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Agent-Drivers or Commission-Drivers

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

827. Agent-Drivers or Commission-Drivers

827.1 Are agent-drivers or commission-drivers employees?

If you meet the requirements in §826 and distribute any of the following items, you are considered an employee:

  1. Meat or meat products;

  2. Vegetables or vegetable products;

  3. Fruit or fruit products;

  4. Bakery products;

  5. Beverages (other than milk); or

  6. Laundry or dry cleaned clothing.

827.2 When are agent-drivers or commission-drivers NOT employees?

You must perform the services for the person engaging them to be considered an employee. If you buy merchandise on your own behalf and sell it to the public as part of your own independent business, you are not considered an employee. In addition, if you distribute items that are not incidental to handling items (A) - (F) above, you are not considered an employee.

827.3 Does how the driver operates affect employee status?

Several factors do not affect your employee status as an agent-driver or commission-driver:

  1. You may sell at wholesale or retail;

  2. You may operate from your own truck or from a company truck;

  3. You may serve customers designated by the company or solicit your own;

  4. You may distribute other products provided that the handling of these products is incidental to the handling of items A - F above; and

  5. You may be compensated in any manner. How you are compensated is immaterial.

Last Revised: March, 2001

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