Feds Address Horse Industry Concerns About CDL Requirements

Horse Van

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) followed its recent meeting with American Horse Council (AHC) staff by releasing two documents on the existing commercial driver license (CDL) regulations and how those regulations impact the horse industry. The meeting took place in response to the AHC’s request for clarification.

The documents Agricultural Exceptions and Exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service (HOS) and Commercial Driver’s License Rulesand Non-Business Related Transportation of Horses” explain how published FMCSA guidance provides an exception for equine transportation when the transportation in question isn’t business-related (neither for compensation, nor when the driver is engaged in an underlying business related to the move). In these cases, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations do not apply, even if prize or scholarship money is offered. This includes the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, requirements for electronic logging devices (ELD), and CDL regulations, unless required by the driver’s home state. Both documents contain example scenarios that might help horse owners better understand the regulations as they exist today.

The documents can be found on the FMCSA website at:

The AHC will continue to pursue clarifications until the industry is satisfied that there are no unintended consequences from current CDL or ELD regulations. The AHC will act when clarifications aren’t sufficient, including the continued collaboration with the entire livestock industry to get a delay in ELD enforcement.

Staff from the AHC is compiling the industry’s concerns and questions to forward to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation and invites people to share their comments. Additionally, DOT has established an email address for agricultural-specific questions at agricultural@dot.gov. This address will be used to generate a future FAQ page.

The AHC encourages members to share their questions to the DOT email as well to better highlight the existing concerns regarding the interpretation of CDL regulations. If clarifications and the FAQ fail to address member concerns, the AHC will continue its efforts and pursue both legislative and regulatory solutions.

The  AHC has EDL resources available on its website.

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