This concerns those increasing complaints of ropers being harassed by DOT and state troopers across the country for Commercial diver licenses. We have finally received notification via legal council concerning federal regulations on the matter. You may want to keep a copy of this in your truck.
Federal Motor Carriers Regulations
Under Part 390, Subpart A - general applicability and definitions, Part 390.3 (f). Exceptions. Unless otherwise specifically provided, the rules in the subchapter do not apply to - (3) the occasional transportation of personal property by individuals not for compensation or in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise.
In the interpretation for 390.3 it states: Question 21: Does the exemption in 390.3 (f) (3) for the "occasional transportation of personal property by individuals not for compensation nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise" apply to persons who occasionally us CMV's to transport cars, boats, horses, etc., to races tournaments, shows or similar events, even if prize money is offered at these events?
Guidance: The exemption would apply to this kind of transportation, provided: (1) The underlying activities are not undertaken for profit, i.e., prize money is declared as ordinary income for tax purposes, and (b) the cost of the underlying activities is not deducted as a business expense for tax purposes: and, where relevant: (2) corporate sponsorship is not involved. Drivers must confer with their State of licensure to determine the licensing provision to which they are subject.
Since the IRS pretty well declares every roper as a hobbyist unless they can prove profit in consecutive years, the tax portion appears to let everyone off the hook. However, do point out that showing sponsorships on horse trailers may open the door to these penalties and temporary impoundment.