The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has changed its definition of “commercial vehicle” to include interstate for-hire property and passenger carriers based on gross vehicle weight (GVW) or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), whichever is greater. Currently, vehicles are considered commercial if they have a GVWR of 10,001 lb. or more.
Under the new rule, a commercial vehicle is one that has a GVWR or GVW of at least 10,001 lb. For example, a vehicle weighing 9,000 lb. but hauling 1,001 lb. would be considered a commercial vehicle by federal regulations.
FMCSA changed the regulations to target passenger-carrying vans, which it claims are involved in a high level of fatal crashes. Under the new rules, many of these vehicles would be subject to federal safety regulations, especially in the area of driver qualifications and performance, and vehicle inspections. If weight limits are exceeded, interstate for-hire operators of these vehicles must fill out the standard MCS-150 carrier identification report.