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Subject 515-16-5 GENERAL PROVISIONS

Rule 515-16-5-.01 Applicability

The provisions of this chapter apply to persons transporting household goods or passengers (excluding charter operations) for hire in intrastate transportation that are required to hold certificates under any of the Motor Carrier Acts of this state.

Rule 515-16-5-.02 Reports

It shall be the duty of the carrier to produce for inspection by the Commission or any of its representatives, any and all books, papers, contracts, agreements and other original records of any character whatsoever that may be in possession of said carrier, or within its power, custody or control, or copies thereof, as may be demanded and designated by the Commission. Failure to provide the Commission or its designated Staff with timely access to records, books, or documentation or copies of such material upon written request shall constitute sufficient grounds for immediate suspension of the refusing carrier's Commission-issued certificate or permit and, after notice and hearing, to revoke such certificate or permit.

Rule 515-16-5-.03 Penalties

The criminal and civil penalties for violation of this Chapter are those set forth in O.C.G.A. §§ 46-2-90 through 46-2-93, 46-7-39, 46-7-90 and 46-7-91, and in Chapters 515-16-3 and 515-16-10 of these Transportation Rules; and such penalties can only be imposed by the Commission after notice and hearing, unless the violator consents in writing to such penalties.

Rule 515-16-5-.04 Unjust Discrimination Prohibited

All carriers, in the conduct of their intrastate business, shall afford to all persons equal facilities in the conduct of such business, without unjust discrimination in favor of, or against any; and wherever special facilities are afforded to one patron whether by special rate or fare authorized by this Commission or otherwise, such carrier shall be bound to afford to any other patron, or patrons, under substantially similar circumstances, like facilities upon like rates or fares, but the Commission will prescribe by general order to what persons motor carriers or railroads may issue passes or free transportation and reduced rates for special occasions.

Rule 515-16-5-.05 Duty to Accept and Transport Commodities

It shall be the duty of any household goods carrier to accept for transportation any authorized commodities, the carriage of which by such carrier is reasonably safe and practicable and to transport the same as soon as practicable.

Rule 515-16-5-.06 Free Service Forbidden

No carrier transporting household goods or passengers under a Certificate subject to the jurisdiction of this Commission, shall, directly or indirectly, give or furnish any free or reduced rate service in this State, except as lawfully prescribed by the Commission (Also see Commission Transportation Rule 515-16-7-.03 ).

Rule 515-16-5-.07 Rates and Services as Required by the Commission

(1) All rates, fares, charges, rules and regulations now in effect that relate to the transportation of household goods and passengers or which may hereafter become effective, which are not higher than the maximum rates, fares, or charges prescribed by the Commission are hereby established as the rates, fares, or charges of the Commission. No such rates, fares or charges shall, unless otherwise provided, be discontinued or changed without the consent of the Commission.
(2) Failure of the holder of any certificate to comply with schedules and/or rates and fares approved by the Commission and to hold itself out as ready, able and willing to provide adequate service in the transportation of any household goods or passengers authorized to be transported in said certificate, shall be reasonable cause to suspend, revoke, alter or amend said certificate at any time after notice and opportunity to be heard is afforded the carrier.

Rule 515-16-5-.08 Discontinuance of Service

(1) A motor common or contract carrier of passengers may discontinue its entire service on any route upon 30 days´ published notice to be prescribed by the Commission, and thereupon its certificate therefore shall be canceled.
(2) A motor common or contract carrier of passengers may discontinue any part of its service on any route upon 30 days´ published notice, subject, however, to the right of the Commission to withdraw its certificate for such route if, in the opinion of the Commission, such diminished service is not adequate or is no longer compatible with the public interest.

Rule 515-16-5-.09 Claims for Overcharge and Loss

(1) All household goods claims for overcharge, loss or damage, shall be handled to completion within 90 days after claim is filed with the carrier. Claims for loss or damage shall be paid by the carrier at fault, but claims for overcharge shall be paid by the carrier which collected same.
(2) It is incumbent upon the carrier or the designated agent of the carrier to inspect any and all reported damage and to provide for repairs or compensation based on the level of liability selected and defined in the Addendum to Uniform Household Goods Bill of Lading, (Shipper Declaration of Value) form. If damage is alleged to have occurred to the shipper's dwelling or surroundings, for example but not limited to, damage to walls, floors, steps, ceiling, rails, doors, driveway, lawn, fence, patio, or garage, it is the carrier's responsibility or that of his designated agent, to inspect the alleged damage. If such damage is determined to be transit related, it is the carrier's obligation to repair or restore to original condition or to otherwise make whole by compensation. Transit related damage occurring to a shippers dwelling or surrounding area is not covered by the Shipper's Declaration of Value form.

Rule 515-16-5-.10 Application for Interim Certificates

(1) Every corporation or person owning, controlling, operating or managing any motor propelled vehicle (and lessees, or receivers, or trustees thereof, appointed by any court whatsoever), before operating any motor vehicle upon the public highways of the State for the transportation of passengers (except charter service) or household goods, for hire, within the purview of the Motor Carrier Acts, shall apply to the Commission for an interim Certificate in the following manner:
(2) Application shall be made to the Commission in writing on forms prescribed by the Commission. The application should be typewritten or legibly handwritten in ink.
(3) All information required on said application forms (where applicable) shall be given in full and all questions thereon shall be answered correctly. In the event portions of the application are not applicable to applicant, they must be answered "Not applicable."
(4) All applicants for an Interim Certificate to operate over no fixed route shall state in the application the physical location of the principal office of the carrier and the physical location of all terminals or warehouses in the State.
(5) When an interim certificate is sought by a partnership, such partnership shall designate in writing one of the partners who shall have authority and who shall be recognized by the Commission in all matters arising under the law or these rules.

Rule 515-16-5-.11 Application Fees

(1) Application for an Interim Certificate, amendment to an existing permanent Certificate, transfer of certificate, and application for emergency temporary authority, must be accompanied by cashier's check, certified check, U.S. Post Office money order or express money order, payable to "Georgia Public Service Commission" in amounts prescribed by law and set forth below:
(a) A fee of $75 where applicant owns or operates less than six (6) motor vehicles;
(b) A fee of $150 where applicant owns or operates six (6) to fifteen (15) motor vehicles;
(c) A fee of $200 where applicant owns or operates over fifteen (15) vehicles;
(d) A fee of $75 for transfer of a certificate;
(e) A fee of $75 for temporary emergency authority;
(f) An additional fee of $15.00 for advertising must accompany the application for a certificate or an amendment thereto.
(g) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (a)-(f) above, tow truck operators applying for a non-consensual towing permit shall pay $300.00 per year for an annual permit as per O.C.G.A. § 44-1-13.
(2) If O.C.G.A. §§ 44-1-13, 46-7-9 or 46-7-13, or any such statute, should be amended in the future to change the Commission filing fees, then the statutory fees set by such superveniuing legislation will supersede those specified herein.
(3) No application will be assigned for hearing or given consideration by the Commission unless accompanied by said fees and until applicant has complied with all of the foregoing requirements.

Rule 515-16-5-.12 Requirements for Issuance of Interim Certificate

(1) The Commission shall issue an interim certificate to a person authorizing transportation as a motor carrier subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission if it finds that:
(2) The applicant is fit, willing, and able to provide the transportation to be authorized by the certificate and to comply with regulations of the Commission. Fitness encompasses four (4) factors:
(a) the applicant's financial ability to perform the service it seeks to provide;
(b) its capability and willingness to properly and safely perform the proposed service;
(c) the applicant must attend a training class on the laws of Georgia and the rules and regulations of the Commission, given by the Commission, or test out of the class;
(d) its willingness to comply with the laws of Georgia and the rules and regulations of the Commission; and
(3) In case of application for Limousine certificate only, applicant has not been convicted of any felony as such violation or violations are related to the operation of a motor vehicle.
(4) Service performed during the interim period by applicant will be the basis for issuance of the permanent certificate.
(5) The initial burden of making out a prima facie case that applicant's service is needed, and that it is fit to provide such service, rests with the applicant.
(6) Upon applicant making out a prima facie case as to the need for the service and the carrier's ability to provide the service, the burden shifts to protestant(s) to show that the authority sought would not be consistent with the public convenience and necessity.

Rule 515-16-5-.13 Carrier Qualifications for Issuance of Interim Certificate or Transfer of Permanent Certificate

(1) When the Commission has given consideration to an application for an interim certificate or transfer of permanent certificate, applicant will be advised in writing of the action thereon. In the event of the approval of the application, applicant shall immediately, and before commencing operation,
(a) register its equipment;
(b) furnish a notarized statement certifying that each vehicle has been properly identified pursuant to Chapters 4 and 8 of these Transportation Rules;
(c) file evidence of insurance pursuant to Chapter 11 of these Transportation Rules;
(d) indicate the carrier's familiarity with and willingness and ability to abide by the Commission's Maximum Rate Tariff for household goods shipments; and
(e) furnish a statement of awareness of Commission's safety and hazardous material regulations.
(2) In the event applicant does not complete the application by complying with the requirements herein within ninety days from receipt of notice of approval of the application, approval will be automatically withdrawn and fees deposited forfeited.

Rule 515-16-5-.14 Application of Passenger Carriers to Abandon Service

An application for authority to abandon scheduled passenger bus service, or reduce service to less than one trip per day (excluding Saturday and Sunday), shall include the following exhibits:

NOTE: If more than one point, route, or route segment is included in the application, the indicated data is to be separately stated for each point, route, or route segment.

(a) Exhibit 1. Points and Routes Affected. A listing of points, routes, and route segments to be abandoned, including identification and a brief description of any other passenger transportation service available at the points or along the route affected.
(b) Exhibit 2. Maps. Maps to scale showing each point, route, and route segment to be abandoned.
(c) Exhibit 3. Timetables. Copies of current and proposed timetables covering the affected points and routes.
(d) Exhibit 4. Authority. Copies of current and proposed certificate authorities covering the affected points and route.
(e) Exhibit 5. Traffic. Traffic data for a recent representative period, showing numbers of intrastate passengers destined to and originating from each point to be abandoned.
(f) Exhibit 6. Fares and Rates. Description of fares and rates applicable to the affected services.
(g) Exhibit 7. Revenues. Calculation of the passenger, express, and other revenues which accrue as a result of the service to be abandoned, along with an explanation of how the revenues were calculated and of any assumptions underlying the calculations.
(h) Exhibit 8. Operating Statistics. Calculations of route miles, annual bus miles, and schedule operating time to be eliminated for each point, route, or route segment to be abandoned.
(i) Exhibit 9. Additional Evidence. Any additional evidence or legal argument applicant believes to be relevant to the application.

Rule 515-16-5-.15 Temporary Emergency Authority (Ref. 515-16-3-.03)

(1) Application for Temporary Emergency Authority for the transportation of passengers or household goods shall be made on forms, designated by the Commission, shall require applicants to supply in writing all the information called for in such application form, shall be accompanied by payment of the applicable application fee under Rule 515-16-5-.11, and shall indicate under oath the applicant's willingness and ability to comply with the requirements stated (or referred to) in the application, pursuant to the Commission's Transportation Rules and O.C.G.A. Chapter 46-7.
(2) The order granting such authority shall contain the Commission's findings supporting its determination under the authority of O.C.G.A. § 46-7-13 that there is an immediate and urgent need for the proposed emergency service (which other authorized carriers have not or will not provide and the length of time such emergency is expected to continue) and shall contain such conditions as the Commission finds necessary with respect to such authority. Absent sufficient evidence proving such emergency need for service, the Commission will not grant such temporary emergency authority.
(3) Unless otherwise provided, such temporary emergency motor carrier authority, shall be valid for such time as the Commission shall specify, but not for more than an aggregate of 30 days. When a motor carrier granted temporary emergency authority makes application to the Commission for corresponding interim authority, the applicant's temporary emergency authority, will be extended to the Commission's finalization of the interim authority application, unless sooner suspended or revoked for good cause shown within the extension period.

Rule 515-16-5-.16 Re-filing for Interim Certificate

When an application for an interim certificate has been in whole or in part denied, or has been granted and the order of the Commission granting same has been quashed or set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction, a new application to provide the same service by the same petitioner or applicant for the same commodities will not be again considered by the Commission within three months from the date of the order denying the same or the judgment of the court quashing or setting aside the order.

Rule 515-16-5-.17 Transfer of Permanent Certificates

(1) Certificates shall not be assigned or transferred or hypothecated through sale, ownership of stock pledged as security, or otherwise; nor shall the control and management of the operation under such certificate be changed through lease or otherwise without authority of the Commission. Interim Certificates are not transferable.
(2) Application for transfers must be made on proper forms and in the manner prescribed by the Commission. Hearings on applications for transfer will be assigned in accordance with the provisions of Commission Transportation Rule 515-16-2-.04. Certificates must be active in order to be considered for transfer.
(3) There shall be attached to the application for transfer of a certificate a copy of the contract of purchase which shall contain a complete statement of the assets of the holder of the certificate to be sold and the amount to be paid therefore, and an affidavit from the holder of the certificate, of the authorized agent or officer thereof, that all accrued taxes and all station rents, wages of employees, and all other known indebtedness incident to said operation have been paid in full except as set out in the application for transfer. If there be unpaid indebtedness incident to said operation, a written itemized statement, under oath, of the names and addresses of all the creditors known to said certificate holder, loss or damage claims, together with the amount of indebtedness claimed to be due or owing each of said creditors incident to said operation shall be included in the application or attached as an exhibit and made a part thereof. There shall also be attached to the application for transfer of a certificate a statement signed and witnessed by the transferee (purchaser), or the authorized agent or officer thereof, guaranteeing the payment of all just obligations listed in the sworn itemized statement of the transferor (certificate holder) included in or made a part of the application for transfer, or any lawful indebtedness not included in the application for transfer where such indebtedness is determined to be incident to said operation.

Rule 515-16-5-.18 Reinstatement or Cancellation of Interim or Permanent Certificate

After a certificate has been suspended, unless reinstated by the Commission within twelve months from the date of the suspension, same will automatically be canceled and will not be reinstated. A certificate may be reinstated if canceled for lack of proper insurance when the carrier's insurance company files proof of insurance coverage back to the original date of suspension.

Rule 515-16-5-.19 Consent to Background Check Required for Completion of All Passenger Carrier Certificate and Permit Applications for Motor Carrier Authority

No application for motor carrier passenger authority filed with the Commission will be considered complete and ready for Commission consideration unless and until a consent to a criminal background check is signed and filed with the Commission on behalf of Applicant signed by the individual owner of any sole proprietorship, by all general or managing partners of any partnership applicant, by all officers of any corporate applicant, and by the manager and members of any limited liability company. Before Commission consideration of such Application, the results of such background check must be received by the Commission. In addition, the Commission must determine before granting emergency authority that any criminal violations by not to adversely affect the efficient and safe operation of such applicant as a motor carrier and of applicant's drivers in the safe operation of Applicant's motor vehicles in Georgia.

Rule 515-16-5-.20 Misrepresentation of Certificate Operations; Leasing of Certificate Prohibited

No certificate holder shall engage in any conduct which falsely tends to create the appearance that services being furnished or operations under such certificate are being provided by the holder when, in fact, they are not. No lease, device or arrangement constituting a leasing, loaning or renting of a certificate will be recognized unless otherwise ordered by the Commission.