(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) and Section 34622 , a motor carrier of property shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle on any public highway in this state, unless it has complied with Section 34507.5 and has registered with the department its carrier identification number authorized or assigned thereunder, and holds a valid motor carrier permit issued to that motor carrier by the department. The department shall issue a motor carrier permit upon the carrier's written request, compliance with Sections 34507.5 , 34630 , and 34640, and subdivisions (e) and (h) of Section 34501.12 for motor carriers listed in that section, and the payment of the fee required by this chapter.
(b) A person shall not contract with, or otherwise engage the services of, a motor carrier of property, unless that motor carrier holds a valid motor carrier of property permit issued by the department. A motor carrier of property or broker of construction trucking services, as defined in Section 3322 of the Civil Code , shall not contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, a motor carrier of property, until the contracted motor carrier of property provides certification in the manner prescribed by this section, of compliance with subdivision (a). This certification shall be completed by the contracted motor carrier of property and shall include a provision requiring the contracted motor carrier of property to immediately notify the person to whom they are contracted if the contracted motor carrier of property's permit is suspended or revoked. A copy of the contracted motor carrier of property's permit shall accompany the required certificate. The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall, by regulation, prescribe the format for the certificate and may make available an optional specific form for that purpose. The certificate, or a copy thereof, shall be maintained by each involved party for the duration of the contract or period of service plus two years, and shall be presented for inspection at the location designated by each carrier under Section 34501.10 , immediately upon the request of an authorized employee of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
(c)(1) A motor carrier of property shall not retrieve a vehicle through the use of a tow truck, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 615 , from the premises of another motor carrier of property until the retrieving motor carrier provides a copy of its motor carrier permit to the releasing motor carrier.
(2) A motor carrier of property shall not release a vehicle to another motor carrier of property utilizing a tow truck, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 615 , until the releasing motor carrier obtains a copy of the motor carrier permit from the retrieving motor carrier. The motor carrier releasing the vehicle shall maintain a copy of the motor carrier permit for a period of two years after the transaction, and, upon the request of an authorized employee of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, shall immediately present the permit for inspection at the location designated by the releasing motor carrier under Section 34501.10 .
(3) This subdivision does not apply to a person licensed pursuant to the Collateral Recovery Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500 ) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code).
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