Farm transportation regulations are an integral part of operating vehicles intended for farm or ranch use. In this quick guide, you will learn more about which vehicles qualify as Covered Farm Vehicles and the safety practices and regulatory guidelines that apply (or not) to them.
What are Covered Farm Vehicles (CFV)?
According to current regulations, a Covered Farm Vehicle is any vehicle that:
- Is registered as such and uses the corresponding state license plate. You can register the vehicle as a CFV at your corresponding DMV office.
- Is used to transport agricultural related products, livestock, supplies and any other machinery to and from a farm or ranch.
- Is operated by the owner of a farm or ranch, their employees and/or their relatives.
Regulation Exemptions for Covered Farm Vehicles Owners
CFVs are exempt from the following requirements from the Code of Federal Regulations:
- Physical qualifications and examinations
- Hours of service of drivers
- Drug testing
- Inspection, repair and maintenance
*These exemptions may vary depending on your vehicle’s GVW and/or GVWR.
Although Covered Farm Vehicles might be exempt from annual inspections and maintenance regulations, it’s important to exercise caution and common sense when it comes to keeping your equipment in optimal conditions. This will decrease the chances of any malfunctions that could jeopardize your safety and others.
Keep in mind that although CFVs are exempt from these regulations, if you get into an accident for not having your tires, lights, brakes or any other components in good condition you will still be liable.
Do I need a special license to operate Covered Farm Vehicles?
You do not need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) if you operate trailers and other CFVs as long as you do it in the state where the vehicle is registered or within 150 miles of your farm (even if you go into another state). If you drive into another state past this range, this is when you will need a CDL. Keep in mind that these rules apply to any employees and/or family members as well.
If you wish to register your vehicle as a CFV, you can do so by checking your local DMV office. Requirements may vary. Also, if you need further information about CFVs, you can visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.