Farmer's & Farm Trucks

Regulation Guidance Booklet (abridged)

Index

Farmer Exemptions Overview

General Requirements

Farm Truck Driver Rules

Hours-of-Service Requirements

Truck Maintenance Requirements

Economic Regulations, Licensing, and Permits

Intrastate (within Missouri)

Interstate (beyond Missouri)

Contact Information & Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Agencies

Farmer Exemptions Overview

Straight Trucks Only
Farm-vehicle-drivers of straight trucks only (within 150 air-miles of their farm) are exempt from:

Combination Trucks Only



Farm-vehicle-drivers of combination semi-trucks (within 150 air-miles of their farm) are exempt from:

Both Combination and Straight Trucks

Farm-vehicle-drivers of both combination (articulated) trucks and straight trucks operating within 150 air-miles of their farm, wholly within Missouri, not hauling for-hire or placarded hazardous materials, are exempt from:

Farmers and Agri-Business Operations

Some Farmers and Agri-Business Operations operating within 100 air-miles from the source of the commodities or distribution point for the farm supplies are allowed some exceptions. Drivers transporting agriculture commodities or farm supplies for agricultural purposes only, are exempt from the hours-of-service requirements if the transportation is:
  1. Limited to an area within a 100 air-mile radius from the source of the commodities or the distribution point for the farm supplies, and is
  2. Conducted during the planting and harvesting seasons within Missouri. Missouri's season is from January 1 through December 31
Note: Crossing state lines may require full compliance with this requirement, depending on that adjoining state's planting and harvesting season. While Missouri's is year round, other states do vary.

Missouri Farm License Plate Exemptions

Trucks with Missouri farm license plates designated for farm use by the "F" tab, and licensed for 42,000 pounds or less, are exempt from:

This Missouri farm plate exclusion basically exempts farm vehicles licensed for 42,000 lbs or less from the DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation driver qualifications and file, medical qualification & certification card, hours-of-service rules, and the maintenance file requirements.

Farmers and farm truck drivers are still required to have a Class E Missouri driver's license or CDL. If a CDL is required, then drug & alcohol testing requirements must be met also. Drivers must be at least 18 years old, speak English, and be physically capable of operating a truck safely. All trucks must be operated with the proper equipment and comply with Missouri state traffic laws.

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General Requirements

Farm Trucks as Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs)

Farm trucks are considered commercial motor vehicles (CMV) if they meet the size description of a CMV, which is basically a truck with a gross weight over 10,000 lbs. In Missouri this varies some. Please see the Commercial Motor Vehicle definition in the glossary.

Marking of Farm Trucks

Federal and Missouri State Statutes require that all trucks must have markings on their truck with at least the operating business or farm name and location of the business or farm, on both sides of the truck. In certain cases a USDOT number may be required if crossing state lines at all. These requirements do include farm trucks.

Insurance Requirements for Farm Trucks

You need to have at least the minimum required amount of state liability insurance coverage on any vehicles operated. Higher public liability may be required if you carry bulk hazardous materials, operate for-hire, or various other factors.

Commercial Driver's License's (CDL) Requirements for Farm Trucks

A CDL is generally required if; However, if you strictly meet all of the following guidelines, no CDL is required.
The farmer operating their "farm vehicle" as a "farm-vehicle-driver" are exempt from the CDL requirements if:
  1. Farmer transports their own agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies as a private carrier to/from their farm (Not operating as a for-hire carrier or other than farm use), and
  2. Is within 150 miles of the farmer's farm, and
  3. The driver is a farmer, family member of the farmer, or an employee of the farm, operating a farm vehicle, and
  4. Is not required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.
A CDL is required if your truck and/or trailer is required to be placarded due to the Hazardous Materials carried, no matter what size or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the truck and trailer.

Missouri Class E Driver's License

This is Missouri's non-CDL license for commercial vehicles that do not require a CDL. This license is required for all farm truck drivers if they do not have a CDL.

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Farm Truck Driver Rules

CDL Required Drug and Alcohol Testing Rules

Drivers who are required to have a CDL for the type of truck operated must also comply with the controlled substance and alcohol testing requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). These include such things as: These are just some of the basic requirements. Please find out more by reviewing the actual regulations. For further clarification please call or view websites indicated in the contact information.

Minimum Age for Farm Truck Drivers

Drivers of a commercial vehicle must be at least 18 years old. Drivers must be at least 21 years old if:

Driver's License Requirements

If a CDL is not required (see page 5 for CDL requirements), then all farm employees must have at least a Missouri Class E driver's license (previously known as the Missouri Chauffeur's License).

Missouri Farm License Plate Exemptions

Trucks with Missouri farm license plates designated for farm use by the "F" tab, and licensed for 42,000 pounds or less, are exempt from the general safety regulations (FMCSR Parts 390-397) when operating in Missouri intrastate farm commerce only.

The Missouri "F" tab farm plate regulations exemptions are only applicable when a vehicle is lawfully licensed for a gross weight of 42,000 pounds or less (not in excess of its licensed gross weight of 42,000 pounds) and is designated "F" for farm use in accordance with the applicable requirements of Missouri law. The vehicle may only transport property to or from a farm owned or operated by that person and the property transported to the farm is only for use in the operation of this farm.

A farmer operating on a local commercial motor vehicle license plate with a farm tab may not make a for-hire haul! Farmers also lose all farmer exemptions when doing this. Farm truck drivers must still have at least a Missouri class E driver's license, or a CDL if required, be at least 18 years old, and comply with Missouri state traffic laws.

Note: The above exemption based on Missouri "F" tab license plates exists separately from all other regulations and does relate to or overlap any other requirements or exemptions discussed in this booklet.

Driver Qualifications

All persons who operate a commercial vehicle are considered "drivers" regardless of pay/non-pay status, being the vehicle owner, etc. In general, all drivers must be of the proper age, speak English, have a valid operating license, not be physically impaired (i.e. not physically incapable of operating a truck), and follow all other applicable state laws.

Medical Certification Requirements

In certain cases, drivers (including the farmer) must be medically examined and certified (DOT physical and certification) to operate a commercial vehicle farm truck. They must maintain records of these qualifications by carrying the DOT medical certification card while operating their farm truck commercial vehicle.
There are three exceptions from this requirement:

Recordkeeping of Driver Qualifications

Requirements will vary according to what specific exemptions apply, but in general a complete driver qualification file for each Commercial Vehicle farm truck driver (including the owner/operator/farmer) should contain the following required information: The driver qualification file for each Commercial Vehicle farm truck driver must be maintained by the farm business owner and kept on file there.
One exception from most of the above requirements is the Missouri "F" tab Farm Plate Exemption: Trucks with Missouri farm license plates designated for farm use by the "F" tab, and licensed for 42,000 pounds or less, are exempt from the general safety regulations (FMCSR Parts 390-397) when operating in Missouri intrastate farm commerce only.
Farmers are not exempt from the Drug & Alcohol testing requirements if the driver is required to have a CDL. (See page 5 for CDL requirements.)

Driver Qualification Exemptions for Farmers

  1. Farm-vehicle-drivers of straight trucks (within 150 miles of their farm) are exempt from the general federal driver qualification requirements and the driver qualification documentation file.

    The driver must still be the required age, speak English, and have the proper license:
    • Either a CDL (if required) or a Missouri class E driver's license.
  2. Farm-vehicle-drivers of combination (articulated) semi-trucks (within 150 miles of their farm) are exempt from the driver qualification documentation file only!

    They must meet the general requirements of a valid license as required above, the proper age, and speak English. These drivers also must be medically examined, qualified, and certified (a DOT physical) to operate a farm truck commercial vehicle and carry this medical certification card with them while operating the farm truck.

    Two exceptions from the DOT physical certification requirements are:
    • The Missouri "F" tab Farm Plate Exemption: Trucks with Missouri farm license plates designated for farm use by the "F" tab, and licensed for 42,000 pounds or less, are exempt from this requirement statewide within Missouri.
    • Drivers who had a valid Missouri Chauffeur's License on May 13, 1988 and who only operate within Missouri (Missouri grandfather exception).
  3. Farm-vehicle-drivers of both combination (articulated) trucks and straight trucks are exempt from the CDL license requirement and controlled substance and alcohol testing requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) when transporting:
    1. Their own agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies as a private carrier to/from their farm, and
    2. Operate within 150 miles of the farmer's farm, and
    3. The driver is the farmer, a family member, or an employee of the farm, operating a "farm vehicle", and
    4. Is not required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

These farm-vehicle-drivers are exempt when operating their "farm vehicle" within Missouri, unless adjoining state's have a reciprocal agreement and depending on that state's planting and harvesting season.


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Hours-of-Service Requirements

Compliance With Hours-of-Service Requirements
Generally, all Commercial Vehicles must follow the following hours-of-service rules:

These apply to all Commercial Vehicles. However two exemptions are allowed from these requirements: Note: Crossing state lines may require full compliance with this area, depending on that adjoining state's planting and harvesting season; Missouri's is year round, other states vary.

Hours-of-Service Logbooks or Time records for Farm Truck Drivers
Generally all working hours, driving hours, and off-duty time must be documented by either using a logbook or time record. These must be kept showing all driving time, all working time, and off-duty time.

Two exemptions are allowed for farmers from these requirements:

Note: Crossing state lines may require full compliance with this area, depending on that adjoining state's planting and harvesting season; Missouri's is year round, other states vary.

To recap the above exemptions from Hours-of-Service requirements:

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Truck Maintenance Requirements

Equipment and Maintenance Rules for Farm Trucks
All farm trucks must be operated safely with the proper equipment such as lighting, brakes, tires, load-securement, steering and suspension parts, etc. This means that all equipment, parts, and accessories must be properly maintained according to state and federal regulations. Inspections, repairs, and maintenance must be done and documented as explained below.

Maintenance Records and Proof of Repairs
All farm trucks and trailers operated on a public roadway must have a complete maintenance file containing documentation for each truck and trailer listing:

Note: One exception from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) maintenance requirements, which is the Missouri "F" tab Farm Plate Exemption. Trucks with Missouri farm license plates designated for farm use by the "F" tab, and licensed for 42,000 pounds or less, are exempt from the federal maintenance regulations when operating in Missouri intrastate farm commerce only.

Safety Inspection Requirements for Drivers
All drivers are required to do a daily pre-trip "walk around" inspection of the truck and trailer before operating it on any roadway to ensure it is safe. This is to find and correct vehicle and trailer defects, load securement problems, and equipment violations before they cause accidents and injure someone!

Drivers must complete a daily vehicle inspection post-trip report showing any defects noted and repaired, or that the vehicle has none, for each day the truck is operated on the roadways.



Exemptions from this driver daily vehicle inspection report requirement include: Back to top
Economic Regulations, Licensing, and Permits

Besides the safety regulation requirements, other rules and fees apply to farmers operating trucks both within Missouri and interstate. These include fuel tax licenses, over-dimension/over-weight (OD/OW permits), apportioned license plates, for-hire authority, etc.


Intrastate (within Missouri)

Overdimension Loads (OD)
No OD permits are needed on Missouri state highways for farmers occasionally and temporarily transporting an agricultural implement for a short distance on a state highway, or transporting hay as a farm product. OD permits are always required on the federal highway (interstate) system. Farm drivers must operate safely and in compliance with applicable rules and laws at all times or the OD permit will be voided.

Overweight Loads (OW)
Farmers must comply with the maximum legal weight limits or obtain an OW permit. Overweight loads are not exempt and always require a proper OW permit. Fees start at $15 with an additional $20 for every 10,000 lbs over the state maximum legal weight limit.

Reminder: Depending on the dimensions of the load and time of the movement, when traveling under an OD or OW permit, visible warning signs, flags, and lighting (when required due to darkness or weather) may be needed on the vehicle! This includes transporting hay!

OD/OW limits
Limits vary by roadway designation, commercial zone operation, and the type of vehicle. Generally, current Missouri statutory limits are as follows:

Maximum Height

Maximum Width Maximum Length Maximum Weight

This is based on gross weight, bridge weight, axle weight and axle spacings. These vary, so please call or visit our website for information regarding RSMo 304.180 for legal weights according to the number of axles and axle spacings.



Weight/height commercial zones set by statute within Missouri:

Weight/height limits set by statute within Missouri:

Missouri For-Hire Hauling Certificate of Authority
For intrastate authority within Missouri, there are a few simple steps to complete:

Note: If you fall under these for-hire hauling requirements, you are then NOT operating as a farmer and none of the previous exemptions from the safety regulations covered will apply to you. You also may not haul for-hire using a Missouri farm license plate. Back to top

Interstate (beyond Missouri)

Operation Beyond/Across Missouri State Lines
Any Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) crossing state lines, including farmers and farm trucks, must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and obtain a USDOT number. There is no charge to receive this required number for private carriers such as farmers. This can be done by phone, mail, or via the Internet.

Note: There are no exceptions from this requirement, if you cross state lines at all in a Commercial Motor Vehicle, even as a farmer, unless you purchase a trip-permit.

Hauling For-Hire Beyond Missouri
For interstate operating authority, you must apply to the USDOT, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for this authority. MODOT - Motor Carrier Services Division can assist you with this process or you may obtain this through the U.S. Department of Transportation. Fees start at approximately $300 and increase from there for each additional authority type needed. Note: If you fall under these requirements, then you are NOT operating as a farmer and none of the previous exemptions from the safety regulations covered will apply to you.

License Plate Requirements for Interstate Transportation
Missouri farm license plates are essentially local license plates to be used with a 50-mile radius. There are some exceptions within Missouri for occasionally going beyond the 50-mile radius for farm business and personal use. However, adjoining states may have different rules for farm license plates. Farmers are urged to check with the Missouri Department of Revenue, MODOT - Motor Carrier Services, or equivalent agencies of the state in which they will be traveling.

If engaged in interstate for-hire transportation, farmers may need to obtain an apportioned license plate.

Note: If you are required to have an apportioned license plate, then you are NOT operating as a farmer and none of the previous safety regulation exemptions explained will not apply to you.

Fuel Tax License for Farmers
As a farmer operating across any state lines, International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) license requirements apply if either of these two conditions is present:

International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is a required license to operate in interstate commerce and applies to farmers by just crossing state lines. The license is free but requires quarterly reports and submission of fuel taxes. For infrequent trips out of state, a 72-hour permit may be purchased for $10 instead of obtaining this IFTA license. Back to top

Contact Information & Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Agencies

The regulations and requirements in this booklet are explained in a very abbreviated manner and are only a brief overview of some common requirements. The regulations should be consulted for a full explanation of these rules and guidelines. They can be viewed on the websites listed below or copies obtained from any regulatory supplier. The complete regulations and state statutes, while complex, will cover these areas in much more detail and should be read in their entirety.

Please contact any of the agencies listed below to have all your questions fully answered.


Missouri Department of Transportation / Motor Carrier Services Division Safety & Compliance Section
1320 Creek Trail Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
Office: (573) 751-7117
or Toll Free: 1-866-831-6277
or Fax: (573) 751-4354
Internet: www.modot.state.mo.us/mcs/

Joplin Office - 417-629-3347
Springfield Office - 417-895-6365
Poplar Bluff Office - 573-840-9740
Willow Springs Office - 417-469-6270
St. Charles Office - 636-940-3315
Jefferson City Office - 573-522-4936
Kirksville Office - 660-785-2450
Warrensburg Office - 660-543-1000
Cameron Office - 816-649-1200

To obtain for-hire Authority Certificates, Apportioned license plates/IRP, USDOT numbers, IFTA/fuel tax licenses, or Overdimension/Overweight permits:
Missouri Department of Transportation / Motor Carrier Services Division
Compliance Communication Center - (aka "One-Stop Shop")

1320 Creek Trail Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
Office: (573) 751-7100
Toll Free: 1-866-831-6277
or Fax: (573) 751-4354
http://www.modot.org/mcs

Regulations, forms, & links to MODOT Motor Carrier Services staff and other agencies are available on the Internet at: www.carrier.state.mo.us or http://www.modot.org/mcs.

USDOT- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
3219 Emerald Lane, Suite 500
Jefferson City, MO 65109
(573) 636-3246 / 636-3870 or
FMCSA Information Line: 1-800-832-5660 or www.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Missouri State Highway Patrol - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division
(573) 751-4653 or any local troop of the Missouri State Highway Patrol

These are some of the agencies that farmers may have contact with. In Missouri the primary state agencies for commercial vehicle issues are:

Although penalties may sometimes result, safety and compliance is the primary goal of all these agencies.