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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 #21-0049

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Wisconsin State Patrol

Individual Name: Christopher Caldwell

Location State: WI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 19, 2021

Mr. Christopher Caldwell
Wisconsin State Patrol
911 W. North Street
DeForest, WI  53532

Reference No. 21-0049

Dear Mr. Caldwell:

This letter is in response to your May 3, 2021, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to a driver transporting small quantities of gasoline for personal use in an employer's commercial vehicle. Specifically, you ask for clarification on several past letters of interpretation (LOI) that you believe are in conflict with one another, including LOI No. 03-0223, LOI No. 11-0007, and LOI No. 11-0306.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has reviewed LOI No. 03-0223, LOI No. 11-0007, and LOI No. 11-0306. We confirm the answer provided in LOI No. 11-0007, which states that non-commercial transportation of hazardous materials is not subject to the HMR. Furthermore, in a final rule titled "Applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations to Loading, Unloading, and Storage"—which was published on October 30, 2003, and had a delayed effective date of June 1, 2005 [HM-223; 68 FR 61905; 69 FR 70902]—we revised § 171.1 to clarify the applicability of the HMR to transportation functions and added a definition for "commerce" in § 171.8. PHMSA believes that the LOIs issued after publication of the HM-223 final rule better clarify the meaning of the term "non-commercial" transportation under the HMR.

Finally, the transportation of a hazardous material by motor vehicle for personal use of the driver is generally not subject to requirements in the HMR. Please note that such transportation may be subject to other Federal, State, or local requirements, which include the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

PHMSA will consider rescinding LOI No. 03-0223.

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

171.1, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations