Are California public schools required to post Motor Carrier Permit #’s on their vehicles?

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Okay, so you’re a school district. One of your drivers gets pulled over by the police and is given a ticket for not having posted the MOTOR CARRIER PERMIT NUMBER on the side of the vehicle. What do you do?

Well, the short answer is, that, as a public entity (public school district) you do not pay vehicle registration fees, then you are not required to obtain a MOTOR CARRIER PERMIT NUMBER (please note that this is the number issued by the DMV and not the Carrier Identification Number issued by the CHP).  However, you may still be required to placard your vehicle with the Carrier Identification Number issued by the CHP.  Read it yourself on the DMV’s website – look under the section “Who Will Not Need A Permit”  http://dmv.ca.gov/vehindustry/mcp/mcpfaq.htm#whodoesnt

The exemption of fees is in Section 34622 (a) – see below.  This section of code is sometimes confused to mean that you don’t have to pay the MOTOR CARRIER PERMIT FEES, but you still have to obtain the number and post the number on the side of the vehicle.  This is incorrect.  Section 34622 exempts you from the fees and obtaining the Motor Carrier Permit number (again, not CHP’s CA #).

34620. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) and Section 34622,
no motor carrier of property shall operate a commercial motor
vehicle on any public highway in this state, unless it has complied
with Section 34507.5
and has registered with the department its
carrier identification number authorized or assigned thereunder, and
holds a valid motor carrier permit issued to that motor carrier by
the department. The department shall issue a motor carrier permit
upon the carrier’s written request, compliance with Sections 34507.5,
34630, 34640, and subdivisions (e) and (h) of Section 34501.12, for
motor carriers listed in that section, and the payment of the fee
required by this chapter.
(b) No person shall contract with, or otherwise engage the
services of, a motor carrier of property, unless that motor carrier
holds a valid motor carrier of property permit issued by the
department. No motor carrier of property shall contract or
subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor
carrier of property, until the contracted motor carrier of property
provides certification in the manner prescribed by this section, of
compliance with subdivision (a). This certification shall be
completed by the contracted motor carrier of property and shall
include a provision requiring the contracted motor carrier of
property to immediately notify the person to whom they are contracted
if the contracted motor carrier of property’s permit is suspended or
revoked. A copy of the contracted motor carrier of property’s permit
shall accompany the required certificate. The Department of the
California Highway Patrol shall, by regulation, prescribe the format
for the certificate and may make available an optional specific form
for that purpose. The certificate, or a copy thereof, shall be
maintained by each involved party for the duration of the contract or
period of service plus two years, and shall be presented for
inspection at the location designated by each carrier under Section
34501.10, immediately upon the request of an authorized employee of
the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

34621. (a) The fee required by Section 7232 of the Revenue and
Taxation Code shall be paid to the department upon initial
application for a motor carrier permit and for annual renewal.
(b) An application for an original or a renewal motor carrier
permit shall contain all of the following information:
(1) The full name of the motor carrier; any fictitious name under
which it is doing business; address, both physical and mailing; and
business telephone number.
(2) Status as individual, partnership, owner-operator, or
corporation, and officers of corporation and all partners.
(3) Name, address, and driver’s license number of owner-operator.
(4) California carrier number, number of commercial motor vehicles
in fleet, interstate or intrastate operations, State Board of
Equalization, federal Department of Transportation or the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration number, as applicable.
(5) Transporter or not a transporter of hazardous materials or
petroleum.
(6) Evidence of financial responsibility.
(7) Evidence of workman’s compensation coverage, if applicable.
(8) Carrier certification of enrollment in the biennial inspection
of terminals (BIT) program under subdivisions (e) and (h) of Section
34501.12, unless otherwise exempted.
(9) Carrier certification of enrollment in a controlled substance
and alcohol use and testing (CSAT) program required under Section
34520, unless otherwise exempted.
(10) Any other information necessary to enable the department to
determine whether the applicant is entitled to a permit.

34622. This chapter does not apply to any of the following:
(a) Vehicles that are exempt from vehicle registration fees.

(b) A household goods carrier transporting used office, store, and
institution furniture and fixtures under its household goods carrier
permit pursuant to Section 5137 of the Public Utilities Code.

School Districts are exempt from paying fees in CVC Section 9101, 9103 and Revenue and Taxation Code 10781:

9101. No fees specified in this code, except fees not exempted
under Section 9103, need be paid for any vehicle operated by the
state, or by any county, city, district, or political subdivision of
the state, or the United States, as lessee under a lease, lease-sale,
or rental-purchase agreement that grants possession of the vehicle
to the lessee for a period of 30 consecutive days or more.

9103. (a) Fees specified in this code, except fees for duplicate
plates, certificates, or cards, are not required to be paid for any
vehicle of a type subject to registration under this code owned by
the United States or by any state or political subdivision of a state
or by any municipality duly organized under the California
Constitution or laws of this state.
(b) The registration fees specified in this code, except fees for
duplicate plates, certificates, or cards, are not required to be paid
for any vehicle owned by a public entity described in subdivision
(f) of Section 15975 of the Government Code.

R&T 10781. The license fee imposed by this part does not apply to any
vehicle owned by the United States, by any foreign government, by a
consul or other official representative of any foreign government, by
the state, by any political subdivision of the state, or by any
city, city and county, county, district, public corporation, or by a
public fire department organized as a nonprofit corporation and used
exclusively for firefighting purposes or exclusively as an ambulance.

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