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WASHINGTON, D.C.– When is a commercial driver’s license required for transporting horses? What should you do or say if you are hauling your horses to a show and stopped by a federal safety official?

Those are the types of questions that the American Horse Council wanted answered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) after a recent meeting in response to the AHC request for clarification. On Feb. 26, the FMCSA published two documents to promote understanding of the regulations and also how to discern whether or not a carrier can be excluding from the commercial driver’s license requirement.

“The AHC is appreciative of the horse specific efforts that FMCSA have taken to quell the concerns of our recreational enthusiasts,” said an AHC spokeperson. “We will continue to pursue clarifications until the industry is satisfied that there are no unintended consequences from current CDL or ELD regulations. The AHC will take action where clarifications are not sufficient, including the continued collaboration with the entire livestock industry to get a delay in ELD enforcement.”

The two documents issues by the FMCSA, available using the links below, explain exceptions for the transportation of horses when the transportation in question is not business related — either for compensation or where the driver may be engaged in an underlying business related to the move. In these cases, regulations do not apply, even if prize or scholarship money is offered. This includes the Hours-of-Service regulations, requirements for Electronic Logging Devices and commercial driver’s license regulations.

Both documents contain example scenarios that may help horse owners better understand the regulations as they exist today.

AHC staff are still compiling concerns and questions to forward to DOT, and they invite people to share their comments. Additionally, DOT has established a specific email address for agricultural specific questions: agricultural@dot.gov. This address will be used to generate a future F.A.Q. page. Find AHC resources at http://www.horsecouncil.org/eld-mandate-cdl-requirements/

ONLINE LINKS to regulation explanations:
Drivers hauling horses (exceptions)
Agricultural hauling (exceptions)

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