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INTERstate vs INTRAstate


Everyday, hundreds apply to the United States Department of Transportation for a USDOT number to provide transportation services within the United States.. This applies to all surface and sub-surface transportation, interstate and/or intrastate. MOST individuals today applying for a USDOT number DO NOT know the difference between interstate and intrastate.

The difference between interstate or intrastate TOTALLY depends on the origin and destination of the COMMODITY. It has NOTHING to do with the vehicle.

The first independent regulatory agency created by the federal government, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) regulated interstate surface and sub-surface transportation between 1887 and 1995. Over its 108-year history, the agency regulated and certified trains, trucks, buses, water carriers, freight forwarders, pipelines. And, don’t forget telephone and travel bureaus.

Eventually, the ICC told the States what transportation the States would regulate. Also, these regulations were primarily written before air transportation. And furtherance of interstate transportation does not include air transportation.

The United States Department of Transportation began regulating transportation Safety, October 15, 1966. And, now regulates and is responsible for Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 300 – 399. January 1, 1996, the USDOT took over the ICC regulations which were primarily economic regulations.

Knowing the real difference between interstate and intrastate transportation can increase your revenues and decrease your liabilities. Most transportation within the United States is INTERSTATE.

EXAMPLE 1:

Amarillo, TX to El Paso, TX: INTERSTATE: Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or (The most direct route is through New Mexico. Just because the origin and destination are in the same State does not make it intrastate.)

EXAMPLE 2:

INTERSTATE: Transporting fuel from the fuel oil depot to other points within the same State.

EXAMPLE 3:

INTERSTATE: Transporting automobiles from the railroad bi-level unloading yards, to other points within the same State.

EXAMPLE 4:

INTERSTATE: Transporting commodities from “Freight Forwarder” warehouses to other points within the same State.

EXAMPLE 5:

INTRASTATE: Carter Lake, IA to/from Omaha, NE Omaha is within the commercial zone of Carter Lake. Last census population of Carter Lake is 3,416. (2) When the base municipality has a population of 2,500 but less than 25,000 all unincorporated areas within 4 miles of its corporate limits and all of any other municipality any part of which is within 4 miles of the corporate limits of the base municipality.

EXAMPLE 6:

INTERSTATE: Shipments obtained from Sea Ports, Canada, Mexico, are in furtherance of interstate commerce.

NOTE: There could be exceptions to the above if 49 CFR 372 would apply.

Whether anything is interstate or intrastate TOTALLY depends on the origin and destination of the COMMODITY.

It has NOTHING to do with the vehicle.

Please know, most transportation regulations were originally written at a time when all transportation was under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Today, it could be detrimental for an Intrastate or Interstate carrier moving a shipment and not checking to see if the movement is, or not, in furtherance of interstate commerce.

READ THE REGULATIONS

49 CFR 390.5

Interstate commerce means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—

(1) Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);

(2) Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or

(3) Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.

Intrastate commerce means any trade, traffic, or transportation in any State which is not described in the term “interstate commerce.”

49 CFR 372 EXEMPTIONS

by Rex Evilsizor

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Littleton CO  80123
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