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New NMSU Extension publication clarifies interstate commerce transportation regulation

Photo by Boeckmann Horseexperts via Wikimedia Commons horse_trailer
New Mexico State University published Circular 689 that clarifies federal transportation regulations regarding hauling animals across state lines.
“If you are crossing state lines where the hauling of the animal is involved in making your normal income, then the interstate commerce regulation applies to you.”

The recent enforcement of a federal regulation regarding transporting animals across state lines for commerce has confused not-for-profit haulers including 4-H and FFA families.

New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences had created a publication that will help these groups understand the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.

“If you are crossing state lines where the hauling of the animal is involved in making your normal income, then the interstate commerce regulation applies to you,” said Craig Gifford, NMSU Extension Beef Cattle specialist. “Recently, the FMCSA has provided some parameters for enforcing the regulations that has clarified what is not interstate commerce.”

The FMCSA advised that it is not interstate commerce if the trip is an occasional transport of personal property, prize money is not declared as normal income, travel is not deducted as business expense and there are no corporate sponsorships involved.

However, there are some other common misconceptions about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations that the NMSU publication tries to clarify.

“We designed the publication describing requirements for people who typically are not professional for-profit carriers, but who may be transporting livestock, equipment or other items as part of their commercial operations, and who have a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more,” Gifford said.

The federal regulations include:
– Obtaining and displaying a Department of Transportation number on the vehicle.
– Using a log book or electronic logging device to log the driving and non-driving hours.
– Obtaining a commercial driver’s license.

“Common misconceptions include that the requirement of DOT numbers, ELD mandate and CDL are all the same,” said Gifford. “Also that placing a not-for-hire sign on the vehicle exempts that vehicle from these regulations. Also that private agriculture-related activities are all exempt.”

All of these misconceptions are not necessarily true.

“Requirements for CDL, ELD and DOT numbers are all separate,” Gifford said. “Each may have exemptions, but they do not apply to all. For example, ELD exemptions do not apply to DOT number requirements.”

NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service publication Circular 689 explains some of the requirements of the federal regulation for people involved in hauling animals for 4-H or FFA activities and rodeo; and other not-for-hire activities. The publication can be found online at

TAGS: Farm Life
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