United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 01, 2024
Motor carrier safety permits
A motor carrier may transport or cause to be transported by motor vehicle in commerce hazardous material only if the carrier holds a safety permit the Secretary issues under this section authorizing the transportation and keeps a copy of the permit, or other proof of its existence, in the vehicle. The Secretary shall issue a permit if the Secretary finds the carrier is fit, willing, and able—
to provide the transportation to be authorized by the permit;
to comply with this chapter and regulations the Secretary prescribes to carry out this chapter; and
to comply with applicable United States motor carrier safety laws and regulations and applicable minimum financial responsibility laws and regulations.
The Secretary shall prescribe by regulation the hazardous material and amounts of hazardous material to which this section applies. However, this section shall apply at least to transportation by a motor carrier, in amounts the Secretary establishes, of—
a class A or B explosive;
liquefied natural gas;
hazardous material the Secretary designates as extremely toxic by inhalation; and
a highway-route-controlled quantity of radioactive material, as defined by the Secretary.
A motor carrier shall file an application with the Secretary for a safety permit to provide transportation under this section. The Secretary may approve any part of the application or deny the application. The application shall be under oath and contain information the Secretary requires by regulation.
After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary may amend, suspend, or revoke a safety permit, as provided by procedures prescribed under subsection (e) of this section, when the Secretary decides the motor carrier is not complying with a requirement of this chapter, a regulation prescribed under this chapter, or an applicable United States motor carrier safety law or regulation or minimum financial responsibility law or regulation.
If the Secretary decides an imminent hazard exists, the Secretary may amend, suspend, or revoke a permit before scheduling a hearing.
The Secretary shall prescribe by regulation—
application procedures, including form, content, and fees necessary to recover the complete cost of carrying out this section;
standards for deciding the duration, terms, and limitations of a safety permit;
procedures to amend, suspend, or revoke a permit; and
other procedures the Secretary considers appropriate to carry out this section.
A person offering hazardous material for motor vehicle transportation in commerce may offer the material to a motor carrier only if the carrier has a safety permit issued under this section authorizing the transportation.
A motor carrier may provide transportation under a safety permit issued under this section only if the carrier complies with conditions the Secretary finds are required to protect public safety.
The Secretary may not deny a non-temporary permit held by a motor carrier pursuant to this section based on a comprehensive review of that carrier triggered by safety management system scores or out-of-service disqualification standards, unless—
the carrier has the opportunity, prior to the denial of such permit, to submit a written description of corrective actions taken and other documentation the carrier wishes the Secretary to consider, including a corrective action plan; and
the Secretary determines the actions or plan is insufficient to address the safety concerns identified during the course of the comprehensive review.
cite as: 49 USC 5109