American Horse Council

The DOT is developing a website tailored to the agricultural industry; website may go live next week.

American Horse Council

As additional information on this subject becomes available, AHC will share the information as quickly as possible.

The American Horse Council met with Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Deputy Administrator and leadership team this week in response to a letter sent to Secretary Chao on January 28, 2018. AHC staff went to DOT headquarters to raise the industry’s concerns and solicit clarification on how the existing regulations should be interpreted, and how those interpretations are affecting the horse industry.

AHC expressed the industry’s interest in an increased level of stakeholder outreach, the lack of uniform interpretations nationwide, the applicability of various exemptions already in place, and the appropriate avenues for future legislative and regulatory efforts. AHC shared specific situations where rodeo, racing, competition and recreational sectors have interacted with law enforcement concerning commercial regulations.

DOT informed AHC that a new website tailored to the agricultural industry will be unveiled in the next week, with a dedicated contact for agriculture-related questions, and DOT will begin to develop a frequently asked questions section to more clearly address the questions they receive.

DOT staff clarified that trailer drivers not engaged in business are not subject to commercial motor vehicle regulations, specifically where additional licensing is concerned. Regardless of weight, it was the interpretation of those present that going to an event that may issue prizes does not necessarily constitute commercial activity. As long as participation in the competition itself is not a component of the business with which that driver or the vehicle are regularly engaged, and expenses for said trip are not deducted for tax purposes, a CDL is not required to operate the CMV in question. Those interpretations, as are all CMV regulations, are specific to federal regulations, and state regulations may be less forgiving.

AHC is excited about the opportunity to develop this relationship with DOT-FMCSA. The equine community should look forward to utilizing these lines of communication in the future to assure industry-wide compliance and protection of individuals driving both commercially and recreationally. AHC encourages the industry to reach out to state law enforcement to determine how best to comply with the state regulations. As additional information on this subject becomes available, AHC will share that with its members as quickly as possible.

Visit for AHC materials on this subject. Please contact the AHC with questions or concerns.