Changes to the MA DOT Marking Regulations Will Effect Growers
Effective September 1, 2018 there are new state regulations concerning commercial motor vehicles, including FARM PLATED vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds. These regulations involve obtaining a Federal USDOT number and also markings on trucks. Although the regulation begins on September 1, we have been assured that enforcement will NOT take effect until January 1, 2019. The summary of these changes is as follows:
1) If you have vehicles that meet the weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds, then you will need to acquire a Federal USDOT number and this is done on a federal online system and is free.
2) You must display the USDOT number on your vehicle. The markings must be at least 2" tall (needs to be seen from a distance of 50'), clearly contrasts with the background color of the vehicle and marked on both sides of the vehicle.
3) One USDOT number is used for your entire farm and will be shared among all of your vehicles. You may opt to use a magnetic decal to easily move the DOT number among several vehicles.
4) The name of the farm must also be displayed BUT there are exemptions for farmers for this particular aspect of the regulation. If the vehicle is owned or controlled by a farmer and used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, and/or farm supplies to or from the farmer's farm; not used in the operation of a common or contract carrier, and used within 150 air miles of the farmer's farm then you are EXEMPT from displaying the farm name on the vehicle.
5) A permanent USDOT number is required on any vehicle that transports hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding; and every motor vehicle designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, used in intrastate commerce in Massachusetts.
6) To file for a USDOT number, visit https://portal.fmcsa.dot.gov/UrsRegistrationWizard/
7) Farmers that have Massachusetts farm plates will register as PRIVATE CARRIERS and is free. If you register as a FOR HIRE CARRIER then you will need to apply for MC Authority and that costs $300.00. Note that Massachusetts does not allow farmers with farm plates to be "For Hire".
8) We have learned that some growers have encountered glitches with the federal online filing website, particularly surrounding address information. If you encounter any problems with the site, you may fill out the US DOT Number Manual Form. After filling out the form, you need to email through this web site to: https://ask.fmcsa.dot.gov/app/ask/. Once it is submitted, you will receive an Incident number. Email the incident number to Crystal Waller at the FMCSA at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will have the form processed and emailed back to you with the USDOT number.
9) IMPORTANT: Once you have successfully obtained a USDOT number, you may be contacted by third-party companies. Because your contact information becomes public record as soon as you obtain a USDOT number, some marketing companies will immediately begin to cold call you offering their services. Some are more aggressive than others and some use questionable business ethics. NONE of these businesses are directly associated with the government and you should IGNORE all of them. You do not need their services.
10) If you have any questions, please contact CCCGA.