North Carolina 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 Charlotte may own a truck that only makes in-state deliveries.

The North Carolina 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 North Carolina laws that affect trucks operating only in North Carolina:

Driver Qualification

North Carolina has adopted Part 391 with two notable differences. If an intrastate driver is not transporting hazardous materials, he may be as young as 18. Also, drivers that don’t meet the physical requirements to operate a motor vehicle in North Carolina may attempt to obtain a waiver from the state.

Hours of Service

North Carolina has adopted Part 395 of the Federal Regulations with one exemption of note. An intrastate motor carrier driver can’t drive more that 12 hours following 8 consecutive hours off-duty; or for any period after having been on duty 16 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty. A driver can’t drive after having been on duty 70 hours in 7 consecutive days, or 80 hours in 8 consecutive days. An intrastate driver will be determined by his previous 7 days of operation.

Accident Reporting

North Carolina has adopted the entirety of 49 CFR 390. A truck company must report any significant accident immediately to local law enforcement, within 24 hours to the Public Service Commission if a fatal crash or 15 days if non-fatal, and also within 30 days to the Director of Public Safety.

Crash reports are available from:

Division of Motor Vehicles
Traffic Records Section
3105 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
(919) 861-3098

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