May 1st, 2018 - 3:37 pm

Mark S. Morgan, NEFI Regulatory Counsel


BACKGROUND: The U.S. DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requires hazardous material transporters to register and pay a fee each year in return for a certificate of operation. PHMSA began mailing the 2018-2019 registration information to HAZMAT transporters earlier this month. Only those with expiring DOT PHMSA HAZMAT registration certificates must re-register before July 1, 2018 or risk losing authority to operate and pay substantial civil penalty. Petroleum marketers should check their HAZMAT certificate for the expiration date as multiple year reservations are offered and 2018 may not be your expiration date. The validity of HAZMAT registration certificates is checked at roadside inspections.

  1. Who must register and pay the fee?

    HAZMAT Transporters
    - Any business (intrastate or interstate) shipping hazardous materials requiring a U.S. DOT placard must register each year and pay the fee. Petroleum marketers who ship their products in trucks must register and pay the fee.

  2. What happens if I don't register?

    Loss of Operating Authority
    - If you fail to register by the deadline then you lose your authority to operate your trucks in both intrastate and interstate commerce. Your authority to operate is the certificate you receive from PHMSA once you register and pay the fee. A current certificate must be kept in the cab of each HAZMAT vehicle at all times. If you are subject to a roadside inspection or DOT audit and do not have a current certificate your authority to operate will be revoked and you could be fined up to $50,000.

  3. Why is the U.S. DOT collecting the fee?

    Emergency Response Funding - The money collected from the registration program is given back to state emergency response authorities in the form of training grants for fire and police and emergency preparedness organizations.

  4. How do I know my registration is current or not?

    Registration Look-up
    - Registration status may be checked online by clicking here: Look Up. Enter either your company name, U.S. DOT number or zip code in the data fields provided to check whether your HAZMAT registration certificate is current.

  5. How do I register?

    There are several ways to file HAZMAT registrations:

    U.S. Mail - You must register by filling out the 2016-2017 registration application and sending it by U.S. Mail to PHMSA (along with the required fee). PHMSA generally mails new registration forms out to all registrants. If you have not yet received a form for the 2016-2017 registration year, one may be downloaded from the Internet by clicking here: Registration Form

    Online Registration - Online registration is available by clicking here: Online Registration. Online registration allows you to register, pay the fee and download your operating certificate.

  6. When is the HAZMAT registration deadline?

    The Deadline for filing for the 2018-2019 registration period is July 1, 2018.

    Important! Since HAZMAT registrations can be multiyear, not all certificates will expire on July 1, 2018. Check the expiration date on your registration certificate before renewing your registration.

  7. What documentation should I put in my trucks after July 1, 2018?

    Place a photocopy of the updated registration certificate in the cab of each HAZMAT motor vehicle by July 1, 2018.

  8. How much is the annual HAZMAT registration fee?

    The annual registration fee is based on business size:

    Small Business Registration Fee - For registration year 2018-2019 the fee for small businesses is $275 for one year; $525 for two years (2018-2020) and $775 for three years (2018-2021).

    Large Business Registration Fee - For registration year 2018-2019 the fee for large businesses is $2,600 for one year.

  9. How do I determine the size of my business so I know which fee to pay?

    Business Size Calculation for Determining the Fee Amount - It is very likely that your business qualifies for the lower registration fee. Determining size is left up to the company applying for the registration certificate. PHMSA follows Small Business Administration (SBA) size categories to classify whether a business is large or small for the purposes of determining the amount of the annual registration fee. The SBA determines business size according to NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) codes based on either the number of employees in the company or on annual gross receipts. The following NAICS codes and size criteria apply when calculating which fee to pay:

    NAICS CODE 424710 - Petroleum Bulk Stations or Terminals: Petroleum marketers in this category are considered small businesses and must pay the $275 fee if the company employs fewer than 100 employees.

    NAICS CODE 424720 - Petroleum and Petroleum Product Wholesalers (no bulk storage): Petroleum marketers in this category are considered small businesses and must pay the $275 fee if the company employs fewer than 100 employees.

    NAICS CODE 454311 - Heating Oil Dealers: Heating oil dealers in this category are considered small businesses and must pay the $275 fee if the company employs fewer than 50 employees.

    NAICS CODE 454312 - Liquefied Petroleum Gas Dealers: Propane dealers in this category are considered small businesses and must pay the $275 fee if the company employs fewer than 50 employees.

  10. What if I registered as a large business but now I qualify for the small business fee?

    If your business circumstances have changed and you now qualify for small business status under the HAZMAT registration fee, contact the PHMSA Hazardous Materials Information Center at (800) 467-4922.

  11. What if my company was involved with a merger, acquisition or name change since the last registration period?

    The general rule is that HAZMAT registration certificates are non-transferable in any merger, acquisition, sale of assets, or other business transaction. If a company purchases a company that is registered, the purchasing company would need to register. Also, certificates of registration are non-transferrable in bankruptcy proceedings, and thus, a debtor may not use a certificate as an asset to sell in order to drive up the purchase price. If a company's name changes, but the same legal structure is maintained, then an amended certificate must be filed within thirty days of the change. For more information on the conditions under which you must amend your registration certificate click here.

    If a company name changes but the same legal structure is maintained then an amended certificate must be sent to PHMSA within 30 days of the change. You may submit an amendment through the Internet or on the paper form by marking "Amendment to Registration," entering the "Current Registration #," recording the new name or address in items 2 and 3, and completing and signing item 10, "Certification of Information." Attach a copy of the original certificate of registration to the amended form. Send amendment using paper form to:

    U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Registration
    PO Box 530273
    Atlanta, GA 30353-0273

    Online amendment registration or in the alternative, a mail-in registration amendment form can be accessed by clicking here: Registration Amendment.

  12. Where can I find additional information?

    Questions about the Hazardous Materials Regulations including Registration: (800)467-4922 or e-mail

    Status of Registration Application: (800)942-6990 or (202)366-4109

    Internet Registration Assistance: (202)366-4109

    Questions about the SBA Size Standards: Use the links to SBA at:

    Contact NEFI Regulatory Counsel Mark S. Morgan at: