric power derived from a fixed overhead wire, furnishing local passenger transportation similar to street-railway service.
Motor vehicle record means the report of the driving status and history of a driver generated from the driver record that is provided to users, such as drivers or employers, and, for drivers licensed by a State, is subject to the provisions of the Driver Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 2721–2725.
Other terms—Any other term used in this subchapter is used in its commonly accepted meaning, except where such other term has been defined elsewhere in this subchapter. In that event, the definition therein given shall apply.
Out-of-service order means a declaration by an authorized enforcement officer of a Federal, State, Canadian, Mexican, or local jurisdiction that a driver, a commercial motor vehicle, or a motor carrier operation is out of service pursuant to 49 CFR 386.72, 392.5, 392.9a, 395.13, or 396.9, or compatible laws, or the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
Person means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, business trust, or any other organized group of individuals.
Principal place of business means the single location designated by the motor carrier, normally its headquarters, for purposes of identification under this subchapter. The motor carrier must make records required by parts 382, 387, 390, 391, 395, 396, and 397 of this subchapter available for inspection at this location within 48 hours (Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays excluded) after a request has been made by a special agent or authorized representative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Private motor carrier of passengers (business) means a private motor carrier engaged in the interstate transportation of passengers which is provided in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise and is not available to the public at large.
Private motor carrier of passengers (nonbusiness) means private motor carrier involved in the interstate transportation of passengers that does not otherwise meet the definition of a private motor carrier of passengers (business).
Qualified VA examiner means an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional who is employed in the Department of Veterans Affairs; is licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations; is familiar with the standards for, and physical requirements of, an operator certified pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31149; and has never, with respect to such section, been found to have acted fraudulently, including by fraudulently awarding a medical certificate.
Radar detector means any device or mechanism to detect the emission of radio microwaves, laser beams or any other future speed measurement technology employed by enforcement personnel to measure the speed of commercial motor vehicles upon public roads and highways for enforcement purposes. Excluded from this definition are radar detection devices that meet both of the following requirements:
(1) Transported outside the driver's compartment of the commercial motor vehicle. For this purpose, the driver's compartment of a passenger-carrying CMV shall include all space designed to accommodate both the driver and the passengers; and
Receiver or consignee means a person who takes delivery from a motor carrier or driver of a commercial motor vehicle of property transported in interstate commerce or hazardous materials transported in interstate or intrastate commerce.
Residential district means the territory adjacent to and including a highway which is not a business district and for a distance of 300 feet or more along the highway is primarily improved with residences.
School bus means a passenger motor vehicle which is designed or used to carry more than 10 passengers in addition to the driver, and which the Secretary determines is likely to be significantly used for the purpose of transporting preprimary, primary, or secondary school students to such schools from home or from such schools to home.
School bus operation means the use of a school bus to transport only school children and/or school personnel from home to school and from school to home.
Secretary means the Secretary of Transportation.
Shipper means a person who tenders property to a motor carrier or driver of a commercial motor vehicle for transportation in interstate commerce, or who tenders hazardous materials to a motor carrier or driver of a commercial motor vehicle for transportation in interstate or intrastate commerce.
Single-employer driver means a driver who, in any period of 7 consecutive days, is employed or used as a driver solely by a single motor carrier. This term includes a driver who operates a commercial motor vehicle on an intermittent, casual, or occasional basis.
Special agent See appendix B to subchapter B—Special agents.
Texting means manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device.
(1) This action includes, but is not limited to, short message service, emailing, instant messaging, a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile telephone, or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry, for present or future communication.
(2) Texting does not include:
(i) Inputting, selecting, or reading information on a global positioning system or navigation system; or
(ii) Pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile telephone; or
(iii) Using a device capable of performing multiple functions (e.g., fleet management systems, dispatching devices, smart phones, citizens band radios, music players, etc.) for a purpose that is not otherwise prohibited in this subchapter.
(1) Full trailer means any motor vehicle other than a pole trailer which is designed to be drawn by another motor vehicle and so constructed that no part of its weight, except for the towing device, rests upon the self-propelled towing motor vehicle. A semitrailer equipped with an auxiliary front axle (converter dolly) shall be considered a full trailer.
(2) Pole trailer means any motor vehicle which is designed to be drawn by another motor vehicle and attached to the towing motor vehicle by means of a “reach” or “pole,” or by being “boomed” or otherwise secured to the towing motor vehicle, for transporting long or irregularly shaped loads such as poles, pipes, or structural members, which generally are capable of sustaining themselves as beams between the supporting connections.
(3) Semitrailer means any motor vehicle, other than a pole trailer, which is designed to be drawn by another motor vehicle and is constructed so that some part of its weight rests upon the self-propelled towing motor vehicle.
Transportation intermediary means a person who arranges the transportation of property or passengers by commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce, or who arranges the transportation of hazardous materials by commercial motor vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce, including but not limited to brokers and freight forwarders.
Truck tractor means a self-propelled commercial motor vehicle designed and/or used primarily for drawing other vehicles.
Use a hand-held mobile telephone means:
(1) Using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication;
(2) Dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button, or
(3) Reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt that is installed in accordance with 49 CFR 393.93 and adjusted in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
United States means the 50 States and the District of Columbia.
Written or in writing means printed, handwritten, or typewritten either on paper or other tangible medium, or by any method of electronic documentation that meets the requirements of 49 CFR 390.32.
The following state regulations pages link to this page.
- Alaska Admin. Code Title 17 § 25.250 - 17 AAC 25.250 - Definitions for 17 AAC 25.200 - 17 AAC 25.250
- Ariz. Admin. Code R17-5-203 - R17-5-203 - Motor Carrier Safety: 49 CFR 390 - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; General
- Ariz. Admin. Code R17-5-210 - R17-5-210 - Motor Carrier Safety: Public Service Corporation, Political Subdivision of this State that is Engaged in Rendering Public Utility Service, or Railroad Contacting State Officials in an Emergency
- 8 CCR 1507-1 - 8 CCR 1507-1 - RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR THE OPERATION OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
- Iowa Admin. Code r. 761-511.19 - 761.511.19 - Movement of combination vehicles on economic export corridors.
- Kan. Admin. Regs. § 82-4-3k - 82-4-3k - Transportation of hazardous materials; driving and parking rules
- Kan. Admin. Regs. § 82-4-3n - 82-4-3n - Minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers
- Nev. Admin. Code § 483.1223 - 483.1223 - Registration of third-party school or third-party company: Requirements.
- Nev. Admin. Code § 706.2471 - 706.2471 - Adoption and enforcement of federal regulations for motor carrier safety by Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Nev. Admin. Code § 706.2472 - 706.2472 - Adoption and enforcement of federal regulations for motor carrier safety by Department of Public Safety.
- Nev. Admin. Code § 706.2473 - 706.2473 - Adoption and enforcement of federal regulations for motor carrier safety by Authority.
- Nev. Admin. Code § 706.297 - 706.297 - Adoption and enforcement of federal regulations for motor carrier safety.
- Wis. Admin. Code Trans Sec. 102.23 - Trans 102.23 - Military, firefighting, farmer and emergency government CDL exemptions
- Wis. Admin. Code Trans Sec. 327.14 - Trans 327.14 - Medical certification requirements as part of the commercial driver license