Effective immediately, the definition of a commercial motor vehicle in part 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is as follows:
"Commercial motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on the highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle: has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater."
In other words, the weight of the loaded vehicle(s) is now used to determine if the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle requiring the driver to have a medical card. The determining factor for classification will be either the weight rating or gross weight of the vehicle, whichever is greater.
For example, if a pickup has a GVWR of 9,000 pounds, but the actual gross weight loaded is 10,001 pounds or more, then this pickup alone now meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle, and the driver must carry a medical card.
Any time a one-ton truck is towing a larger trailer with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more, special attention must be paid to the GVWR of the truck that is towing the trailer. If the GVWR of the trailer plus the GVWR of the truck towing the trailer meets or exceeds 26,001 pounds, the driver of the truck must have a minimum of a Class A Commercial Drivers License with a 57 restriction. See www.fmcsa.dot.gov for more information.