Texas Trucking Laws

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Title 49, Parts 350-399) govern all vehicles engaged in interstate traffic.

There are some situations where a tractor-trailer or other commercial motor vehicle is involved in only intrastate travel. For example, an appliance store in Austin may own a truck that only makes in-state deliveries.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has adopted Title 49, Parts 382-384 and 390-399 of the federal regulations.

The following provisions are an overview of Texas laws that affect trucks operating only in Texas:

Driver Qualification

Texas has adopted Part 391 of the Federal Regulations with a few notable modifications. For example, a commercial operator must be at least 18 years of age, rather than 21. Also, Sec. 391.11(b)(1), regarding reading and speaking the English language, was not adopted for intrastate drivers, however the driver must have successfully passed the examination for a Texas driver’s license.

Drivers with certain disabilities require the approval of a medical examiner before a license can be issued.

Hours of Service

Texas has adopted Part 395 of the Federal Regulations with a few exceptions for intrastate drivers. The maximum driving and on-duty requirements can’t apply to drivers transporting agricultural commodities or farm supplies in intrastate commerce within a 150-air-mile radius from the source of the commodities or supplies when such transportation occurs during planting and harvesting seasons.

Parts and Accessories

Texas has adopted Part 393 of the Federal Regulations with exceptions for the breaks and rear bumper. However, this section is not applicable to vehicles manufactured prior to September 1, 1991.

Crash reports are available from:

Texas Department of Public Safety
Accident Records
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773
(512) 424-7121

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