(a) The rules in this part apply to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce, to all employers of such persons, and to all States.
(b) The exceptions contained in § 390.3(f) of this subchapter do not apply to this part. The employers and drivers identified in § 390.3(f) must comply with the requirements of this part, unless otherwise provided in this section.
(c) Exception for certain military drivers. Each State must exempt from the requirements of this part individuals who operate CMVs for military purposes. This exception is applicable to active duty military personnel; members of the military reserves; members of the national guard on active duty, including personnel on full-time national guard duty, personnel on part-time national guard training, and national guard military technicians (civilians who are required to wear military uniforms); and active duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel. This exception is not applicable to U.S. Reserve technicians.
(d) Exception for farmers, firefighters, emergency response vehicle drivers, and drivers removing snow and ice. A State may, at its discretion, exempt individuals identified in paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) of this section from the requirements of this part. The use of this waiver is limited to the driver's home State unless there is a reciprocity agreement with adjoining States.
(1) Operators of a farm vehicle which is:
(i) Controlled and operated by a farmer, including operation by employees or family members;
(ii) Used to transport either agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies, or both to or from a farm;
(iii) Not used in the operations of a for-hire motor carrier, except for an exempt motor carrier as defined in § 390.5 of this subchapter; and
(iv) Used within 241 kilometers (150 miles) of the farmer's farm.
(2) Firefighters and other persons who operate CMVs which are necessary to the preservation of life or property or the execution of emergency governmental functions, are equipped with audible and visual signals and are not subject to normal traffic regulation. These vehicles include fire trucks, hook and ladder trucks, foam or water transport trucks, police SWAT team vehicles, ambulances, or other vehicles that are used in response to emergencies.
(i) A driver, employed by an eligible unit of local government, operating a commercial motor vehicle within the boundaries of that unit for the purpose of removing snow or ice from a roadway by plowing, sanding, or salting, if
(A) The properly licensed employee who ordinarily operates a commercial motor vehicle for these purposes is unable to operate the vehicle; or
(B) The employing governmental entity determines that a snow or ice emergency exists that requires additional assistance.
(ii) This exemption shall not preempt State laws and regulations concerning the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles.
(e) Restricted commercial drivers license (CDL) for certain drivers in the State of Alaska.
(1) The State of Alaska may, at its discretion, waive only the following requirements of this part and issue a CDL to each driver that meets the conditions set forth in paragraphs (e) (2) and (3) of this section:
(i) The knowledge tests standards for testing procedures and methods of subpart H, but must continue to administer knowledge tests that fulfill the content requirements of subpart G for all applicants;
(ii) All the skills test requirements; and
(iii) The requirement under § 383.153(a)(4) to have a photograph on the license document.
(2) Drivers of CMVs in the State of Alaska must operate exclusively over roads that meet both of the following criteria to be eligible for the exception in paragraph (e)(1) of this section:
(i) Such roads are not connected by land highway or vehicular way to the land-connected State highway system; and
(ii) Such roads are not connected to any highway or vehicular way with an average daily traffic volume greater than 499.
(3) Any CDL issued under the terms of this paragraph must carry two restrictions:
(i) Holders may not operate CMVs over roads other than those specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section; and
(ii) The license is not valid for CMV operation outside the State of Alaska.
(f) Restricted CDL for certain drivers in farm-related service industries.
(1) A State may, at its discretion, waive the required knowledge and skills tests of subpart H of this part and issue restricted CDLs to employees of these designated farm-related service industries:
(i) Agri-chemical businesses;
(ii) Custom harvesters;
(iii) Farm retail outlets and suppliers;
(iv) Livestock feeders.
(2) A restricted CDL issued pursuant to this paragraph shall meet all the requirements of this part, except subpart H of this part. A restricted CDL issued pursuant to this paragraph shall be accorded the same reciprocity as a CDL meeting all of the requirements of this part. The restrictions imposed upon the issuance of this restricted CDL shall not limit a person's use of the CDL in a non-CMV during either validated or non-validated periods, nor shall the CDL affect a State's power to administer its driver licensing program for operators of vehicles other than CMVs.
(3) A State issuing a CDL under the terms of this paragraph must restrict issuance as follows:
(i) Applicants must have a good driving record as defined in this paragraph. Drivers who have not held any motor vehicle operator's license for at least one year shall not be eligible for this CDL. Drivers who have between one and two years of driving experience must demonstrate a good driving record for their entire driving history. Drivers with more than two years of driving experience must have a good driving record for the two most recent years. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term good driving record means that an applicant:
(A) Has not had more than one license;
(B) Has not had any license suspended, revoked, or canceled;
(C) Has not had any conviction for any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying offenses contained in § 383.51(b);
(D) Has not had any conviction for any type of motor vehicle for serious traffic violations; and
(E) Has not had any conviction for a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) arising in connection with any traffic accident, and has no record of an accident in which he/she was at fault.
(ii) Restricted CDLs shall have the same renewal cycle as unrestricted CDLs, but shall be limited to the seasonal period or periods as defined by the State of licensure, provided that the total number of calendar days in any 12-month period for which the restricted CDL is valid does not exceed 180. If a State elects to provide for more than one seasonal period, the restricted CDL is valid for commercial motor vehicle operation only during the currently approved season, and must be revalidated for each successive season. Only one seasonal period of validity may appear on the license document at a time. The good driving record must be confirmed prior to any renewal or revalidation.
(iii) Restricted CDL holders are limited to operating Group B and C vehicles, as described in subpart F of this part.
(iv) Restricted CDLs shall not be issued with any endorsements on the license document. Only the limited tank vehicle and hazardous materials endorsement privileges that the restricted CDL automatically confers and are described in paragraph (f)(3)(v) of this section are permitted.
(v) Restricted CDL holders may not drive vehicles carrying any placardable quantities of hazardous materials, except for diesel fuel in quantities of 3,785 liters (1,000 gallons) or less; liquid fertilizers (i.e., plant nutrients) in vehicles or implements of husbandry in total quantities of 11,355 liters (3,000 gallons) or less; and solid fertilizers (i.e., solid plant nutrients) that are not transported with any organic substance.
(vi) Restricted CDL holders may not hold an unrestricted CDL at the same time.
(vii) Restricted CDL holders may not operate a commercial motor vehicle beyond 241 kilometers (150 miles) from the place of business or the farm currently being served.
(g) Restricted CDL for certain drivers in the pyrotechnic industry.
(1) A State may, at its discretion, waive the required hazardous materials knowledge tests of subpart H of this part and issue restricted CDLs to part-time drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting less than 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of fireworks classified as DOT Class 1.3G explosives.
(2) A State issuing a CDL under the terms of this paragraph must restrict issuance as follows:
(i) The GVWR of the vehicle to be operated must be less than 4,537 kilograms (10,001 pounds);
(ii) If a State believes, at its discretion, that the training required by § 172.704 of this title adequately prepares part-time drivers meeting the other requirements of this paragraph to deal with fireworks and the other potential dangers posed by fireworks transportation and use, the State may waive the hazardous materials knowledge tests of subpart H of this part. The State may impose any requirements it believes is necessary to ensure itself that a driver is properly trained pursuant to § 172.704 of this title.
(iii) A restricted CDL document issued pursuant to this paragraph shall have a statement clearly imprinted on the face of the document that is substantially similar as follows: “For use as a CDL only during the period from June 30 through July 6 for purposes of transporting less than 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of fireworks classified as DOT Class 1.3G explosives in a vehicle with a GVWR of less than 4,537 kilograms (10,001 pounds).
(3) A restricted CDL issued pursuant to this paragraph shall meet all the requirements of this part, except those specifically identified. A restricted CDL issued pursuant to this paragraph shall be accorded the same reciprocity as a CDL meeting all of the requirements of this part. The restrictions imposed upon the issuance of this restricted CDL shall not limit a person's use of the CDL in a non-CMV during either validated or non-validated periods, nor shall the CDL affect a State's power to administer its driver licensing program for operators of vehicles other than CMVs.
(4) Restricted CDLs shall have the same renewal cycle as unrestricted CDLs, but shall be limited to the seasonal period of June 30 through July 6 of each year or a lesser period as defined by the State of licensure.
(5) Persons who operate commercial motor vehicles during the period from July 7 through June 29 for purposes of transporting less than 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of fireworks classified as DOT Class 1.3G explosives in a vehicle with a GVWR of less than 4,537 kilograms (10,001 pounds) and who also operate such vehicles for the same purposes during the period June 30 through July 6 shall not be issued a restricted CDL pursuant to this paragraph.
(h) Exception for drivers of “covered farm vehicles.” The rules in this part do not apply to a driver of a “covered farm vehicle,” as defined in § 390.5 of this chapter.
(i) Hazardous materials endorsement exemption for certain drivers transporting diesel. A State may waive the requirement for a holder of a Class A commercial driver's license to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement under this part, if the license holder is:
(1) Acting within the scope of the license holder's employment, and within the State of domicile (or another State with a hazardous materials endorsement exemption) as an employee of a custom harvester operation, agrichemical business, farm retail outlet and supplier, or livestock feeder; and
(2) Operating a service vehicle that is:
(i) Transporting diesel in a quantity of 3,785 liters (1,000 gallons) or less; and
(ii) Clearly marked with a “flammable” or “combustible” placard, as appropriate.
[61 FR 9564, Mar. 8, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 14679, Apr. 3, 1996; 62 FR 1296, Jan. 9, 1997; 67 FR 49755, July 31, 2002; 67 FR 61821, Oct. 2, 2002; 78 FR 16194, Mar. 14, 2013; 78 FR 58479, Sept. 24, 2013; 81 FR 47720, July 22, 2016; 81 FR 68346, Oct. 4, 2016; 81 FR 71016, Oct. 14, 2016; 86 FR 35640, July 7, 2021]