PSC Jurisdiction Over Motor Carriers

The Public Service Commission Transportation Division is responsible for regulating the transportation of persons and the for-hire transportation of property by motor vehicles upon or over public highways in order to: a) protect the safety and welfare of the traveling and shipping public in their use of transportation by motor vehicle; b) preserve, foster and regulate commercial transportation; and c) provide the traveling and shipping public transportation agencies stabilized service at just and reasonable rates. This applies to persons and motor vehicles engaged in interstate and intrastate commerce and to private commercial carriers by motor vehicle.

Coal Resource Transportation System

The Public Service Commission Transportation Division enforces the Coal Resource Transportation System (CRTS) regulations for permitting vehicles on designated routes throughout 19 West Virginia counties. Commercial motor vehicles carrying coal or coal by products may purchase a permit through the Commission that will allow for a gross vehicle weight of up to 120,000 pounds, depending on their truck configuration, with a tolerance of five percent. Administrative sanctions are imposed by the Commission for violations occurring on the CRTS road system. Notices of Violation derived from the CRTS electronic report system or by citations written by enforcement officers are issued to shippers, drivers and/or owners that are in excess of the lawful weight limit or speed, or to shippers and/or receivers not electronically reporting information on the system in a timely and accurate fashion. Payment of all fees, including tonnage fees, permit fees and penalties or sanctions consistent with the Notices of Violation, are collected by the Commission.

Hazardous Materials

The Public Service Commission Transportation Division is responsible for enforcement of the U.S. Department of Transportation Regulations regarding the transportation and handling of hazardous materials. The Commission also issues permits and registrations relevant to the transportation of these materials. Under the Alliance for Uniform HazMat Transportation Procedures Program, a uniform registration and permitting application must be completed by all motor carriers who transport hazardous materials, hazardous waste or low level radioactive waste.

Safety Audits

The Public Service Commission Transportation Division is responsible for conducting safety audits on West Virginia motor carriers involved in interstate commerce and compliance reviews on intrastate motor carriers.

Safety Enforcement

Public Service Commission Enforcement Officers perform safety inspections on commercial motor vehicles operated and used in interstate and intrastate commerce. The Commission is also responsible for the Special Patrol Unit charged with addressing high commercial vehicle accident areas within the State of West Virginia. Officers perform inspections on a routine basis in designated work areas and at regional road check sites throughout the state. Officers inspect vehicles and buses on a routine basis at the terminal facilities of commercial carriers. These officers enforce compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation safety regulations adopted by the Commission.

Unified Carrier Registration

The Public Service Commission is responsible for monitoring the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Program, which requires individuals and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register their business with West Virginia and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet. This registration filing requirement under federal law includes all self-propelled vehicles used on the highways in commerce principally to transport passengers or cargo that: a) have a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more; b) are designed to transport 11 or more passengers, including the driver; or c) are used in transporting hazardous materials in quantities requiring placarding.

Intrastate-Only For-Hire Carriers

The PSC has economic jurisdiction over certain categories of intrastate-only for-hire motor carriers. These include:

  1. Taxi companies, limousine companies, regular route bus companies and solid waste carriers

    The Commission regulates rates, routes, insurance requirements or other financial responsibility and market entry for taxi companies, limousine companies, regular route bus companies and solid waste carriers. The Commission also collects fees as prescribed in W.Va. Code Chapter 24A-6-6. These regulations and fees do not apply to solid waste carriers operating on an interstate basis (per the Harper Decision). Limousine companies are not responsible for the fees if they also have federal authority to operate across state lines, in which case they would pay Unified Carrier Registration fees. Household goods movers and non-emergency medical transport carriers were removed from Commission jurisdiction in the 2017 legislative session.

  2. Wrecker Companies

    The Commission regulates rates for wrecker companies in third-party tow situations and regulates insurance requirements or other financial responsibility for all wrecker companies operating in West Virginia. Fees are collected either as prescribed in W.Va. Code Chapter 24A-6-6 (intrastate-only carriers), or by Unified Carrier Registration fees (both intrastate and interstate operations).

  3. Insurance-Only Registration

    The Commission regulates all other intrastate-only for-hire carriers not included in the above categories. This type of registration includes proof of insurance or other financial responsibility and a $25 per year, per company filing fee. No Public Service Commission economic regulation of any kind applies to these carriers.