Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC


  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )


  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 2.5. Public Utilities Commission Reimbursement Fees [401 - 444]

  ( Chapter 2.5 repealed and added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 323, Sec. 71. )

ARTICLE 2. Common Carriers and Related Businesses [421 - 426]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 323, Sec. 71. )


(a) The commission shall annually determine a fee to be paid by every passenger stage corporation, charter-party carrier of passengers, pipeline corporation, for-hire vessel operator, common carrier vessel operator, railroad corporation, and commercial air operator, and every other common carrier and related business subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, except as otherwise provided in Article 3 (commencing with Section 431) of this chapter and Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 5001) of Division 2.

(b) The annual fee shall be established to produce a total amount equal to the amount established in the authorized commission budget for the same year, including adjustments appropriated by the Legislature and an appropriate reserve, to regulate common carriers and related businesses, less the amount to be paid from special accounts or funds pursuant to Section 403, reimbursements, federal funds, other revenues, and unencumbered funds from the preceding year.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the fees paid by railroad corporations shall be used for state-funded railroad investigation and enforcement activities of the commission, other than the rail safety activities funded by the Transportation Planning and Development Account pursuant to Section 99315. The railroad fees shall be set annually at a level that generates not less than the amount sufficient to fund activities pursuant to Sections 765.5, 916.2, and 7712.

(d) Expenditures of the detailed budget for the expenditure of railroad corporation fees submitted to the Legislature pursuant to Section 916.5 shall be limited to the following items:

(1) Expenditures for employees occupying, and actually performing service in, railroad-safety personnel positions that are directly involved in inspecting railroads and enforcing rail safety regulations. The commission shall expend the funds budgeted pursuant to this subdivision for the salaries, per diem, and travel expenses of employees specified in this paragraph, unless, by statute, the commission is specifically prohibited from expending all or part of those funds.

(2) Expenditures for employees occupying, and actually performing service in, clerical and support staff positions that are directly associated with railroad-safety inspections.

(3) Expenditures for legal personnel who actually pursue violations of rail safety regulations beyond the informal complaint level.

(4) Expenditures for the pro rata share of the commission’s overhead costs while state personnel are actually occupying the positions and are performing the duties specified in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive.

(e) The Department of Finance shall notify the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, pursuant to Section 28.00 of the annual Budget Act, prior to authorizing any change in the Budget Act appropriation for railroad corporation fees that is larger than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), or 10 percent of the amount budgeted, whichever is less.

(f) On or before January 1, 1994, the commission shall hire a minimum of four additional operating practices inspectors, exclusive of supervisory personnel, who are, or shall become by July 1, 1994, federally certified, for the purpose of enforcing compliance by railroads operating in this state with state and federal safety regulations.

(g) The commission, in performing its duties, shall limit the expenditure of funds for rail safety purposes to those railroad corporation fees collected pursuant to subdivision (d). In no event shall the commission fund railroad safety activities utilizing funds from other commission accounts unrelated to railroad safety.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 425, Sec. 2. (SB 385) Effective January 1, 2018.)


The commission shall establish the fee pursuant to Section 421 with the approval of the Department of Finance and in accordance with all of the following:

(a) In its annual budget request, the commission shall specify, at a minimum, both of the following:

(1) The amount of its budget to be financed by the fee.

(2) The dollar allocation of the amount of its budget to be financed by the fee by each class of carrier and related business subject to the fee. Each class of carrier and related business subject to this article shall pay fees sufficient to support the commission’s regulatory activities for the class from which the fee is collected and to establish an appropriate reserve.

(b) The commission may establish different and distinct methods of assessing fees for each class of carrier and related business, if the revenues collected are consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(c) (1) Within each class of carrier and related business subject to the fee, the commission shall allocate, among the members of the class, the amount of the commission’s budget to be financed by the fee based on the ratio that each member’s gross intrastate revenues bears to the total gross intrastate revenues of the class, except for railroad corporations, whose fees shall be allocated within that class in accordance with subdivision (g).

(2) However, in the case of passenger vehicle operators, the commission may assess fees on a basis other than revenue, including, but not limited to, on a per vehicle basis, in an amount sufficient to support the regulatory activities of the commission for the passenger vehicle operators class from which the fee is collected, and to establish an appropriate reserve.

(d) Any carrier or related business which is a member of more than one class of carrier or related business shall be subject to the fee for each class of which it is a member.

(e) For every carrier and related business having annual gross intrastate revenues of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or less, or for every railroad corporation having annual gross intrastate revenues of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) or less, the commission shall annually establish uniform fees, which shall be not less than a minimum annual fee, to be paid by each carrier and related business and by each railroad corporation, if the revenues collected are consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). Every carrier and related business and railroad corporation paying fees pursuant to this subdivision shall show proof of eligibility at the time of payment in a form the commission may specify.

(f) The commission shall annually establish a uniform fee, which shall be not less than a minimum annual fee, to be paid by every commercial air operator and for-hire vessel operator, if the revenues collected are consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(g) The commission shall establish the initial fee amount to be paid by railroad corporations subject to this section, and the regulations for the assessment and collection of the fee, no later than January 31, 1992. The commission shall collect the initial fee from railroad corporations beginning on February 1, 1992, and shall disburse the amounts collected as directed in Section 309.7, as added by Assembly Bill 684 of the 1991–92 Regular Session, and Section 421.

(h) The commission shall establish regulations for allocating the proportionate share of the fee established pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) to be paid by the rail corporations within that class. The regulations may utilize gross intrastate revenues; track mileage within the state; terminals located within the state; loaded car miles traveled within the state; fuel consumption; or any other measure deemed by the commission to be appropriate in allocating the fee among railroad corporations. On or before January 15, 1992, railroad corporations as a group may submit a proposed plan of allocation to the commission, which the commission shall consider in establishing the regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 341, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2001.)


In addition to the requirements of Section 422, the commission may establish a uniform annual fee to be paid by every charter-party carrier of passengers.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1369, Sec. 2.)


Except as provided in Section 404, every carrier and related business subject to Section 421 shall make the payments of the required fee in accordance with the following schedule:

(a) Every carrier and related business with annual gross intrastate revenues of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or less, railroad corporation, commercial air operator, and for-hire vessel operator shall make payment of the fee to the commission on an annual basis on or before January 15.

(b) Every other carrier and related business not subject to subdivision (a) shall make payment of the fee on a quarterly basis between the first and 15th days of July, October, January, and April.

(c) Each carrier and related business subject to subdivision (b) shall, at that time, prepare and transmit a report, in the form the commission may specify, showing the gross operating revenue of the carrier or related business for the calendar quarter covered by the report together with the fee established pursuant to Section 421. In the case of a railroad corporation, the report shall address the factors identified by the commission as the basis for allocation pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 422.

(d) Any carrier or related business required to submit information and reports under this article may, in lieu thereof, submit copies of information or reports made to another governmental agency if all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The alternate information or reports contain all of the information required by the commission.

(2) The requirements to which the alternate information or reports are responsive are clearly identified.

(3) The information or reports are certified by the carrier or related business to be true and correct.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 767, Sec. 4.)


As used in this article:

(a) “Class” means a group of carriers or related businesses as specified by the commission for purposes of establishing the fees pursuant to this article. The commission shall create separate classes for the following: passenger vehicle operators, pipeline corporations, vessel operators, railroad corporations, and commercial air operators. Nothing in this section restricts the commission from establishing other carrier classes or from establishing other classes within the existing classes listed in this section, including classes based on the kinds of vehicles used.

(b) “Gross intrastate revenue” includes all compensation for the transportation or storage of property or the transportation of persons when both the origin and destination of the transportation or the performance of the service is within this state, and shall not include compensation for the transportation of persons or property in interstate or foreign commerce or the transportation of vehicles by ferries. “Gross intrastate revenue,” as determined pursuant to this article, shall apply only for purposes of determining the fees required by this chapter and shall not necessarily constitute gross operating revenue for any other purpose.

(c) “Fee” means that monetary amount determined in accordance with this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 341, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001.)


The employees, representatives, and inspectors of the commission may, under its order or direction, inspect and examine any books, accounts, records, memoranda, documents, papers, and correspondence kept or required to be kept by any carrier or related business referred to in this article. This section shall, to the extent deemed necessary by the commission, apply to persons who have direct or indirect control over, or who are affiliated with, any transportation agency.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 323, Sec. 71. Effective July 1, 1983.)


The commission shall use all moneys paid into the Public Utilities Commission Transportation Reimbursement Account by charter-party carriers in connection with charter bus transportation, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 5363, solely for the following purposes:

(a) Safety regulation.

(b) The administration of financial responsibility requirements.

(c) Commission activities to ensure compliance with safety regulation and financial responsibility requirements.

(d) Any other regulatory program permitted by Section 14501(a) of Title 49 of the United States Code.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 1005, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2000.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC2.