CMV Regulations and Guidelines; Stay in DOT Compliance

There is a more current version of this article! Find an updated article about CMV regulations and DOT compliance here.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), there are two different definitions for a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). Donlen’s Manager of Regulatory Compliance Steve Jansen explains the distinction below.

Definition One

Section 390.5 of the FMCSRs describes a CMV as any vehicle used in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property with a gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more. This definition applies to many types of vehicles, i.e., small package delivery vehicles, pick-up trucks with trailers attached, box trucks, straight trucks, etc. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not required to operate this size of vehicle, but those operating this type of vehicle are subject to the regulations in Parts 390 through 396, including: marking these vehicles with the USDOT number, driver qualification file, hours of service, and inspection and maintenance requirements.

Definition Two

The second definition of a CMV is found in Sections 382.107 and 383.5. This definition applies to motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, or a gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more, including a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds. These are generally tractor/trailer vehicles. A CDL is required to operate vehicles over 26,001 pounds along with the regulations in Parts 390 through 396 noted above.

Regulations at a Glance

Basic Requirement Guidelines for Commercial Motor Vehicles and Equipment*


Basic Requirement Guidelines for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers*


Hazardous Material

Remember that when transporting a hazardous material that requires placarding, the CDL and drug and alcohol requirements along with the regulations in Parts 390 through 396 apply.

*If you are involved in intrastate commerce, refer to your state-specific definition of CMV as definitions may vary slightly from state to state for intrastate safety regulations.

Stay in Compliance with the Ever-Changing Regulation Landscape

Use any or all of our services; we’ve built our program to be flexible and easily adapted to your needs. Donlen’s regulatory compliance experts keep you informed of any changes that affect your fleet.

Truck and Equipment FMSCA Solutions:

Permitting: Permit management can be challenging due to changing state regulations, expirations dates, and renewal notices. We keep you in control of permit-related administration, including:

  • Trip permits
  • Hazardous material documentation
  • Super load permits
  • Oversized load permits

License and Registration: Whether your trucks and equipment require IRP or Base plates, our national network of walk-in registration centers provides the registrations you need.

Fuel Tax Reporting/IFTA: Whether you use electronic GPS or paper driver trip reports, we process miles and fuel to reduce your costs and limit your audit ability/exposure while eliminating gap miles and improper MPGs.

Maintenance Record Management: Our web-based solution tracks and records maintenance history, preventive maintenance service intervals, and repair documentation to ensure compliance with DOT record retention requirements.

Driver FMSCA Solutions:

Driver Qualification File Management: Our user-friendly, web-based system allows you to review, complete, and manage driver files. This proactive solution helps to eliminate the risk of unqualified drivers operating your vehicles and reduces potential audit exposure.

Driver Log Audits: Manage Hours of Service (HOS) compliance through real-time, web-based document reporting made available via EOBR downloading and paper solutions. Be prepared for the new EOBR laws that will virtually eliminate “Out of Service” driver violations.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Report Tracking: Verification of driver completion and submission of required daily inspection documents via web-based notification and compliance reporting.

Periodic Inspection Tracking: Eliminate citations for expired annual inspections. Our systematic notification service tracks inspection expirations and compliance with inspector qualification regulations.

Consulting and Training: Our suite of consultative and educational services provide instruction on a number of important topics including:

  • DOT Compliance
  • Mock Audits
  • Driver Qualification
  • Hours of Service
  • Substance Abuse
  • Inspection /Maintenance
  • FleetWeb Usage

More Information

If you’d like more information about regulatory compliance, Steve Jansen can be reached at 847-412-4961.

donlen-fleetweb-seemenu-units-on-leaseFleetWeb® Tips

See a U.S. geographical snapshot of your Donlen leased vehicles in FleetWeb.

  1. Click “Show icons” link and then click “See” icon.
  2. Click “+” on the General tab.
  3. Click “Units on Lease” and click “Submit.”

Hertz Value Lease™ Deal of the Week


donlen-hertz-value-lease-dodge-avenger-04132012 Dodge Avenger SE*

  • Estimated Mileage: 28,723
  • Exterior Color: Silver
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $13,846

*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The exact vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only. Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

Driver’s Corner

Next week’s National Work Zone Awareness Week brings attention to work zone motorist and worker safety. Aside from the human risk factor, most traffic violation fines are doubled in work zones. Follow these safety tips for work zones:

  • Slow down
  • Avoid distractions
  • Be aware of your blind spots
  • Be patient
  • Pay attention to signs
  • Get into the correct lane in advance of lane closures
  • Expect the unexpected

And Finally…

And finally, vehicle dashboards are meant to be functional, but there are a few dashboard ideas that haven’t stood the test of time. While we wouldn’t call this list “ridiculous,” we would say they perhaps didn’t quite live up to expectations. A square wheel? Ostrich leather? Been there. Check out the rest of the top ten, as submitted by readers, here >

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on April 12, 2013

About Donlen
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (, with headquarters in Northbrook, IL, is the fleet industry’s most comprehensive and integrated provider of financing and asset management solutions. Since 1965, Donlen has offered its clients highly personalized and responsive customer service, and their workplace excellence has been recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago” each year from 2009-2011, a Leader on “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for six of the last seven years, and a National Association for Business Resources “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Donlen’s innovation has been awarded with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Opportunity,” named to “2012 InformationWeek 500” for innovative technology; the Stevie® “2012 Gold Award for Business Intelligence Solution,” the Silver Award for “2012 Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year,” and the “2011 Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year.”