**Massachusetts Farm Bureau has been informed that “strict” enforcement by the state police regarding the new intrastate DOT requirements will be delayed until January.   Local law enforcement will be encouraged to do the same, any person stopped will get information and a warning.  Implementation in effect will be extended and a public outreach will begin the coming weeks.
 
Due to the high number registrations FMCSA is running into a back log of applications, we are recommending if you are required to obtain a Federal DOT number you start the process now to be in compliance as soon as possible.**

Changes to the Massachusetts State DOT Markings Regulation 540 CMR 2:22 Will Affect MA Farmers

Effective September 1, 2018  new regulations for all commercial motor vehicles, including farm plated vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 or more lbs that is engaged in INTRASTATE commerce will be required to have a Federal DOT number. USDOT numbers will need to be filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on or before September 1, 2018.

Key information:

  1. If you have vehicles that meet the weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds, then you will need to acquire a Federal USDOT number and this is done on a federal online system and is free.
  2. You must display the USDOT number on your vehicle. The markings must be at least 2″ tall (needs to be seen from a distance of 50′), clearly contrasts with the background color of the vehicle and marked on both sides of the vehicle.
  3. One USDOT number is used for your entire farm and will be shared among all of your vehicles. You may opt to use a magnetic decal to easily move the DOT number among several vehicles.
  4. The name of the farm must also be displayed BUT there are exemptions for farmers for this particular aspect of the regulation. If the vehicle is 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 then you are EXEMPT from displaying the farm name on the vehicle.
  5. A permanent USDOT number is required on any vehicle that transports 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.
  6. To file for a USDOT number, visit: https://portal.fmcsa.dot.gov/UrsRegistrationWizard/
  7. Farmers that have Massachusetts farm plates will register as PRIVATE PROPERTY and is free. If you register as a FOR HIRE CARRIER then you will need to apply for MC Authority and that costs $300.00. Note that Massachusetts does not allow farmers with farm plates to be “For Hire”.
    • **IMPORTANT: When farmers are applying for Federal DOT numbers, they need to determine whether they are INTERSTATE COMMERCE (commerce between different states) vs INTRASTATE COMMERCE (commerce that is solely within Massachusetts, never leave the state) on the actual application.  Farmers that are engaged ONLY in INTRASTATE Commerce should register as such, intrastate commerce is exempt from filing a Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) agreement with Department of Public Utilities Transportation Oversight Division. The UCR Plan Agreement are part of a federally-mandated, state-administered program. Under this program, states collect fees from motor carriers, motor private carriers, freight forwarders, brokers, and leasing companies based on the number of qualifying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in their fleets.  If a farmer registers as INTERSTATE commerce you will be required to file a UCR, there is a cost associated with UCR Agreements.**
  8. We have learned that some farmers have encountered glitches with the federal online filing website, particularly surrounding address information. If you encounter any problems with the site, you may fill out the US DOT Number Manual Form. After filling out the form, you need to email through this web site to: https://ask.fmcsa.dot.gov/app/ask/. Once it is submitted, you will receive an Incident number. Email the incident number to Crystal Waller at the FMCSA at crystal.waller.ctr@dot.gov and she will have the form processed and emailed back to you with the USDOT number.
  9. IMPORTANT: Once you have successfully obtained a USDOT number, you may be contacted by third-party companies. Because your contact information becomes public record as soon as you obtain a USDOT number, some marketing companies will immediately begin to cold call you offering their services. Some are more aggressive than others and some use questionable business ethics. NONE of these businesses are directly associated with the government and you should IGNORE all of them. Do not give them ANY information, especially your credit card. There are no charges associated with obtaining a USDOT number or accessing any forms; once you receive your DOT number, you are done and the government will not contact you. You do not need the services of these marketing firms.
  10. For more information, you can visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The new Massachusetts DOT  Requirements are below. 

(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 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.

If you have further questions please contact John Conners at 508.481.4766 or via email at john@mfbf.net.