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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #20-0070

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Jacam Chemicals 2013, LLC

Individual Name: Jason Ontjes

Location State: KS Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 15, 2021

Jason Ontjes
DOT/Fleet Manager
Jacam Chemicals 2013, LLC
205 S. Broadway
P.O. Box 96
Sterling, KS 67579

Reference No. 20-0070

Dear Mr. Ontjes:

This is in response to your August 28, 2020, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to shipping papers. Specifically, you seek clarification on the requirements pertaining to shipping paper accessibility.

In your email, you describe a scenario in which one of your drivers was cited by an enforcement officer for noncompliance with § 177.817(e) of the HMR. You state that your driver was at the controls of the motor vehicle and the required shipping paper was in a manila folder inside of a holder mounted to the inside of the driver's side door. You also state that while the shipping paper was not tabbed, the shipping paper did appear first in the manila folder. Finally, you state that it is your understanding that the citation by the enforcement officer is incorrect and that the HMR allows for the shipping paper to appear first if carried with other papers and to be held in a holder mounted to the driver's side door. You have requested interpretation of the requirements of § 177.817(e) as it relates to your scenario.

It is the opinion of this Office that based on your scenario, your understanding is correct. Section 177.817(e)(1) states that the shipping paper must be clearly distinguished by either distinctively tabbing it or by having it appear first if it is carried with other shipping papers or other papers of any kind. By having the shipping paper appear first in the folder, it appears that your driver has met this requirement. Section 177.817(e)(2)(i) states that when the driver is at the vehicle's controls, the shipping paper shall be within his immediate reach while he is restrained by the lap belt; and either readily visible to a person entering the driver's compartment or in a holder which is mounted to the inside of the door of the driver's side of the vehicle. It appears that by having the manila folder in a holder which was mounted to the inside of the door of the driver's side of the vehicle, your driver has met this requirement, as well.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

177.817(e), 177.817(e)(1), 177.817(e)(2)(i)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
177.817 Shipping papers