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    Ray_PA's Avatar
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    CDL Information

    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    This stuff varies by state, but when he says licensed o believe he's referring to the license tags on the truck and trailer.

    Wyoming and Tennessee do tag trailers differently. RVs get a special tag, in Wyoming it's an HT for house trailer. Other types of trailers are given a standard trailer tag and some states have weight limits on the tag. If you have a 10,000 pound rated trailer you could potentially put a tag good for 6,000 lbs of weight on it to save money or avoid CDL requirements.

    With regard to CDL licensing, while there are federal guidelines every state has their own set of regulations as well. This thread is not about CDL questions, so let's try and leave that stuff alone if we can.
    Blake,
    Agreed every state has their individual laws pertaining to Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) laws, although, if the commercial motor vehicle crosses state lines the Fed. regulation applies because that CMV is now in interstate commerce, not just intrastate commerce. If the vehicle does not cross state lines, the individual states CMV regulations apply.

    CDL laws are not the same as CMV laws. CDL Driver laws are regulated by the Federal Gov't. The states do the testing, but the regulations that pertains to CDL is fed. States have their own laws pertaining to how they define a Commercial Motor Vehicle but each states CDL Driver laws only relate to their testing process. Each States CDL Drivers law have nothing to do with "who needs a CDL". This also applies to the regulations that apply to CDL Drivers. I.e. DUI threshold, hand held cell phones, texting and driving, physical exam requirements, etc. These regulations are all Federal.

    There is a difference between a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) and a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicle and trailer can be a CMV but doesn't require a CDL holding driver.

    There is also a misconception as to when someone needs a CDL. The Federal CDL regulation clearly says, a CDL is needed when a driver is driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle that has a GVWR or GCWR of 26,001 lb. or more and some passenger hauling vehicles and vehicles hauling hazardous materials. For a vehicle to be considered a Commercial Motor Vehicle, the first requirement is, the vehicle must be used "in commerce". The GVWR and GCWR comes second.

    A motor vehicle is not a CMV unless the vehicle is use "in commerce". The consistent word is "in commerce".

    The GVWR and GCWR that makes the motor vehicle a commercial motor vehicle vary by state but the wording "in commerce" is always there.
    Generally, to be "in commerce" the motor vehicle must be used in the process of transporting persons or property for a charged fee.

    The definition of "in commerce" is somewhat of a moving target, although, if you are using your pickup to pull your own RV travel trailer or your own utility trailer for your own use, this motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicle and trailer is not a CMV, it doesn't matter what the GVWR or GCWR is and you do not need a CDL to drive it and the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) laws do not pertain to this motor vehicle or combination.

    Now, if your are using your pickup and trailer to haul your 1025R to different locations, and you are using your 1025R to remove snow, move dirt or dig a ditch, and you are charging for this service, you are "in commerce" and you may now be a CMV. Whether or not you are a CMV in this example would be based on your specific states definition of a CMV. Using this same example and you cross a state line, you would most definitely be in "interstate commerce" because your GCWR would be greater than 10,000 lb. which is the Fed. threshold to be a CMV.

    If a motor vehicle is used "in commerce", the motor vehicle could be a CMV and still not be required to have a CDL driver. I.e. If a motor vehicle has a GVWR or GCWR of greater than 10,000 lb and is used in interstate commerce, this motor vehicle is a CMV but does not require a CDL driver. This means, the motor vehicle falls under all the CMV regulations but does not require a CDL driver.

    CDL Driver licensing is not regulated by State, it is regulated by the Feds. The states handle administering the exams, the Fed. makes the regulation. The CDL requirements are the same in every state. You need a CDL when driving a CMV of, 26,001 lbs. or greater, either GVWR or GCWR, irrespective of what the trailer GWR is. I.e. If you are driving an F250 with a GVWR of 10,000 lb. and a GCWR of 23,000 lb., you could tow a trailer with a 12,000 lb. GWR easily. The trailer is over 10,000 lb. GWR but the GCWR is not 26,001 lb., so, this motor vehicle and trailer combination may be a CMV (depending on the state), but you would not need a CDL to drive it. Depending on the state, this combination, in commerce, would fall under all other CMV requirements such as: physical exam requirements for the driver, hours for service rules, no hand held cell phone use of texting while driving, etc. If you cross state lines with this combination, in commerce, you would definitely be a CMV because you would then fall under the Fed. definition of a CMV, but would not need a CDL to drive it.

    Here is some Federal Regulation working.....
    FMCSA § 390.5: Definitions.
    Commercial motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle—

    (1) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or

    (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.


    [B][U][I]Federal CDL Regulations.....
    Pursuant to Federal standards, States issue CDLs and CLPs to drivers according to the following license classifications:

    Class A: Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) whichever is greater.

    Class B: Any single vehicle which has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight that does not exceed 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds).

    Class C: Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR Part 172 or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.

    Bottom line and the $10,000 question is, are you using your truck or truck and trailer for your own use? If you are, it is not a CMV and you do not need a CDL to drive it and it is not a CMV because it is not being used "in commerce".

    I agree, this site is not the place to try to cover all the CMV and CDL laws, either Fed. or State level. Although, I see posts stating the requirement for a CDL when you are using your truck and trailer for your own use. This is not accurate!

    It is definitely not my intention to start an angry debate pertaining to "what is a CMV and when is a CDL needed". I have a position with the company that I work for that requires me to know this stuff. Fun fun!!!
    You should do your own research to get accurate info. You will find, the Federal Regulation and every State Regulation has the wording, "in commerce" when defining a CMV. This is a very important definition!!!!

    There is much info. that is disbursed concerning this topic that is inaccurate, albeit not intentionally, mostly because trying to understand these regulations is a painful process. Again, our regulators at work, trying to keep the rules unknown and I know, your brain will hurt if you try to figure all this out.
    Most fines that are levied to companies and individuals related to CMV regulations is because most company people and individuals, and yes, even some local law enforcement people, just do not know what the regulations are.

    Respectfully!!
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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Ray, that's some very good info you've posted. I made it into it's own thread.

    Wyoming has had some interesting laws regarding licenses. Until June of 2015, the state offered and required non-commercial Class A and B licenses for privately owned, privately used vehicles following the exact same guidelines as the CDL. Class A for trailers rated over 10K or combinations over 26K, class B for noncombination vehicles over 26K. At that time, if a private guy wanted to buy a 12,000 lb trailer to haul his own property for his own use, a non commercial class A license was required. In June of 2015 they stopped offering those, instead going to a Z endorsement on a regular license that would allow a person without a CDL to operate a combination vehicle in excess of 39,000 lbs within 150 miles of their home. The DMV explained to me that the Z endorsement was made available to prevent farmers and ranchers who needed to use semi trucks to move their stock a few times a year from having to get a full CDL. The people that held noncommercial class A and B licenses could either drop them and get a regular driver's license, or put a DOT medical card on file with the state and be moved to a full CDL of whichever class they held.

    This leaves a question about state requirements for privately owned vehicles (especially trailers) between 10-39,000 lbs. There's almost no combination of pickup truck and trailer that will break the 39,000 lb threshhold to need a class Z endorsement, but the state still claims that any trailer in excess of 10,001 lbs gross weight rating requires a class A license, which is no longer offered except for a full CDL. It's like they intentionally found a way to exempt most pickups and gooseneck trailers. While I agree it would make sense that it only be for vehicles used in commerce, it appears that the legislature may have missed crossing a few Ts and dotting a few Is last year to make that the case.

    I ran into all of this when I inquired about dropping my CDL. I have it, don't use it, don't intend to use it. The state tells me there's no way for me to legally pull my 14,000 lb rated trailer without it though. I'm positive someone is missing something here, because I can't count the number of large horse trailers out here that fall into the same situation.
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    56fordguy; don't u think this state has found a new way of making some badly needed revenue. u could get a z stamped on ur license, but if --u went more than the 150 mile limit, u would be in violation of the law. since u got the cdl- my vote is to u keep them, till something should happen to u, health wise and then drop them, sorta like where me and coaltrain are stuck at in life for now. just keep them, I say-ha!. man I spent hrs studying for my tests back in the 80's, listened to cassette tapes riding up and down the road. was areal worry for me back then, but I passed with flying colors that day-written exams, I already had the road test done, just needed the written test. good luck with ur choice.
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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim 55 View Post
    56fordguy; don't u think this state has found a new way of making some badly needed revenue. u could get a z stamped on ur license, but if --u went more than the 150 mile limit, u would be in violation of the law. since u got the cdl- my vote is to u keep them, till something should happen to u, health wise and then drop them, sorta like where me and coaltrain are stuck at in life for now. just keep them, I say-ha!. man I spent hrs studying for my tests back in the 80's, listened to cassette tapes riding up and down the road. was areal worry for me back then, but I passed with flying colors that day-written exams, I already had the road test done, just needed the written test. good luck with ur choice.
    Jim, having the Z wouldn't help me. It only covers vehicles in excess of 39,000 lbs. Even if I bought a 24,000 lb rated trailer I'd still need a truck rated for 15,000 lbs or more to get into the range covered by the Z.
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    Every time I see one of these discussions they get very confused as people join in. Things get mangled between "license" and "registration" and then when you get into "licenses" you have to break out CDL vs. non-CDL and then break each of those into "classes" (which some states refer to as "categories" or "groups" instead of classes).
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    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    Jim, having the Z wouldn't help me. It only covers vehicles in excess of 39,000 lbs. Even if I bought a 24,000 lb rated trailer I'd still need a truck rated for 15,000 lbs or more to get into the range covered by the Z.
    56fordguy; sorry about that misenturpetion. so yes I would still say their working the system for the revenue. u wanted to cut ur cost down for ur license, but they want ur money, just my thinking, it can get very confusing as jimr stated. just pay for the full cdl, and then ur be legal, I guess- idk what else I can offer u. back here in the the early 80's after the coal market fell on it's face then, people was buying little wood stoves and putting in their homes, to save on buying heating oil then, cause the price went way up, and nobody had any money too, cause we was all laid off from work. so then u started seeing every pickup loaded with fire wood running around town, now while this going on, the state started it's creeper cop school of stopping trucks any where and doing a inspection for safely and weight, ok=so they started stoping them pickups loaded with firewood and a couple guys in the cab, found out with the 1/2 ton license they was way overweight, so tickets started flying. the judge that held court then, told them creeper cops to lay off, cause all these fellas was doing, was trying to keep his family warm and dry, he wasn't running out to sell these commodities. but the judge told any one who got stopped to jump the pickup license to the next level, and they would be ok. see-revenue, times are tough. sorry for the long rant, as I had a good friend who got caught. I already had a 3/4 ton back then. ok-by. big jim
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    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    Ray, that's some very good info you've posted. I made it into it's own thread.

    Wyoming has had some interesting laws regarding licenses. Until June of 2015, the state offered and required non-commercial Class A and B licenses for privately owned, privately used vehicles following the exact same guidelines as the CDL. Class A for trailers rated over 10K or combinations over 26K, class B for noncombination vehicles over 26K. At that time, if a private guy wanted to buy a 12,000 lb trailer to haul his own property for his own use, a non commercial class A license was required. In June of 2015 they stopped offering those, instead going to a Z endorsement on a regular license that would allow a person without a CDL to operate a combination vehicle in excess of 39,000 lbs within 150 miles of their home. The DMV explained to me that the Z endorsement was made available to prevent farmers and ranchers who needed to use semi trucks to move their stock a few times a year from having to get a full CDL. The people that held noncommercial class A and B licenses could either drop them and get a regular driver's license, or put a DOT medical card on file with the state and be moved to a full CDL of whichever class they held.

    This leaves a question about state requirements for privately owned vehicles (especially trailers) between 10-39,000 lbs. There's almost no combination of pickup truck and trailer that will break the 39,000 lb threshhold to need a class Z endorsement, but the state still claims that any trailer in excess of 10,001 lbs gross weight rating requires a class A license, which is no longer offered except for a full CDL. It's like they intentionally found a way to exempt most pickups and gooseneck trailers. While I agree it would make sense that it only be for vehicles used in commerce, it appears that the legislature may have missed crossing a few Ts and dotting a few Is last year to make that the case.

    I ran into all of this when I inquired about dropping my CDL. I have it, don't use it, don't intend to use it. The state tells me there's no way for me to legally pull my 14,000 lb rated trailer without it though. I'm positive someone is missing something here, because I can't count the number of large horse trailers out here that fall into the same situation.
    Blake,
    States are States??? I recently went through this with our company. We have locations in PA and NYS. These two states define a CMV very differently. Both PA and NYS have conceded that you do not need a CDL if the motor vehicle or combination is not 26,001 or higher. Although, NYS's CMV law mirrors the Fed. law. So, NYS says, every single or combination vehicle with a 10,001 GVWR is a CMV. Therefore, these drivers must log hours, have physical exams, etc., etc. In PA, the CMV threshold is 17,000 lb. single or combination. So, the CMV rules in NYS don't apply to any of our drivers in PA but they do in NYS. Of course, if our PA drivers cross the state line, they are now in interstate commerce, so now the Fed. law takes over which is the same as NYS. Talk about confusing and trying to make sure everyone knows what they are doing and when they are doing it is a major issue. We have had so many drivers driving a 14,000 GVWR service truck stopped and they didn't have a log book. They have to park the truck and someone else has to go get them and the truck.

    Both states have the "in commerce" clause. NYS calls theirs "when compensated". Essentially, both say a CMV is only when you are using the motor vehicle to provide a paid service.

    Since I never have anyone going to Wyoming, I am not familiar with their specific laws so I did a quick look. I see Wyoming has what they call "Operating Authority" for intrastate.
    Doing a quick look, it definitely looks like Wyoming is keeping people confused!!! ha ha.
    I didn't see anything in their info. concerning a CDL, it is mostly whether you have to register with the State as an "Operating Authority".
    I tend to agree with you, someone in the State of Wyoming is misunderstanding the CDL regulation. They may be confusing their States requirement concerning "Operating Authority" and the CDL requirement.

    The other thing that should be said is, any state can have any number of special licenses that they want to have and they can call them what they want. These types of "special licenses" or "endorsements" are state regulated.

    The official CDL Regulation is Federal and has several exceptions that allow some wiggle room for States as related to intrastate things. As you said, most of the misc. State Regulations are there to allow for those that operate only within the state (intrastate) to not have to have an official CDL but be able to meet "some other" slightly lessor state regulation that permits the operating of large trucks with higher GVWR's within the specific state.

    So, this is why, everyone needs to look at their own states licensing requirements. The CDL is Federally required when operating a motor vehicle, in commerce, with a GVWR or GCWR of 26,001 or higher, personnel hauling or hazardous materials hauling. An individual state can have their own deal!!

    I've attached the State of Wyoming's DOT Operating Authority section. It is interesting reading,. to say the least!!!



    Good luck!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2014 Regulatory Manual_Wyoming.pdf  
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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Wyoming doesn't update their online info regularly either. I haven't read the document you attached but I see the file name is from 2014. I know a lot of things were changed June of 2015, so what you found may not be accurate.

    This is why I said originally everyone needs to dig into their state specific laws. It can be a mess.

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    The knuckleheads in California have their own requirements for those of us towing recreational 5th wheels. Based on the laws here, I had to get an endorsement added to my license but the DMV staff couldn't even find the test to administer it when I arrived for my scheduled appointment. They had to find a supervisor who in turn looked it up online after I shared with them the handbook I had been studying so that they knew what I was even asking about.

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1...dl648/dl648pt5

    My 5th wheel trailer is just over 11,000 lbs. so I'm just inside their defined weight category of trailer sizes.

    All of this is very confusing from State to State but also very interesting to learn about the difference.

    My wife and I plan to travel across the states with our trailer when we retire so I'm glad to see this topic on GTT.
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    I put agricultural plates on my truck. If you look up map-21 the latest version basically for a pickup pulling a trailer rated under 10,000lb with a combined gvwr(?) over 10,000lbs exempts you from everything interstate and in NY intrastate(best I can tell and have been told by a retired state cop).

    I would copy the link to it, but the link I used in another thread to map-21 has been moved again and I don't have time to find it this AM will post when I get home.
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