TRANSPORTATION CODE


TITLE 7. VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC


SUBTITLE F. COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES


CHAPTER 643. MOTOR CARRIER REGISTRATION


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec. 643.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Department" means the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

(2) "Director" means:

(A) the executive director of the department; or

(B) an employee of the department who:

(i) is a division or special office director or holds a higher rank; and

(ii) is designated by the director.

(3) "Hazardous material" has the meaning assigned by 49 U.S.C. Section 5102.

(4) "Household goods" has the meaning assigned by 49 U.S.C. Section 13102.

(5) "Insurer" means a person, including a surety, authorized in this state to write lines of insurance coverage required by this chapter.

(6) "Motor carrier" means an individual, association, corporation, or other legal entity that controls, operates, or directs the operation of one or more vehicles that transport persons or cargo over a road or highway in this state.

(7) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046, Sec. 5.01(a)(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(7-a) "Unified carrier registration system" means a motor vehicle registration system established under 49 U.S.C. Section 14504a or a similar federal registration program that replaces that system.

(8) "Vehicle requiring registration" means a vehicle described by Section 643.051.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 5.01(a)(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933 (H.B. 3097), Sec. 2L.01, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 643.002. EXEMPTIONS. This chapter does not apply to:

(1) motor carrier operations exempt from registration by the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005 (49 U.S.C. Section 14504a) or a motor vehicle registered under the single state registration system established under 49 U.S.C. Section 14504(c) when operating exclusively in interstate or international commerce;

(2) a motor vehicle registered as a cotton vehicle under Section 504.505;

(3) a motor vehicle the department by rule exempts because the vehicle is subject to comparable registration and a comparable safety program administered by another governmental entity;

(4) a motor vehicle used to transport passengers operated by an entity whose primary function is not the transportation of passengers, such as a vehicle operated by a hotel, day-care center, public or private school, nursing home, or similar organization;

(5) a vehicle operating under a private carrier permit issued under Chapter 42, Alcoholic Beverage Code;

(6) a vehicle operated by a governmental entity; or

(7) a tow truck, as defined by Section 2308.002, Occupations Code.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.10(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 3.06, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.003. RULES. The department may adopt rules to administer this chapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 643.004. PAYMENT OF FEES. (a) The department may adopt rules on the method of payment of a fee under this chapter, including:

(1) authorizing the use of:

(A) escrow accounts described by Subsection (b); and

(B) electronic funds transfer or a credit card issued by a financial institution chartered by a state or the United States or by a nationally recognized credit organization approved by the department; and

(2) requiring the payment of a discount or service charge for a credit card payment in addition to the fee.

(b) The department may establish one or more escrow accounts in the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles fund for the prepayment of a fee under this chapter. Prepaid fees and any fees established by the department for the administration of this section shall be:

(1) administered under an agreement approved by the department; and

(2) deposited to the credit of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles fund to be appropriated only to the department for the purposes of administering this chapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.11(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1287 (H.B. 2202), Sec. 62, eff. September 1, 2013.

SUBCHAPTER B. REGISTRATION


Sec. 643.051. REGISTRATION REQUIRED. (a) A motor carrier may not operate a commercial motor vehicle, as defined by Section 548.001, on a road or highway of this state unless the carrier registers with the department under this subchapter.

(b) A motor carrier may not operate a vehicle, regardless of size of the vehicle, to transport household goods for compensation unless the carrier registers with the department under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 6.01, eff. June 14, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 3.07, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.052. APPLICATION. To register under this subchapter a motor carrier must submit to the department an application on a form prescribed by the department. The application must include:

(1) the name of the owner and the principal business address of the motor carrier;

(2) the name and address of the legal agent for service of process on the carrier in this state, if different;

(3) a description of each vehicle requiring registration the carrier proposes to operate, including the motor vehicle identification number, make, and unit number;

(4) a statement as to whether the carrier proposes to transport household goods or a hazardous material;

(5) a declaration that the applicant has knowledge of all laws and rules relating to motor carrier safety, including this chapter, Chapter 644, and Subtitle C;

(6) a certification that the carrier is in compliance with the drug testing requirements of 49 C.F.R. Part 382, and if the carrier belongs to a consortium, as defined by 49 C.F.R. Part 382, the names of the persons operating the consortium;

(7) a valid identification number issued to the motor carrier by or under the authority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or its successor; and

(8) any other information the department by rule determines is necessary for the safe operation of a motor carrier under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 991, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 919 (H.B. 2985), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 643.053. FILING OF APPLICATION. An application under Section 643.052 must be filed with the department and accompanied by:

(1) an application fee of $100 plus a $10 fee for each vehicle requiring registration;

(2) evidence of insurance or financial responsibility as required by Section 643.103(a); and

(3) any insurance filing fee required under Section 643.103(c).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 3.08, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.054. DEPARTMENT APPROVAL AND DENIAL; ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE. (a) The department shall register a motor carrier under this subchapter if the carrier complies with Sections 643.052 and 643.053.

(a-1) The department may deny a registration if the applicant has had a registration revoked under Section 643.252.

(a-2) The department may deny a registration if the applicant's business is operated, managed, or otherwise controlled by or affiliated with a person, including the applicant, a relative, family member, corporate officer, or shareholder, whom the Department of Public Safety has determined has:

(1) an unsatisfactory safety rating under 49 C.F.R. Part 385; or

(2) multiple violations of Chapter 644, a rule adopted under that chapter, or Subtitle C.

(a-3) The department may deny a registration if the applicant is a motor carrier whose business is operated, managed, or otherwise controlled by or affiliated with a person, including an owner, relative, family member, corporate officer, or shareholder, whom the Department of Public Safety has determined has:

(1) an unsatisfactory safety rating under 49 C.F.R. Part 385; or

(2) multiple violations of Chapter 644, a rule adopted under that chapter, or Subtitle C.

(b) The department shall issue a certificate containing a single registration number to a motor carrier, regardless of the number of vehicles requiring registration the carrier operates.

(c) To avoid multiple registrations of a single motor carrier, the department shall adopt simplified procedures for the registration of motor carriers transporting household goods as agents for carriers required to register under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.12(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1135 (H.B. 2741), Sec. 122, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1135 (H.B. 2741), Sec. 123, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 643.055. CONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE. (a) The department may conditionally accept an incomplete application for registration under this subchapter if the motor carrier complies with Section 643.053.

(b) The department shall notify a motor carrier that an application is incomplete and inform the carrier of the information required for completion. If the motor carrier fails to provide the information before the 46th day after the date the department provides the notice, the application is considered withdrawn, and the department shall retain each fee required by Section 643.053(1).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 643.056. SUPPLEMENTAL REGISTRATION. (a) A motor carrier required to register under this subchapter shall supplement the carrier's application for registration before:

(1) the carrier transports a hazardous material or household goods if the carrier has not provided notice of the transportation to the department in the carrier's initial or a supplemental application for registration;

(2) the carrier operates a vehicle requiring registration that is not described on the carrier's initial or a supplemental application for registration; or

(3) the carrier changes the carrier's principal business address, legal agent, ownership, consortium, as defined by 49 C.F.R. Part 382, or name.

(b) The department shall prescribe the form of a supplemental application for registration under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 991, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 643.057. ADDITIONAL VEHICLES AND FEES. (a) A motor carrier may not operate an additional vehicle requiring registration unless the carrier pays a registration fee of $10 for each additional vehicle and shows the department evidence of insurance or financial responsibility for the vehicle in an amount at least equal to the amount set by the department under Section 643.101.

(b) A motor carrier is not required to pay the applicable registration fee under Subsection (a) for a vehicle for which the same fee is required and that replaces a vehicle for which the fee has been paid.

(c) A registered motor carrier may not transport household goods or a hazardous material unless the carrier shows the department evidence of insurance or financial responsibility in an amount at least equal to the amount set by the department under Section 643.101 for a vehicle carrying household goods or a hazardous material.

(d) The department may not collect more than $10 in equipment registration fees for a vehicle registered under both this subchapter and Chapter 645.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 3.09, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.058. RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION. (a) Except as provided in Section 643.061, a registration issued under this subchapter is valid for one year. The department may adopt a system under which registrations expire at different times during the year.

(b) At least 30 days before the date on which a motor carrier's registration expires, the department shall notify the carrier of the impending expiration. The notice must be in writing and sent to the motor carrier's last known address according to the records of the department.

(c) A motor carrier may renew a registration under this subchapter by:

(1) supplementing the application with any new information required under Section 643.056;

(2) paying a $10 fee for each vehicle requiring registration; and

(3) providing the department evidence of continuing insurance or financial responsibility in an amount at least equal to the amount set by the department under Section 643.101.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.13(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 30, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 3.10, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.059. CAB CARDS. (a) The department shall issue a cab card for each vehicle requiring registration. A cab card must:

(1) show the registration number of the certificate issued under Section 643.054(b);

(2) show the vehicle unit number;

(3) show the vehicle identification number; and

(4) contain a statement that the vehicle is registered to operate under this subchapter.

(b) The department shall issue cab cards at the time a motor carrier pays a registration fee under this subchapter. The department may charge a fee of $1 for each cab card.

(c) A motor carrier required to register under this subchapter must keep the cab card in the cab of each vehicle requiring registration the carrier operates.

(d) The department may order a motor carrier to surrender a cab card if the carrier's registration is suspended or revoked under Section 643.252.

(e) If the department determines that the cab card system described by Subsections (a)-(c) is not an efficient means of enforcing this subchapter, the department by rule may adopt an alternative method that is accessible by law enforcement personnel in the field and provides for the enforcement of the registration requirements of this subchapter.

(f) A cab card or a vehicle registration issued under the alternative method described in Subsection (e) must be valid for the same duration of time as a motor carrier's certificate issued under Section 643.054(b) or Section 643.061(c)(1).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 643.060. TEMPORARY REGISTRATION OF INTERNATIONAL MOTOR CARRIER. The department by rule may provide for the temporary registration of an international motor carrier that provides evidence of insurance as required for a domestic motor carrier. The department may charge a fee for a temporary registration in an amount not to exceed the cost of administering this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 643.061. OPTIONAL REGISTRATION PERIODS. (a) The department may vary the registration period under this subchapter by adopting rules that provide for:

(1) an optional two-year registration; and

(2) an optional temporary registration that is valid for less than one year.

(b) A motor carrier applying for registration under this section must pay:

(1) a $20 fee for each vehicle registered under Subsection (a)(1);

(2) a $10 fee for each vehicle registered under Subsection (a)(2); and

(3) application and insurance filing fees the department by rule adopts in an amount not to exceed $100 each.

(c) The department shall issue to a motor carrier registering under this section:

(1) a motor carrier's certificate, in the manner provided by Section 643.054; and

(2) a cab card or the equivalent of a cab card, in the manner provided by Section 643.059.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 30, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 3.11, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.062. LIMITATION ON INTERNATIONAL MOTOR CARRIER. (a) A foreign-based international motor carrier required to register under this chapter or registered under Chapter 645 may not transport persons or cargo in intrastate commerce in this state.

(b) A person may not assist a foreign-based international motor carrier in violating Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.14(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 643.063. VEHICLES OPERATED UNDER SHORT-TERM LEASE AND SUBSTITUTE VEHICLES. (a) In this section:

(1) "Leasing business" means a person that leases vehicles requiring registration.

(2) "Short-term lease" means a lease of 30 days or less.

(b) A vehicle requiring registration operated under a short-term lease is exempt from the registration requirements of Sections 643.052-643.059. The department shall adopt rules providing for the operation of these vehicles under flexible procedures. A vehicle requiring registration operated under a short-term lease is not required to carry a cab card or other proof of registration if a copy of the lease agreement is carried in the cab of the vehicle.

(c) A motor carrier may operate a substitute vehicle without notifying the department in advance if the substitute is a temporary replacement because of maintenance, repair, or other unavailability of the vehicle originally leased. A substitute vehicle is not required to carry a cab card or other proof of registration if a copy of the lease agreement for the vehicle originally leased is carried in the cab of the substitute.

(d) Instead of the registration procedures described by Sections 643.052-643.059, the department shall adopt rules that allow a leasing business to report annually to the department on the number of vehicles requiring registration that the leasing business actually operated in the previous 12 months. The rules may not require the vehicles operated to be described with particularity. The registration fee for each vehicle operated may be paid at the time the report is filed.

(e) A leasing business that registers its vehicles under Subsection (d) may comply with the liability insurance requirements of Subchapter C by filing evidence of a contingency liability policy satisfactory to the department.

(f) Rules adopted by the department under this section:

(1) must be designed to avoid requiring a vehicle to be registered more than once in a calendar year; and

(2) may allow a leasing business to register a vehicle on behalf of a lessee.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.15(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 643.064. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NUMBERS. (a) The department by rule shall provide for the issuance to a motor carrier of an identification number authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A rule must conform to rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or its successor.

(b) A motor carrier required to register under this subchapter shall maintain an authorized identification number issued to the motor carrier by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, its successor, or another person authorized to issue the number.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 919 (H.B. 2985), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1135 (H.B. 2741), Sec. 124, eff. September 1, 2013.

SUBCHAPTER C. INSURANCE


Sec. 643.101. AMOUNT REQUIRED. (a) A motor carrier required to register under Subchapter B shall maintain liability insurance in an amount set by the department for each vehicle requiring registration the carrier operates.

(b) Except as provided by Section 643.1015, the department by rule may set the amount of liability insurance required at an amount that does not exceed the amount required for a motor carrier under a federal regulation adopted under 49 U.S.C. Section 13906(a)(1). In setting the amount the department shall consider:

(1) the class and size of the vehicle; and

(2) the persons or cargo being transported.

(c) A motor carrier required to register under Subchapter B that transports household goods shall maintain cargo insurance in the amount required for a motor carrier transporting household goods under federal law.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046, Sec. 5.01(a)(2), eff. September 1, 2007.

(e) Unless state law permits a commercial motor vehicle to be self-insured, any insurance required for a commercial motor vehicle must be obtained from:

(1) an insurer authorized to do business in this state whose aggregate net risk, after reinsurance, under any one insurance policy is not in excess of 10 percent of the insurer's policyholders' surplus, and credit for such reinsurance is permitted by law; or

(2) an insurer that meets the eligibility requirements of a surplus lines insurer pursuant to Chapter 981, Insurance Code. Notwithstanding any other provision in law, an insurer in compliance with this subsection shall be deemed to be in compliance with any rating or financial criteria established for motor carriers by any political subdivision of the state.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 144 (H.B. 1018), Sec. 1, eff. May 24, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 11.163, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 5.01(a)(2), eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.1015. AMOUNT REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN SCHOOL BUSES. (a) This section applies only to a school bus that:

(1) is owned by a motor carrier required to be registered under Subchapter B;

(2) is in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 548; and

(3) is operated exclusively within the boundaries of a municipality by a person who:

(A) holds a driver's license or commercial driver's license of the appropriate class required for the operation of the school bus; and

(B) meets the requirements of Section 521.022.

(b) The owner of a school bus shall maintain liability insurance in the amount of at least $500,000 combined single limit.

(c) In this section, "school bus" means a motor vehicle that is operated by a motor carrier and used to transport preprimary, primary, or secondary school students on a route between the students' residences and a public, private, or parochial school or day-care facility.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 144 (H.B. 1018), Sec. 2, eff. May 24, 2005.

Sec. 643.102. SELF-INSURANCE. A motor carrier may comply with Section 643.101 through self-insurance if the carrier demonstrates to the department that it can satisfy its obligations for liability for bodily injury or property damage. In the interest of public safety, the department by rule shall provide for a responsible system of self-insurance for a motor carrier.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 643.103. FILING; EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE; FEES. (a) A motor carrier that is required to register under Subchapter B must file with the department evidence of insurance in the amounts required by Section 643.101 or 643.1015, or evidence of financial responsibility as described by Section 643.102, in a form prescribed by the department. The form must be filed:

(1) at the time of the initial registration;

(2) at the time of a subsequent registration if the motor carrier was required to be continuously registered under Subchapter B and the carrier failed to maintain continuous registration;

(3) at the time a motor carrier changes insurers; and

(4) at the time a motor carrier changes ownership, as determined by rules adopted by the department.

(b) A motor carrier shall keep evidence of insurance in a form approved by the department in the cab of each vehicle requiring registration the carrier operates.

(c) The department may charge a fee of $100 for a filing under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 144 (H.B. 1018), Sec. 3, eff. May 24, 2005.

Sec. 643.104. TERMINATION OF INSURANCE COVERAGE. (a) An insurer may not terminate coverage provided to a motor carrier registered under Subchapter B unless the insurer provides the department with notice at least 30 days before the date the termination takes effect.

(b) Notice under Subsection (a) must be in a form approved by the department and the Texas Department of Insurance. The department shall notify the Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies of each motor carrier whose certificate of registration has been revoked for failing to maintain liability insurance coverage.

(c) The Department of Public Safety or a local law enforcement agency shall confirm that no operations are being performed by a motor carrier if notice has been received under Subsection (b) that the certificate of registration for that carrier has been revoked.

(d) A law enforcement officer may detain or impound any commercial vehicle operating without liability insurance until such coverage is properly filed with the department.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 163, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 643.105. INSOLVENCY OF INSURER. If an insurer for a motor carrier becomes insolvent, is placed in receivership, or has its certificate of authority suspended or revoked and if the carrier no longer has insurance coverage as required by this subchapter, the carrier shall file with the department, not later than the 10th day after the date the coverage lapses:

(1) evidence of insurance as required by Section 643.103; and

(2) an affidavit that:

(A) indicates that an accident from which the carrier may incur liability did not occur while the coverage was not in effect; or

(B) contains a plan acceptable to the department indicating how the carrier will satisfy claims of liability against the carrier for an accident that occurred while the coverage was not in effect.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 643.106. INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYEES. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of any law or regulation, a motor carrier that is required to register under Subchapter B and whose primary business is transportation for compensation or hire between two or more municipalities shall protect its employees by obtaining:

(1) workers' compensation insurance coverage as defined under Subtitle A, Title 5, Labor Code; or

(2) accidental insurance coverage approved by the department from:

(A) a reliable insurance company authorized to write accidental insurance policies in this state; or

(B) a surplus lines insurer under Chapter 981, Insurance Code.

(b) The department shall determine the amount of insurance coverage under Subsection (a)(2). The amount may not be less than:

(1) $300,000 for medical expenses for at least 104 weeks;

(2) $100,000 for accidental death and dismemberment;

(3) 70 percent of an employee's pre-injury income for at least 104 weeks when compensating for loss of income; and

(4) $500 for the maximum weekly benefit.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.17(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.554, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

SUBCHAPTER D. ECONOMIC REGULATION


Sec. 643.151. PROHIBITION. Except as provided by this subchapter, the department may not regulate the prices, routes, or services provided by a motor carrier.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 643.152. VOLUNTARY STANDARDS. The department may establish voluntary standards for uniform cargo liability, uniform bills of lading or receipts for cargo being transported, and uniform cargo credit. A standard adopted under this section must be consistent with Subtitle IV, Title 49, United States Code, or a regulation adopted under that law.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 643.153. MOTOR CARRIER TRANSPORTING HOUSEHOLD GOODS. (a) The department shall adopt rules to protect a consumer using the service of a motor carrier who is transporting household goods for compensation.

(b) The department may adopt rules necessary to ensure that a customer of a motor carrier transporting household goods is protected from deceptive or unfair practices and unreasonably hazardous activities. The rules must:

(1) establish a formal process for resolving a dispute over a fee or damage;

(2) require a motor carrier to indicate clearly to a customer whether an estimate is binding or nonbinding and disclose the maximum price a customer could be required to pay;

(3) create a centralized process for making complaints about a motor carrier that also allows a customer to inquire about a carrier's complaint record; and

(4) require a motor carrier transporting household goods to list a place of business with a street address in this state and the carrier's registration number issued under this article in any print advertising published in this state.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 6.06, eff. June 14, 2005.

(d) A motor carrier that is required to register under Subchapter B and that transports household goods shall file a tariff with the department that establishes maximum charges for transportation between two or more municipalities. A motor carrier may comply with this requirement by filing a copy of the carrier's tariff governing interstate transportation services on a highway between two or more municipalities. The department shall make tariffs filed under this subsection available for public inspection at the department.

(e) The department may not adopt rules regulating the rates, except as provided by this section, or routes of a motor carrier transporting household goods.

(f) The unauthorized practice of the insurance business under Chapter 101, Insurance Code, does not include the offer of insurance by a household goods motor carrier, or its agent, that transports goods for up to the full value of a customer's property transported or stored, if the offer is authorized by a rule adopted under Subsection (b).

(g) A motor carrier may designate an association or an agent of an association as its collective maximum ratemaking association for the purpose of the filing of a tariff under Subsection (d).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.19(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.555, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 6.02, eff. June 14, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 6.06, eff. June 14, 2005.

Sec. 643.154. ANTITRUST EXEMPTION. (a) Chapter 15, Business & Commerce Code, does not apply to a discussion or agreement between a motor carrier that is required to register under Subchapter B and that transports household goods and an agent of the carrier involving:

(1) the following matters if they occur under the authority of the principal carrier:

(A) a rate for the transportation of household goods;

(B) an access, terminal, storage, or other charge incidental to the transportation of household goods; or

(C) an allowance relating to the transportation of household goods; or

(2) ownership of the carrier by the agent or membership on the board of directors of the carrier by the agent.

(b) An agent under Subsection (a) may itself be a motor carrier required to register under Subchapter B.

(c) The department by rule may exempt a motor carrier required to register under Subchapter B from Chapter 15, Business & Commerce Code, for an activity relating to the establishment of a joint line rate, route, classification, or mileage guide.

(d) A motor carrier that is required to register under Subchapter B and that transports household goods, or an agent of the carrier, may enter into a collective ratemaking agreement with another motor carrier of household goods or an agent of that carrier concerning the establishment and filing of maximum rates, classifications, rules, or procedures. The agreement must be submitted to the department for approval.

(e) The department shall approve an agreement submitted under Subsection (d) if the agreement provides that each meeting of parties to the agreement is open to the public and that notice of each meeting must be given to customers who are multiple users of the services of a motor carrier that is a party to the agreement. The department may withhold approval of the agreement if it determines, after notice and hearing, that the agreement fails to comply with this subsection.

(f) Unless disapproved by the department, an agreement made under Subsection (d) is valid, and Chapter 15, Business & Commerce Code, does not apply to a motor carrier that is a party to the agreement.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 643.155. RULES ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (a) The department shall appoint a rules advisory committee consisting of representatives of motor carriers transporting household goods using small, medium, and large equipment, the public, and the department.

(b) Members of the committee serve at the pleasure of the department and are not entitled to compensation or reimbursement of expenses for serving on the committee. The department may adopt rules to govern the operations of the advisory committee.

(c) The committee shall examine the rules adopted by the department under Sections 643.153(a) and (b) and make recommendations to the department on modernizing and streamlining the rules.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.19(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 6.03, eff. June 14, 2005.

Sec. 643.156. REGULATION OF ADVERTISING. (a) The department may not by rule restrict competitive bidding or advertising by a motor carrier except to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices.

(b) A rule to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices may not:

(1) restrict the use of:

(A) any medium for an advertisement;

(B) a motor carrier's advertisement under a trade name; or

(C) a motor carrier's personal appearance or voice in an advertisement, if the motor carrier is an individual; or

(2) relate to the size or duration of an advertisement by a motor carrier.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.20(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER F. ENFORCEMENT


Sec. 643.251. ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY. (a) The department may impose an administrative penalty against a motor carrier required to register under Subchapter B that violates this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter.

(b) Except as provided by this section, the amount of an administrative penalty may not exceed $5,000. If it is found that the motor carrier knowingly committed the violation, the penalty may not exceed $15,000. If it is found that the motor carrier knowingly committed multiple violations, the aggregate penalty for the multiple violations may not exceed $30,000. Each day a violation continues or occurs is a separate violation for purposes of imposing a penalty.

(c) The amount of the penalty shall be based on:

(1) the seriousness of the violation, including the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of any prohibited act, and the hazard or potential hazard created to the health, safety, or economic welfare of the public;

(2) the economic harm to property or the environment caused by the violation;

(3) the history of previous violations;

(4) the amount necessary to deter future violations;

(5) efforts to correct the violation; and

(6) any other matter that justice may require.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(f) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(g) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(h) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(i) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(j) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(k) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(l) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(m) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(n) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(o) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(p) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(q) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

(r) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 26(1), eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.252. ADMINISTRATIVE SANCTIONS. (a) The department may suspend, revoke, or deny a registration issued under this chapter or place on probation a motor carrier whose registration is suspended if a motor carrier:

(1) fails to maintain insurance or evidence of financial responsibility as required by Section 643.101(a), (b), (c), or (d);

(2) fails to keep evidence of insurance in the cab of each vehicle as required by Section 643.103(b);

(3) fails to register a vehicle requiring registration;

(4) violates any other provision of this chapter;

(5) knowingly provides false information on any form filed with the department under this chapter; or

(6) violates a rule or order adopted under this chapter.

(b) The Department of Public Safety may request that the department suspend or revoke a registration issued under this chapter or place on probation a motor carrier whose registration is suspended if a motor carrier has:

(1) an unsatisfactory safety rating under 49 C.F.R. Part 385; or

(2) multiple violations of Chapter 644, a rule adopted under that chapter, or Subtitle C.

(c) The department shall revoke or deny a registration issued under this chapter to a for-hire motor carrier of passengers if the motor carrier is required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the federal registration is denied, revoked, suspended, or otherwise terminated.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(2), eff. September 1, 2007.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396, Sec. 26(2), eff. September 1, 2007.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.21(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 6.04, eff. June 14, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 26(2), eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 919 (H.B. 2985), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 643.2525. ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING PROCESS. (a) If the department determines that a violation has occurred for which an enforcement action is being taken under Section 643.251 or 643.252, the department shall give written notice to the motor carrier by first class mail to the carrier's address as shown in the records of the department.

(b) A notice required by Subsection (a) must include:

(1) a brief summary of the alleged violation;

(2) a statement of each administrative sanction being taken;

(3) the effective date of each sanction;

(4) a statement informing the carrier of the carrier's right to request a hearing; and

(5) a statement as to the procedure for requesting a hearing, including the period during which a request must be made.

(c) If not later than the 26th day after the date the notice is mailed the department receives a written request for a hearing, the department shall set a hearing and give notice of the hearing to the carrier. The hearing shall be conducted by an administrative law judge of the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

(d) If the motor carrier does not timely request a hearing under Subsection (c), the department's decision becomes final on the expiration of the period described by Subsection (c).

(e) The administrative law judge shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law and promptly issue to the director a proposal for a decision as to the occurrence of the violation and the administrative penalties or sanctions.

(f) In addition to a penalty or sanction proposed under Subsection (e), the administrative law judge shall include in the proposal for a decision a finding setting out costs, fees, expenses, and reasonable and necessary attorney's fees incurred by the state in bringing the proceeding. The director may adopt the finding and make it a part of a final order entered in the proceeding.

(g) Based on the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and proposal for a decision, the director by order may find that a violation has occurred and impose the sanctions or may find that a violation has not occurred.

(h) The director shall provide written notice to the motor carrier of a finding made under Subsection (g) and shall include in the notice a statement of the right of the carrier to judicial review of the order.

(i) Before the 31st day after the date the director's order under Subsection (g) becomes final as provided by Section 2001.144, Government Code, the motor carrier may appeal the order by filing a petition for judicial review contesting the order. Judicial review is under the substantial evidence rule.

(j) A petition filed under Subsection (i) stays the enforcement of the administrative action until the earlier of the 550th day after the date the petition was filed or the date a final judgment is rendered by the court.

(k) If the motor carrier is required to pay a penalty or cost under Subsection (f), failure to pay the penalty or cost before the 61st day after the date the requirement becomes final is a violation of this chapter and may result in an additional penalty, revocation or suspension of a motor carrier registration, or denial of renewal of a motor carrier registration.

(l) A motor carrier that is required to pay a penalty, cost, fee, or expense under this section or Section 643.251 is not eligible for a reinstatement or renewal of a registration under this chapter until all required amounts have been paid to the department.

(m) If the suspension of a motor carrier's registration is probated, the department may require the carrier to report regularly to the department on any matter that is the basis of the probation. Any violation of the probation may result in the imposition of an administrative penalty or the revocation of the registration.

(n) All proceedings under this section are subject to Chapter 2001, Government Code.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.2526. APPEAL OF DENIAL OF REGISTRATION, RENEWAL, OR REINSTATEMENT. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a denial of an application for registration, renewal of registration, or reinstatement of registration under this chapter is not required to be preceded by notice and an opportunity for hearing.

(b) An applicant may appeal a denial under this chapter by filing an appeal with the department not later than the 26th day after the date the department issues notice of the denial to the applicant.

(c) If the appeal of the denial is successful and the application is found to be compliant with this chapter, the application shall be considered to have been properly filed on the date the finding is entered.

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1135 (H.B. 2741), Sec. 125, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 643.253. OFFENSES AND PENALTIES. (a) A person commits an offense if the person fails to:

(1) register as required by Subchapter B;

(2) maintain insurance or evidence of financial responsibility as required by Subchapter C; or

(3) keep a cab card in the cab of a vehicle as required by Section 643.059.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person engages in or solicits the transportation of household goods for compensation and is not registered as required by Subchapter B.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(d) Expired.

(e) An offense under Subsection (b) is a Class C misdemeanor, except that the offense is:

(1) a Class B misdemeanor if the person has previously been convicted one time of an offense under Subsection (b); and

(2) a Class A misdemeanor if the person has previously been convicted two or more times of an offense under Subsection (b).

(f) A peace officer may issue a citation for a violation under this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.22(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 12, 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 6.05, eff. June 14, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1046 (H.B. 2094), Sec. 3.12, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 274 (H.B. 1523), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 643.254. INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS. (a) To investigate an alleged violation of this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter, an officer or employee of the department who has been certified for the purpose by the director may enter a motor carrier's premises to inspect, copy, or verify the correctness of a document, including an operation log or insurance certificate.

(b) The officer or employee may conduct the inspection:

(1) at a reasonable time;

(2) after stating the purpose of the inspection; and

(3) by presenting to the motor carrier:

(A) appropriate credentials; and

(B) a written statement from the department to the motor carrier indicating the officer's or employee's authority to inspect.

(c) A motor carrier domiciled outside this state must:

(1) designate a location in the state for inspection of records concerning the alleged violation; or

(2) request that an officer or employee of the department conduct the inspection at an office of the motor carrier located outside this state.

(d) A motor carrier requesting an out-of-state inspection will be responsible for payment of actual expenses incurred by the department in conducting the inspection.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.150(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.255. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. (a) The attorney general, at the request of the department, may petition a district court for appropriate injunctive relief to prevent or abate a violation of this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter.

(b) Venue in a suit for injunctive relief under this section is in Travis County.

(c) On application for injunctive relief and a finding that a person is violating or has violated this chapter or a rule or order adopted under this chapter, the court shall grant the appropriate relief without bond.

(d) The attorney general and the department may recover reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining injunctive relief under this section, including court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, investigative costs, witness fees, and deposition expenses.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1396 (H.B. 2093), Sec. 23, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 643.256. CEASE AND DESIST ORDER. The department may issue a cease and desist order if the department determines that the action is necessary to:

(1) prevent a violation of this chapter; and

(2) protect the public health and safety.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 919 (H.B. 2985), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2009.