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Everyone has a favorite rule to hate.

Growing up, having to make my bed every day turned every day into a fight with my parents. I couldn’t stand the idea of a seemingly pointless routine that would only be undone later the same day. I used to say things like, “Someday, when I get to make the rules...”

I have similar feelings about certain FMCSR’s (federal regulations governing the trucking industry). When I drove commercially, it was for a school bus company, and I was always unhappy about having to perform pre-trip inspections on vehicles that had been used earlier in the day (by another driver, of course). Maybe for you it is 49 CFR § 395, the dreaded Hours-of-Service Regulations. Or maybe, your company has run up against a regulation that seems to be getting in the way of your daily operations.

It is possible to get the FMCSA to issue an exemption that will apply TO YOUR COMPANY ONLY.


How could this possibly be? 49 CFR § 389.31 stipulates that petition the Administrator to establish, amend, interpret, clarify, or withdraw a rule. Each petition filed must:

  • Be submitted in writing by mail to the Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001 or filing the petition as a comment, electronically at, using the general petitions for rulemaking docket FMCSA-2021-0054;
  • Set forth the text or substance of the rule or amendment proposed, or specify the rule that the petitioner seeks to have interpreted, clarified or withdrawn, as the case may be;
  • Explain the interest of the petitioner in the action requested;
  • Contain any information, data, research studies, and arguments available to the petitioner to support the action sought. Petitions received will be logged on the table below and categorized by open and closed petitions. This display is required by Section 5204 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).

In short, anyone in the industry can petition the FMCSA for an exemption based on the needs of their company. Don’t believe me? Check out and look at the list of petitions that have been approved.

Think your exemption won’t be granted? Take a look at that list provided above, and you’ll see that there is a decent chance that your petition will get the FMCSA’s attention, and hopefully, they will issue the exemption that your company is requesting.

Go on, what have you got to lose?