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  • § 387.1
    Purpose and scope.
  • § 387.3
  • § 387.5
  • § 387.7
    Financial responsibility required.
  • § 387.9
    Financial responsibility, minimum levels.
  • § 387.11
    State authority and designation of agent.
  • § 387.15
  • § 387.25
    Purpose and scope.
  • § 387.27
  • § 387.31
    Financial responsibility required.
  • § 387.39

Part 387

Section § 387.3: Applicability.

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View regulations for Part 387

Question 1: At what Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), as assigned by a manufacturer, does the requirement to comply with the financial responsibility regulations begin?

Guidance: Generally, part 387, subpart A applies if the vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more. Part 387, subpart A, does not apply to the intrastate transportation of nonbulk oil, nonbulk HM, substances or wastes. Motor vehicles used to transport any quantity of Divisions 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 (explosive) materials, poison gas, or highway route controlled quantity of radioactive materials in interstate or foreign commerce are subject to Federal regulation regardless of the GVWR.

Question 2: Does the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) apply to the power unit only?

Guidance: No.

Question 3: When are tow trucks subject to financial responsibility coverage?

Guidance: For-hire tow trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or GCWR of 10,000 pounds or more performing emergency moves in interstate or foreign commerce are required to maintain minimum levels of financial responsibility in the amount of $750,000. For-hire tow trucks performing secondary moves are required to maintain levels of coverage applicable to the commodity being transported by the vehicle being towed.

Question 4: Are Federal, State or local political subdivisions subject to the financial responsibility regulations?

Guidance: No.

Question 5: Is a motor vehicle owned by an owner-operator, and being dead-headed (returning empty), or a tract or that is being bobtailed (operating without a trailer), subject to the financial responsibility regulations?

Guidance: A motor vehicle deadheading or bobtailing while in the service of a motor carrier would be subject to the financial responsibility regulations.

Question 6: Is a motor carrier transporting mail under contract for the U.S. Postal Service wholly within the boundaries of a single State subject to the minimum levels of financial responsibility requirements of part 387?

Guidance: Yes. The transportation of U.S. mail is considered to be interstate commerce because of the intermingling of inter-and intrastate mail on every vehicle.

Question 7: Are motor carriers transporting HM that are covered under exceptions to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) subject to financial responsibility regulations?

Guidance: Yes. Even though an HM may be covered under a packaging, placarding, transportation, or other exception to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs), if the item meets the definition of a hazardous material per 49 CFR171.8, it is still considered HM for the purposes of Part 387. The motor carrier must still provide for financial responsibility at the appropriate level for the commodity being transported.

Question 8: Are motor vehicles being transported considered to be HM for purposes of the financial responsibility requirements, thus requiring the higher limits set forth in the regulations?

Guidance: Yes. Even though vehicles being transported by motor vehicle are subject only to 49 CFR 173.220 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs), they meet the definition of “Hazardous material” in 49 CFR 171.8 because “Vehicle, flammable gas powered” and “Vehicle, flammable liquid powered” are designated as hazardous in 49 CFR 172.101 [UN 3166]. For that reason, vehicles transporting other vehicles would have to carry $1,000,000 of public liability insurance.

Question 9: Is a travel trailer or motor home that has propane cylinders attached subject to part 387 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)?

Guidance: No. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) considers such propane cylinders to be an integral part of the recreational vehicle and not subject to the financial responsibility regulations.

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