General Regulations (FMCSR Part 390)


Commercial Vehicles

The Federal Motor Vehicle Regulations apply to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and their drivers which are operated by any company.  A commercial motor vehicle is any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in 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 10,001 lbs. or more, whichever is greater, or
  2. Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation, or
  3. Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding.


An accident is defined as an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce which results in: 

  1. A fatality, or
  2. Bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or
  3. One or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the motor vehicle(s) to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

If a motor carrier is involved in an accident, they must maintain an Accident Register and retain the register for a period of 3 years after the date of each accident.


Related Federal Regulations

The Federal Regulations found in parts 350-399 are applicable to all employers, employees, and commercial motor vehicles that transport property or passengers in interstate commerce.

Certain types of operations such as school busses, transportation of the sick or injured, fire and rescue, small passenger vehicles, winter fuel and pipeline emergency vehicles may be exempt from some of these requirements.  Exemptions can be found in Part 390.3 of the FMCSRs.

Requirements for maintaining an accident register can be found in Part 390.15 of the FMCSRs.

Vehicle Marking Requirements can be found in Part 390.21 of the FMCSRs.

Every carrier must update their information at least once every 24 months according to the schedule provided in Part 390.19 of the FMCSRs.

Biennial update information can be found at:  https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/updating-your-registration


Intrastate Commerce Exemptions

Colorado Adoptions (42-4-235(4)(a) C.R.S.)

Applies only to carriers operating within Colorado (intrastate commerce)

Part 390 has been adopted for intrastate carriers with the following modifications:

  • A commercial motor vehicle is defined as any self propelled or towed vehicle:
    • Bearing an Apportioned Plate
    • Having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of at least 16,001 lbs.; or
    • Having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of at least 16,001 lbs. and used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), unless the vehicle is a school bus (operated in accordance with C.R.S. 42-4-1904); or
    • Designed or equipped to transport other motor vehicles from place to place by means of winches, cables, pulleys, or other equipment for towing, pulling, or lifting; or
    • Used in transporting a quantity of hazardous material requiring placarding.
  • Intrastate only carriers must mark their vehicles with the assigned USDOT number followed by the suffix "CO" 
  • Motor carriers operating in intrastate commerce, not transporting 16 or more passengers including the driver or transporting placarded hazardous materials and having a GVWR or GCWR equal to or in excess of 16,001 lbs., but not in excess of 26,000 lbs, may meet the marking requirements of 49 CFR 390.21 by marking the trailer or secondary unit, if the GVWR of the self-propelled unit is 16,000 lbs. or less.

Colorado Agriculture Vehicle Exemption

  • A motor vehicle or vehicle and trailer combination is not a commercial vehicle if:
  1. It has a gross vehicle weight, gross vehicle weight rating, or gross combination rating of not more than twenty-six thousand pounds, and
  2. Is not operated in interstate commerce, and
  3. Is not transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding, and
  4. Is not transporting either sixteen or more passengers including the driver or eight or more passengers for compensation, and
  5. The motor vehicle or combination is being used solely for agricultural operations.

Forms and Publications

Accident Register