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FMCSA Regulations Part 2: Driver Regulations

The licensing and registration regulation for vehicle drivers is a thorough process. There are fees for several parts of the process, including review, copying, and certification. To drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), a driver must show high levels of skills, experience, knowledge, and ability. This includes passing tests for knowledge and skills, and being held to a higher standard when operating vehicles on public roads.

Driving a CMV is a great responsibility. Because CMV drivers are held to such a higher standard, accidents involving CMVs can sometimes be difficult and complex situations. Having knowledge of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) driver regulations may help you in protecting your rights or pursuing your claim to success. Consult a law firm with years of experience in truck accidents to work toward a positive solution in your situation.

CMV Drivers are Held to a High Standard

Most CMV drivers must acquire a commercial driver's license (CDL) through the state in order to operate a CMV. In addition, drivers may require other endorsements when operating CMVs with special capabilities. In California, CMV driver regulations are strict and wide-ranging.

California CMV drivers are required to have Motor Carrier Permit (MCP). These permits are required before the driver operates any vehicle on a California road. If a driver is being paid to transport a CMV of any size/weight, or for personal use of a CMV weighing 10,001 pounds or more, the driver must have a MCP.

There are a few steps to obtaining a MCP:

  • Complete MC 706 M application form
  • Pay fees
  • Present Carrier Identification number (CA#)
  • Present valid Requestor Code to Employer Pull Notice Program
  • Prove financial responsibility
  • Prove Workers' Compensation insurance or have signed exemption

The process of getting a MCP is handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), but some of the steps also include working with the California Highway Patrol and Employer Pull Notice Program. The process may be lengthy, but it is vital—driving a CMV without a proper license may result in heavy fines, imprisonment, and confiscation/impounding of the vehicle. Because CMVs require higher levels of skill, experience, and ability, it is important that drivers have proof of their driving capability.

Additional Restrictions and Codes in California

Along with an applicable license/permit to operate a CMV, a driver must also possess the correct endorsements and/or restrictions to operate certain vehicles. These additional requirements are necessary for vehicles that require special knowledge and skill to operate. The requirements may differ from one state to another.

Some of the possible endorsement codes include:

  • T: Double/triple trailers.
  • P: Passenger.
  • N: Tank vehicle.
  • H: Hazardous materials.
  • X: Tank/hazardous materials combination.
  • S: School bus.

Restriction codes include following:

  • L: Not authorized for CMV with full air brakes.
  • E: Not authorized for manual transmission.
  • M: Can only operate Class B and C passenger vehicles/school buses.

Knowledge of regulations might protect you in a case!

When CMVs demand high levels of skill, knowledge, and ability, it is important for all CMV drivers to be held to the same standards. If you find yourself involved in a CMV-related accident, knowledge of these regulations may be an essential part of your case. At Matiasic & Johnson LLP, our attorneys have recovered more than $12 million for our clients. Seek the dedicated representation of our California truck accident injury lawyers for experienced legal guidance in your case. Call now!