Article 1. General Provisions And Definitions of California Public Utilities Code >> Division 2. >> Chapter 7. >> Article 1.
This chapter may be cited as the "Household Goods Carriers
(a) The use of the public highways for the transportation of
used household goods and personal effects for compensation is a
business affected with a public interest. It is the purpose of this
chapter to preserve for the public the full benefit and use of public
highways consistent with the needs of commerce without unnecessary
congestion or wear and tear upon those highways; to secure to the
people just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates for
transportation by carriers operating upon the highways; to secure
full and unrestricted flow of traffic by motor carriers over the
highways that will adequately meet reasonable public demands by
providing for the regulation of rates of all carriers so that
adequate and dependable service by all necessary carriers shall be
maintained and the full use of the highways preserved to the public;
and to promote fair dealing and ethical conduct in the rendition of
services involving or incident to the transportation of household
goods and personal effects.
(b) To achieve the purposes of subdivision (a) the commission
shall do all of the following:
(1) Prioritize the timely processing of applications and hold
"application workshops" for potential applicants around the state.
(2) Enable electronic filing of applications, reports, and fee
(3) Dedicate staff to answering telephone calls, mailings, and
electronic inquiries from carriers.
(4) Prioritize the timely processing of consumer complaints.
(5) Implement electronic case tracking of complaints and their
(6) Implement a process for appropriate and timely enforcement
against illegally operating carriers, including by performing
staff-driven investigations and performing enforcement through sting
operations and other forms of presence in the field.
(7) Maintain relationships with, and implement outreach and
education programs to, local law enforcement, district attorneys, and
airports, and coordinate with law enforcement agencies pursuant to
subdivision (d) of Section 1046, subdivision (d) of Section 5317.5,
and subdivision (d) of Section 5417.5.
(8) Meet with carrier trade associations at least annually.
(9) Implement a consolidated case tracking system that integrates
each of the transportation program core functions and data
collection, administrative compliance details, complaints, and
Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions and
general provisions set forth in this article govern the construction
of this chapter.
In construing and enforcing the provisions of this chapter
relating to penalties, the act, omission, or failure of any officer,
agent, or employee of any person or corporation, acting within the
scope of his official duties or employment, is the act, omission, or
failure of the employing person or corporation.
"Corporation" includes a corporation, a company, an
association, and a joint stock association.
"Person" includes an individual, a firm, or a copartnership.
"Public highway" includes every public street, road or
highway in this State.
"Motor vehicle" means every motor truck, tractor, or other
self-propelled vehicle used for transportation of property over the
public highways, otherwise than upon fixed rails or tracks, and any
trailer, semitrailer, dolly, or other vehicle drawn thereby.
"Household goods carrier" includes every corporation or
person, their lessees, trustee, receivers, or trustees appointed by
any court whatsoever, engaged in the permitted or unpermitted
transportation for compensation or hire as a business by means of a
motor vehicle or motor vehicles being used in the transportation of
used household goods and personal effects over any public highway in
this state. A broker, as defined in Section 5110.7, shall be
considered a household goods carrier.
With respect to a motor vehicle used in the transportation
of property for compensation by a household goods carrier, "owner"
means the corporation or person who is registered with the Department
of Motor Vehicles as the owner of the vehicle, or who has a legal
right to possession of the vehicle pursuant to a lease or rental
"Broker" means a person engaged by others in the act of
arranging, for compensation, the intrastate transportation of used
household goods by a motor vehicle over the highways of this state
for, or on behalf of, a shipper, a consignor, or a consignee.
This chapter shall not be construed as a regulation of
commerce with foreign nations or among the several states, except
insofar as such regulation is not prohibited under the provisions of
the Constitution and the acts of the Congress of the United States.
The regulation of the transportation of used household goods
and personal effects in a motor vehicle or motor vehicles over any
public highway in this state shall be exclusively as provided in this
chapter. Any provision of the Public Utilities Act in conflict with
the provisions of this chapter does not apply to a household goods
The transportation of used household goods and personal
effects in any truck or trailer for compensation over any public
highway in this state is a highly specialized type of truck
transportation. This chapter is enacted for the limited purpose of
providing necessary regulation for this specialized type of truck
transportation only, and is not to be construed for any purpose as a
precedent for the extension of such regulation to any other type of
truck transportation not presently so restricted.