The Department of Transportation will allow states to grant exemptions for farm vehicle operators from rules requiring commercial drivers licenses for heavy farm equipment.

Sen. Steve Symms, R-Idaho, said the exemptions should be good news for all farmers. In March, he asked federal officials to exempt farm vehicles from the "commercial" classification for licensing purposes.He said the rules would flood the agricultural community with burdensome rules.

The decision allows states to exempt operators of farm vehicles, used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery or farm supplies to or from the farm, and driven no further than 150 miles from home.

Symms called it a common-sense decision allowing farmers and their families to get the job done without unnecessary motor vehicle regulations.

Rep. Richard Stallings also issued a statement saying farmers, ranchers and rural firefighting units are not normal commercial operators, and the extra regulations are not needed.