Motor Carrier Safety Unit

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Motor Carrier Safety Unit

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes.  See 49 CFR 392.82.

Any licensed medical doctor or advanced practice nurse can perform a physical examination and complete your medical card so long as they meet the criteria under (49 CFR 390.103) and is familiar with the physical requirements for drivers as specified in (49 CFR 391.41). The medical examiner should have the necessary paperwork to issue you a medical card.

Find certified medical examiners in your area—or anywhere in the country—easily by following:

1. Visit the National Registry and search by Zip Code, State, or examiner name.

2. Choose a certified medical examiner from the list and call to make an appointment.

3. If your preferred health care professional isn’t on the list, simply refer him or her to Certified Medical Examiners to learn more about getting certified.

If you qualify as a commercial motor vehicle as defined by (49 CFR 390.5), the answer is YES. All commercial vehicles in Alabama must be marked with either an Interstate USDOT# or an Intrastate USDOT#. However, if you are an Intrastate company operating straight trucks and trucks with trailers having Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR) or Gross Combination Weight Ratings (GCWR) of 26,000 pounds or less (other than passenger buses and hazardous material or hazardous waste haulers), you are exempt from all Federal Regulations while operating within the State of Alabama and a USDOT# is NOT required.

The manufacturer of the vehicle must put a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) on the vin spec plate of the vehicle. The plate is usually located inside the driver’s door jam of the power unit. There should also be a separate rating displayed on the vin spec plate of the trailer if one is used. You cannot carry more than the manufacturer’s GVWR or the amount of gross weight allowed to be imposed on the highway as defined in Section 32-9-20(a)(4), Code of Alabama 1975. 

The Alabama Trucking Association can help you with information about the requirements for legally operating a commercial motor vehicle on the highway. A Motor Carrier's Guide to Improving Highway Safety is intended to provide educational and technical assistance to the motor carrier industry and provide basic guidance on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Repairs to the trucks are between you and the company you lease from. If a citation was issued, you are responsible for paying any fines. You are also responsible for sending the driver/vehicle inspection form back to the Motor Carrier Safety Unit within 15 days of inspection.

You must call the district court in the county where the ticket was issued. Each county sets the fines for tickets issued in their county. The fine will be sent to that court. The inspection form should be signed and returned to the Motor Carrier Safety Unit within 15 days.

You may purchase a carrier profile from us. The profile provides you a list of all inspections and accidents reported in Alabama. You may also obtain a carrier profile from FMCSA showing all reports and accidents nationwide.

The Alabama Department of Revenue issues all registration, tags, and fuel stickers. You can contact them at (334)242-9000.

If you operate a vehicle in connection with your business, you will be considered commercial and inspected if your vehicle has a GVWR of over 10,000 lbs. or if the combination of your truck and trailer have a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. and meets the criteria of a commercial motor vehicle as defined in (49 CFR 390.5).  If the total GVCR is under 26,000 and you operate Intrastate only, you are exempt from all federal regulations while in the state of Alabama.

Even though you are not required to have a CDL, you are required to have a current medical card. A logbook is required if you do not qualify for the 100 air-mile exemption.

 A driver is not required to make out a log thus qualifying for the “Short Haul Exemption” under (49 CFR 395.1(e)) if the following criteria are met:

  1. The driver operates within a 100/150 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location
  2. The driver (except a driver salesperson) returns to the work reporting location and is released from work within 12 consecutive hours
  3. At least 10 consecutive hours off duty separate each 12 hours on duty
  4. The driver does not drive more than 11 hours
  5. The motor carrier maintains time records for 6 months showing:
    • The time the driver reports for duty each day
    • The time the driver is released from duty each day
    • Total number of hours on duty each day
    • Total time on duty for the preceding 7 days for drivers used for the first time or intermittently

Time records must also be maintained for days in which the driver does not work. Drivers are not required to have copies of the time records in their possession.

A driver can cross a state line and still come under the short haul exemption, if the five criteria listed above are met.

A short haul driver is not exempt from the 60–hour/7–day or 70-hour/8–day limit.

How to obtain manuals and forms

1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)

2. Driver Qualification Packets

3. Accident Countermeasure Manuals


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not stock or supply manuals and forms, such as the FMCSRs, “Accident Countermeasure” Manual, Medical Examiner’s Certificates, Driver’s Qualification File Forms, Driver’s Daily Log Books, Hazardous Materials Placards, Hazardous Materials Labels, Etc. They may be obtained from printing firms, or other sources including, but not confined to, those listed below. Please note that the following suppliers may carry only certain items.





(Placards & Labels)



108 W. 19TH STREET


(816) 842-5068




CHICAGO, IL 60646-6797

(800) 621-5808




P O BOX 368

NEENAH, WI 54957-0368

(877) 564-2333




NILES, IL 60714-4610

(847) 677-4730





(202) 512-1800