The South Carolina Department of Public Safety's State Transport Police division is going to start requiring registration of intrastate commercial motor vehicles.
South Carolina Trucking Association President Rick Todd announced his group's support of the new program.
South Carolina Trucking Association President Rick Todd announced his group's support of the new program.

The Motor Carrier Registration program will require all intrastate motor carriers to obtain South Carolina Intrastate DOT numbers and display those numbers on all their commercial vehicles. There is no cost to the companies to obtain the numbers.

"This is not a new law," explained South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director Mark Keel. "This was adopted by South Carolina when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations were adopted. At that time, the U.S. Department of Transportation did not have the technology to process intrastate numbers. That technology is now in place and the law will be enforced."

"The issuance of an intrastate DOT number does not subject commercial motor carriers to additional or different safety requirements," said Col. Nick Moore, commanding officer of the State Transport Police.

"The intrastate number is one of the components of a quality program that allows law enforcement to efficiently assess and track a commercial motor carrier's safety rating by tying the vehicles in a fleet to a common identifying number," he said.

A company would be required to obtain a SCDOT number if it operates a commercial motor vehicle that:

* Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more; or

* Is designed or used to transport more than eight passengers, including the driver, for compensation; or

* Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or

* Is used in transporting hazardous materials as defined under federal law.

This requirement is not limited to "trucking companies." As defined by law, a "motor carrier" is any commercial enterprise that uses such vehicles in its business operations and as a result it is subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations.

"It is important to know this 'motor carrier industry' is really not one industry, rather it is an eclectic mix of industries - all utilizing commercial motor vehicles in their enterprises," said Rick Todd, president & CEO of the South Carolina Trucking Association, at the press conference announcing the program.

The program goes into effect October 1, 2011, which will allow intrastate motor carriers time to obtain the required numbers and appropriately mark their vehicles. After that date, failure to register, obtain and display the SCDOT number will subject the carrier to a $100 fine per occurrence.