Chapter 1. Licensing of California Vehicle Code >> Division 14.1. >> Chapter 1.
It is the intent of the Legislature, by enacting this
division, that the public be provided additional protection through
the licensing of motor carriers transporting hazardous material. The
Department of the California Highway Patrol shall be authorized to
inspect and license the motor carriers with special attention
directed to the negligent operators or repeat violators.
(a) A motor carrier who directs the transportation of an
explosive and a motor carrier who directs the transportation of a
hazardous material, who is required to display placards pursuant to
Section 27903, and a motor carrier who transports for a fee in excess
of 500 pounds of hazardous materials of the type requiring placards
pursuant to Section 27903, shall be licensed in accordance with this
code, unless specifically exempted by this code or regulations
adopted pursuant to this code. This license shall be available for
examination and shall be displayed in accordance with the regulations
adopted by the commissioner.
(b) (1) Except as provided in Section 32001, this division shall
not apply to a person hauling only hazardous waste, as defined in
Section 25115 or 25117 of the Health and Safety Code, and who is
registered pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 25163 of the Health
and Safety Code or who is exempt from that registration pursuant to
subdivision (b) of that section.
(2) A motor carrier that is transporting a hazardous waste and is
required to display placards pursuant to Section 27903 shall comply
with all provisions of Section 32001 except paragraph (3) of
subdivision (c) of that section.
(c) This division does not apply to implements of husbandry, as
defined in Section 36000.
(d) This division does not apply to the hauling of division 1.3
explosives classified as special fireworks or to division 1.4
explosives classified as common fireworks by the United States
Department of Transportation if those fireworks are transported by a
motor carrier under the authority of, and in conformance with, a
license issued to the motor carrier by the State Fire Marshal
pursuant to Part 2 (commencing with Section 12500) of Division 11 of
the Health and Safety Code. In that case, a copy of the license shall
be carried in the vehicle and presented to a peace officer upon
(e) (1) The department shall not issue a license to transport
hazardous materials to a motor carrier unless each terminal from
which hazardous materials carrying vehicles are operated is in
compliance with Section 34501.12 and is currently rated satisfactory.
(2) The department shall adopt rules and regulations that provide
for a temporary license to transport hazardous materials for a
carrier who, within the previous three years, has not been issued an
unsatisfactory rating as a result of an inspection conducted pursuant
to Section 34501, 34501.12, or 34520.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that a carrier's license
to transport hazardous materials should not be unreasonably hindered
as a result of the department's verification and issuance process.
(f) This section does not prevent the department from issuing a
new or initial license to transport hazardous materials to a motor
carrier that applies for a license to transport hazardous materials
and that, within the previous three years, has been issued an
unsatisfactory rating as a result of an inspection conducted pursuant
to Section 34501, 34501.12, or 34520, if the motor carrier has
corrected the unsatisfactory rating before applying for the license
to transport hazardous materials.
(a) (1) Any authorized employee of the department may
inspect any sealed or unsealed vehicle, container, or shipment
subject to this division in maintenance facilities, terminals, or
other public or private property to ascertain the quantity and kind
of hazardous material and to ensure compliance with the provisions of
this code and regulations adopted pursuant to this code.
(2) If a seal is opened for inspection, the department shall
reseal any vehicle, container, or shipment prior to further
(b) Unless specifically stated, nothing contained in this division
shall be deemed to exempt any vehicle transporting a hazardous
material subject to this division or the operator or any other person
from other provisions of this code.
(c) No motor carrier shall direct the transportation of any
shipment of a hazardous material in any vehicle unless all of the
following are complied with:
(1) The vehicle is equipped as required by this code and
applicable regulations adopted pursuant to law.
(2) The shipment complies with laws and regulations pertaining to
the shipment or transportation of hazardous material.
(3) The motor carrier holds a valid license for the transportation
of hazardous materials.
(4) (A) A vehicle or combination of vehicles required to display
placards pursuant to Section 27903 is equipped with a two-way
communication device, maintained in good working order, that enables
the driver to contact the personnel responsible for the safety
operations of the motor carrier in the event of an emergency.
(B) For the purposes of this section, "two-way communication
device" means a radio, cellular telephone, or other similar device
that permits communication between the driver and personnel
responsible for the safety operations of the motor carrier.
(5) (A) The enclosed cargo body, when the display of placards is
required pursuant to Section 27903, shall be locked and remain locked
during transit of the hazardous materials so as to prevent any
unauthorized entry and shall be opened only during loading,
unloading, or at the direction of a peace officer, an authorized
employee of the department, or a person authorized pursuant to
Section 25185 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) A driver transporting hazardous material in a locked cargo
body shall verify that all locks are in place if the vehicle has been
left unattended for any length of time. Each driver shall make a
notation in his or her log book of the time and date that the
(C) For the purposes of this section, "cargo body" means a fully
enclosed area that is an integral part of the vehicle and designed to
encapsulate the entire load, such as a van body or an intermodal
freight container, and does not mean a tank or flatbed type of
(d) The commissioner may issue exemptions from the provisions of
(e) Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of other state
or local agencies to carry out their regulatory, enforcement, or
emergency response duties under other provisions of law.
(a) The commissioner may adopt any regulations that are
necessary to administer this division. It is a misdemeanor for any
motor carrier to violate this division or regulations adopted
pursuant to this division.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), it is unlawful for the motor
carrier or the person who directs the driver to operate a vehicle
transporting hazardous material, when that transportation requires a
license pursuant to this division, to cause the operation of the
vehicle unless the motor carrier holds a valid license for the
transportation of hazardous materials. A violation of this
subdivision shall be punished as follows:
(1) For a first violation, by a fine of not less than two thousand
(2) For a second or subsequent violation, by a fine of not less
than four thousand dollars ($4,000).
(a) The commissioner may temporarily suspend a license to
haul hazardous material prior to any hearing, when, in the
commissioner's opinion, the action is necessary to prevent an
imminent and substantial danger to the public health. The
commissioner shall notify the holder of the license of the temporary
suspension and the effective date thereof and, at the same time,
shall serve the person with an accusation. Upon receipt of a notice
of defense to the accusation, the commissioner shall set the matter
for a hearing which shall be held as soon as possible, but not later
than 10 days after receipt of the notice of defense. The temporary
suspension shall remain in effect until the hearing is completed and
the commissioner has made a final determination on the merits, which,
in any event, shall be made within 10 days after the completion of
the hearing. If the determination is not transmitted within 10 days
after the hearing is completed, the temporary suspension is of no
(b) The commissioner shall suspend a license to transport
hazardous material of a person or motorcarrier, for a period of at
least 90 days but not more than 180 days, if the holder of the
license permits the transportation of fissile class III shipments or
highway route controlled quantity radioactive materials, as defined
in Subpart I (commencing with Section 173.401) of Part 173 of Title
49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, by a person who does not
possess a license of the appropriate class and an attached
radioactive materials driver's certificate or an endorsement issued
under Article 6 (commencing with Section 15275) of Chapter 7 of
(a) All fees collected by the department pursuant to the
issuance or renewal of a license for the transportation of hazardous
material shall be deposited in the Motor Vehicle Account of the State
(b) All moneys collected from these fees shall be used for the
support of the hazardous materials inspection and licensing program
of the department upon appropriation therefor by the Legislature.
Any violation of any provision of this division may be
enjoined in a civil action brought by the Attorney General in the
name of the people of the State of California, upon request of the
department, except that it shall not be necessary to show lack of
adequate remedy at law or to show irreparable damage or loss.