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FMCSA updated passenger-carrier guidance

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Posted November 17, 2022

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published passenger-carrier guidance on November 15, 2022, regarding the applicability of:

  • Safety regulations,
  • Interstate for-hire authority, and
  • Financial responsibility (insurance).

FMCSA created Appendix A to Part 390 to clarify rules applicable to the following scenarios:

  • Passengers using air and ground transport – A move can be in interstate commerce even if the ground transportation is entirely in one state, which means the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), not state regulations, apply unless otherwise exempt.
    • Hotel, parking, and car rental shuttles receive indirect compensation via the rate paid for a package of services. These are for-hire operations requiring interstate authority when travel is incidental to air travel.
  • Education-related transportation at private and government-run schools – Contractors to school districts and non-profit, private schools with extracurricular activity trips were covered.
  • Faith-based organizations – Any compensation for interstate trips can make a faith-based organization subject to FMCSRs. (See direct compensation below)
  • Employer-related transportation – If any compensation is received from employees, the operation is for-hire. FMCSRs apply if the move is in interstate commerce, involves compensation, and the vehicle otherwise meets the definition of a CMV from 390.5.
    • If the vehicle movement involves no compensation, is rated to carry 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver, and is less than 10,001 pounds, FMCSA does not regulate the vehicle or driver.
  • Assisted living facilities – If engaged in transportation using CMVs across state lines, FMCSA regulates these operations due to the indirect compensation received from the residents' fees, unless exempt from many FMCSRs under 390.3(f)(6).
  • Youth camps – Applicable regulations when crossing state lines.

Direct compensation was also more clearly defined and may include donations, gifts, gas money, offerings, etc., received for transportation.

This article was written by Mark Schedler of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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