Montana Administrative Register Notice 18-189 No. 11   06/10/2022    
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In the matter of the adoption of New Rule I pertaining to the Motor Carrier Services vehicles authorized to bypass weigh stations and the amendment of ARM 18.8.101 and 18.8.1301 pertaining to Motor Carrier Services definitions and compliance with weigh station bypass














TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On July 11, 2022, the Department of Transportation proposes to adopt and amend the above-stated rules.


2.  The Department of Transportation will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Transportation no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 1, 2022, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Russ Christoferson, Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Services Division, P.O. Box 201001, Helena, Montana, 59620-1001; telephone (406) 444-0454; fax (406) 444-9263; TTY Service (800) 335-7592 or through the Montana Relay Service at 711; or e-mail rchristoferson@mt.gov.


3. The rule proposed to be adopted provides as follows:



            (1)  The requirements contained in 61-10-141, MCA, and ARM 18.8.1301 for vehicles stopping at stations do not apply to:

            (a) vehicles being operated by carriers enrolled in electronic weigh station bypass programs.  In-cab signals at equipped weigh station sites shall be followed, subject to jurisdictional bypass restrictions;

(b)  vehicles receiving notification indicating a bypass from electronic signs on the mainline or through other means of communication;

(c)  vehicles owned and operated by the Federal Government, a State, any subdivision of a State, or a Tribal Government;

(d)  Montana based school buses operating to or from school, or a school sponsored activity;

(e)  scheduled transit system buses travelling on a regular route; 

(f)  super-loads operating under a special permit which are unable to enter a weigh station due to size or safety concerns that have obtained prior authorization from the division administrator or designee.

(2)  Vehicles meeting the following criteria may request weigh station bypass authorization from the division administrator or designee:

(a)  empty vehicles making multiple trips, such as logging vehicles and harvesting support vehicles;

(b)  vehicles operating to, from, or within a construction project; or

(c)  other vehicles as determined on a case-by-case basis.

(3)  Carriers with weigh station bypass authorization are subject to roadside enforcement stops. 

(4)  Authorized bypasses may be rescinded at the discretion of the department.


AUTH: 61-10-141, 61-10-155, MCA

IMP: 61-10-141, MCA


REASON: The 2021 Legislature enacted House Bill 77, Ch. 89, L. 2021, an act generally revising the laws related to motor carrier services that included among other revisions, expanding the types of vehicles that may bypass weigh stations. As amended by HB 77, 61-10-141, MCA, allows the department to exempt types of vehicles by rule.  The proposed new rule is necessary to implement the bill and identify which vehicles may bypass an open weigh station.  Proposed New Rule I will create efficiencies for the traveling public by allowing those vehicles which are prescreened, not regulated, or otherwise exempted to bypass open weigh stations.


4. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


18.8.101 DEFINITIONS The following definitions shall apply throughout this chapter.

            (1) through (8) remain the same.

            (9)  "Multiple trips" means travelling by a weighing location more than once on either a daily, weekly, or monthly basis as approved by the department.

            (9) through (12) remain the same but are renumbered (10) through (13).

            (14)  "Regular route" means the scheduled transportation of passengers between designated points, over designated routes, and under time schedules that provide a regularity of service.

            (13) remains the same but is renumbered (15).

            (16)  "School bus" has the definition set forth in 20-10-101, MCA.

            (14) through (16) remain the same but are renumbered (17) through (19).


AUTH: 61-3-710, 61-10-141, 61-10-155, MCA

IMP: 61-3-708, 61-3-709, 61-10-107, 61-10-121, 61-10-122, 61-10-123, 61-10-124, 61-10-125, 61-10-141, 61-10-201, MCA


REASON: The proposed amendment is necessary to include definitions for multiple trips and regular route for the purposes of implementing 61-10-141, MCA and New Rule I implementing that statute. 


18.8.1301  COMPLIANCE WITH WEIGHING LOCATION WEIGH STATION SIGNS - JURISDICTIONAL BYPASS RESTRICTIONS  (1)  Drivers of vehicles Vehicles meeting the requirements of 61-10-141(1) and (3), MCA, are required to stop at all weighing locations weigh stations displaying an open sign unless authorized to bypass within [New Rule I].

            (2)  Drivers operating vehicles for Vehicles being operated by carriers enrolled in electronic weigh station bypass programs may follow in cab signals at equipped weigh station sites which signals shall include whether the vehicle must stop, are subject to jurisdictional bypass restrictions.

            (3)  Jurisdictional bypass restrictions require that and regardless of receiving a bypass signal, a driver must enter an open weighing location weigh station when any of the following conditions apply:

            (a)  overweight (including permitted loads);

            (b)  overwide width exceeding greater than ten 10 feet (including permitted loads);

            (c)  overheight greater than height exceeding 15 feet 6 inches (including permitted loads);

            (d)  overlength greater than length exceeding 110 120 feet (including permitted loads);

            (e)  oversize in excess of legal dimensions as outlined in 61-10-10261-10-103, and 61-10-104, MCA, without a valid permit.

            (4) (3)  A violation of this rule is punishable as provided by law.


AUTH: 61-10-141, 61-10-155, MCA

IMP: 61-10-141, MCA


REASON: The proposed amendment to (1) is necessary because all the vehicles that may bypass scales will be identified in proposed New Rule I. The proposed amendments to (2) and (3) are necessary to make the rule easier to read and to make the rule internally consistent with other administrative rules.


5.  Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action in writing to: Russ Christoferson, Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Services Division, P.O. Box 201001, Helena Montana, 59620-1001; telephone (406) 444-0454; fax (406) 444-9263; or e-mail rchristoferson@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., July 8, 2022.


6. If persons who are directly affected by the proposed actions wish to express their data, views, or arguments orally or in writing at a public hearing, they must make written request for a hearing and submit this request along with any written comments to Russ Christoferson at the above address no later than 5:00 p.m., July 8, 2022.


7. If the agency receives requests for a public hearing on the proposed action from either 10 percent or 25, whichever is less, of the persons directly affected by the proposed action; from the appropriate administrative rule review committee of the Legislature; from a governmental subdivision or agency; or from an association having not less than 25 members who will be directly affected, a hearing will be held at a later date. Notice of the hearing will be published in the Montana Administrative Register.  Ten percent of those directly affected has been determined to be 904 persons based on the currently active 9040 U.S. DOT accounts in Montana.


8. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request.  Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 5 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


9. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Department of Transportation website at www.mdt.mt.gov.


10. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, apply and have been fulfilled. The primary bill sponsor was contacted by email and U.S. mail on February 17, 2022.


11. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the adoption and amendment of the above-referenced rules will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.


12.  With regard to the requirements of 2-15-142, MCA, the department has determined that the adoption and amendment of the above-referenced rules will not have direct tribal implications.



/s/ Valerie A. Balukas                                  /s/ Malcolm "Mack" Long               

Valerie A. Balukas                                       Malcolm "Mack" Long

Alternate Rule Reviewer                              Director Department of Transportation


Certified to the Secretary of State May 31, 2022.



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