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More Vehicles Subject to US DOT Numbers - Effective September 1, 2018

There have been changes to the Massachusetts State Markings Regulation 540 CMR 2:22 (regulation text below) that will take effect on September 1, 2018. These changes impact marking (aka lettering) requirements 1) for motor trucks used for the transportation of goods, wares or merchandise for hire, gain or reward and 2) for any commercial motor vehicles that weigh 10,001 lbs. or more used in Intrastate commerce. The changes could affect customers that are written on a Massachusetts Auto Policy class 30 such as plumbers, carpenters, electrician, etc. 

The updated regulation:

1) affects the type and placement of vehicle markings, and

2) will also require any vehicle used in intrastate commerce to have a US DOT number. Affected vehicles include those that are: 

  • Engaged in intrastate commerce having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds; or
  • Used in the transportation of hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding; or
  • Designed to transport more than 15 passengers including the driver, used in intrastate commerce in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts State Police Truck team has been stopping people to let them know that by September 1, 2018, the USDOT numbers need to be filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and visible on their vehicles. Click here for a copy of the notice that the State Police Truck Team is handing out.

If your company operates a CMV subject to these laws, it must be permanently marked with a USDOT number assigned in a manner conforming to the provisions of 49 CFR 390.21. To obtain a USDOT Number, go to https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov. There, you may follow the Registrations links that to obtain an intrastate USDOT number. There is no charge to obtain this number from the USDOT-FMCSA.

Check out a Commercial Vehicle DOT Requirements Cheat Sheet 2018 that may help you to clarify how your business and vehicles are classified.

After September 1, 2018, failure to obtain and display a USDOT Number on required vehicles may result in a civil fine and/or placing your CMVs Out of Service until such time as your company obtains a USDOT Number. If you have questions regarding the federal website, you may call the FMCSA at 1-800-832-5660.

The updated regulation language is as follows:

2.22: Markings on Commercial Vehicles

(1) Marking.

(a) Effective until August 31, 2018. The owner of every motor truck used for the transportation of goods, wares or merchandise for hire, gain or reward, shall have the owner’s name marked on the truck, to be plainly visible from each side or from the front and rear of the vehicle, provided that motor trucks operated under a lease of more than 30 days shall display either the name of the owner or the lessee, and may display both. For the purpose of 540 CMR 2.22(1), motor truck shall mean any motor vehicle specially designed or equipped to transport personal property over the ways of the Commonwealth and which has a maximum load carrying capacity of over 2,000 lbs., and which is not a Private Passenger Motor Vehicle (see definition below) under 540 CMR 2.05. To the extent there is any conflict between 540 CMR 2.22 and any federal regulation pertaining to markings on commercial motor vehicles, the federal regulation shall control.

(b) Effective September 1, 2018. The owner of every motor truck used for the transportation of goods, wares or merchandise for hire, gain or reward, shall have the owner’s name marked on the truck, to be plainly visible from each side, be in permanent letters that contrast sharply in color with the background on which the letters are placed; be readily legible during daylight hours from a distance of 50 feet while the motor truck is stationary; and be kept and maintained in a manner that retains the legibility required by 540 CMR 2.22(1)(b), provided that motor trucks owned or controlled by a farmer and used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, and/or farm supplies to or from the farmer’s farm; not used in the operation of a common or contract carrier, and used within 150 air miles of the farmer’s farm need not be so marked; and motor trucks operated under a lease of more than 30 days shall display either the name of the owner or the lessee, and may display both. For the purpose of 540 CMR 2.22(1), Motor Truck shall mean any motor vehicle specially designed or equipped to transport personal property over the ways of the Commonwealth and which has a maximum load carrying capacity of between 2,000 lbs. and 10,000 lbs. and which is not a Private Passenger Motor Vehicle under 540 CMR 2.05. To the extent there is any conflict between 540 CMR 2.22 and any federal regulation pertaining to markings on commercial motor vehicles, the federal regulation shall control.

(2) U.S. DOT Number Assignment for Intrastate Carriers

Effective September 1, 2018, every motor vehicle engaged in intrastate commerce in Massachusetts having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 or more lbs.; and every motor vehicle regardless of weight, engaged in intrastate commerce in Massachusetts and used in the transportation of hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding; and every motor vehicle designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, used in intrastate commerce in Massachusetts must be permanently marked with a USDOT number assigned in a manner conforming to the provisions of 49 CFR 390.21.

(3) Penalty

The penalty for a violation of 540 CMR 2.22 is set forth in M.G.L. c. 90, § 20.

After September 1, 2018, failure to obtain and display a USDOT Number on required vehicles may result in a civil fine and/or placing your CMVs Out of Service until such time as your company obtains a USDOT Number. Whether your company operates intrastate, meaning you conduct business solely within Massachusetts or operates interstate, conducting business in other states; you must obtain your DOT number directly online.

Additional Changes to 540 CMR 2.00

Click to read the additional changes to 540 CMR 2.00 in the following areas:

  • 2.05: Vehicle Registration Requirements
  • 2:06: Requirements for Driver (Operator) Licenses, Learners Permits and Identification Cards
  • 2:07: Year of Manufacture Registration Plate
  • 2:22: Markings on Commercial Vehicles

Private Passenger Motor Vehicle Plate Definition

A private passenger motor vehicle for registration purposes is any vehicle:

a) Which has a vehicle weight ratng or curb weight of 6,000 lbs. or less as per manufacturer’s description of said vehicle or is a sport utility vehicle or passenger van; or which is a pickup truck or cargo van of the 1/2 TON, 3/4 TON or one TON class as per manufacturer’s description of said vehicle; or which is a vehicle used solely for official business by any college or university police department whose officers are appointed as special police officers by the colonel of the state police under M.G.L. c. 22C, § 63; and,

b) Which, if a pickup truck or cargo van, is registered or leased to an individual, and is used exclusively for personal, recreational, or commuting purposes; and,

c) Which, other than a Personal Transportation Network Vehicle, is not described elsewhere in 540 CMR 2.05. 

The terms pleasure vehicle, passenger vehicle, passenger car, automobile and pleasure passenger vehicle are synonymous with Private Passenger Motor Vehicle. For the avoidance of doubt, the Private Passenger Motor Vehicle shall include, but not be synonymous with, Personal Transportation Network Vehicle.

Source: Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents


Posted in: commercial auto

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The information provided in these articles are only general descriptions and should not be relied upon as complete, correct or accurate for your specific situation. All coverage informaiton is subject to policy provisions, endorsements and may be  subject to your meeting underwriting qualifications. Murphy Insurance Agency is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other noninsurance professional services. Consult an appropriate professional for advice regarding your own situation.