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Interpretation Response #09-0074 ([The Law Offices of Paul D. Borghesani] [Mr. Paul D. Borghesani])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: The Law Offices of Paul D. Borghesani

Individual Name: Mr. Paul D. Borghesani

Location State: IN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 21, 2010




Mr. Paul D. Borghesani

The Law Offices of Paul D. Borghesani

307 S. Main Street, Suite 300

Elkhart, Indiana 46516

Ref. No. 09-0074

Dear Mr. Borghesani:

This responds to your letter regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs; 49 CFR Parts 300-399) to the transportation of motor vehicles that contain various types and quantities of hazardous materials integral to their design and manufacture. Some examples of the type and amount of hazardous materials in the motor vehicles would include installed batteries and gasoline or diesel fuel of sufficient quantity so that the vehicle may be loaded and unloaded on and off the trailer. Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. Is a motor carrier transporting the motor vehicles described above in interstate or intrastate commerce subject to the HMR?

A1. Yes. Note that there are exceptions provided for the highway and rail transportation of self-propelled vehicles under § 173.220(g)(1). These exceptions specify that such vehicles are not subject to any other requirements of the HMR when they conform to all applicable conditions of § 173.220.

Q2. Is a motor carrier transporting the motor vehicles described above and covered under the exceptions in § 173.220(g)(1) of the HMR subject to the minimum financial responsibility requirements specified in 49 CFR Part 387?

A2. Yes. The motor vehicles meet the definition of a hazardous material in §171.8 of the HMR and are considered hazardous materials for the purposes of 49 CFR Part 387. The motor carrier must provide for financial responsibility at the appropriate level for the commodity being transported.

Q3. If motor vehicles being transported are considered to be hazardous materials for purposes of the financial responsibility requirements in 49 CFR Part 387, what minimum level of responsibility is needed?

A3. A motor carrier that transports motor vehicles in commerce must maintain at least $1,000,000 of public liability insurance. See 49 CFR 387.9.

Q4. Is a motor carrier required to utilize drivers that have a hazardous materials endorsement on a commercial driver's license (CDL) if the hazardous materials are excepted from the placarding requirements of the HMR?

A4. No. There is an exemption for transporting vehicles meeting the requirements of 49 CFR 173.220(g). This exemption excuses the carrier from marking, labeling, and shipping papers. For purposes of the hazardous materials endorsement requirements in 49 CFR Part 383, "hazardous materials" means any material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of Part 172 of the HMR or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. This response has been coordinated with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Please contact the FMCSA should you have further questions concerning the FMCSRs. Please contact this office if we can be of further assistance concerning the HMR.


Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.220, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.220 Internal combustion engines, vehicles, machinery containing internal combustion engines, battery-powered equipment or machinery, fuel cell-powered equipment or machinery