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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Online Privacy Policy

Our Commitment

Thank you for visiting the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. FMCSA respects your right to privacy and will protect it when you visit our website.

This Privacy Policy describes FMCSA's online information practices only, including how your personal information is collected, used, and protected. Our Privacy Policy does not apply to third-party websites that can be accessed from our website, nor does it apply to the practices of other administrations or offices within the U.S. Department of Transportation. FMCSA encourages you to read those Privacy Policies to learn how they collect, use, and protect your personal information.

The U.S. Department of Transportation does evaluate the Privacy Policies of its unofficial presences on third-party websites and third-party content rendering applications. The U.S. Department of Transportation encourages you to read the Privacy Impact Assessments for these third-party websites and content rendering applications.

What We Automatically Collect Online

FMCSA collects information about your visit that does not identify you personally, such as the computer, browser, and web service that you use to access the website. We also track the date, time, and pages that you visit. Collecting this information helps FMCSA design the website to suit your needs. In the event of a known security or virus threat, FMCSA may collect information on the web content that you view.

Other Information We May Collect

When you visit our website, FMCSA may request and collect the following categories of personal information from you:

  • User identifiers and passwords
  • Contact information if you submit a question or comment
  • Driver license numbers or other official document information to verify your identity

Why We Collect Information

The principal purpose for collecting personal information online is to provide you with the information you need and want, to address security and virus concerns, and to facilitate the use of our website.

FMCSA will only use your personal information for the purposes that you intended, for addressing security and virus threats, and for purposes required by law. (Refer to "Choices on How We Use the Information You Provide" to learn more.)

FMCSA collects personal information online to perform the following tasks:

  • Issue USDOT Numbers, Operating Authorities, and other authorizations/certifications
  • Fulfill requests for reports and other information
  • Establish user accounts
  • Manage access to restricted areas of the website
  • Respond to complaints
  • Reply to "feedback comments"
  • Process credit card transactions

Sharing Your Information

FMCSA may share the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that you have provided online with representatives within theDepartment of Transportation's Operating Administrations and related entities, other Federal and State government agencies, or other named representatives as needed to facilitate your request or transaction.

In addition, FMCSA may be required by law to share PII that we collect online with authorized law enforcement, homeland security, and national security activities. (Refer to "Your Rights Under the Privacy Act of 1974" to learn more.)

Choices on How We Use the Information You Provide

Throughout our website, FMCSA will inform you if the requested information is voluntary or required. By providing your PII, you are granting FMCSA your consent to use this information, but only for the primary purpose for which you are providing the information. FMCSA will request your consent before using any PII that was voluntarily provided for any secondary purposes other than those required by law.

Information Collected from Interactive Forms

Some FMCSA web pages provide interactive forms that allow you to voluntarily submit personal information (e.g., email address, name, or organization). This information may be requested when you are ordering reports or other information from FMCSA or submitting comments to various web discussion forums. In these cases, FMCSA will only use your personal information for the expressed purposes for which the information is intended. Your personal information will not be made available to any third party. However, if you do supply your personal information when submitting a comment to an FMCSA web discussion forum, this information may be posted along with your comment.

Information Practices for Children

FMCSA does not intentionally collect information from children under the age of 13. If in the future we choose to collect PII from children, FMCSA will comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Cookies or Other Tracking Devices

A "cookie" is a small text file that is stored on your computer and makes it easier for you to move around a website without continually re-entering your name, password, preferences, etc.

FMCSA only uses "session cookies" on its website. A session cookie is only stored on your computer during your visit to the website. After you turn off your computer or stop using the Internet, the session cookie containing your personal information disappears.

FMCSA uses session cookies for technical purposes, such as to enable better navigation through the website or to allow users to customize their preferences for interacting with the website.

You have the right to "opt-out" of the use of cookie technologies. If you "opt-out," your access to information on our Web site will not be limited. Click here for instructions on how to opt-out of these technologies.

Securing Your Information

FMCSA is fully committed to properly securing the information that we collect online. To meet this commitment, FMCSA performs the following activities:

  • Employ internal access controls to ensure that individuals who are allowed to view PII are only those with a need to do so in the performance of their official duties
  • Train relevant personnel on applicable security and privacy measures so that they are familiar with FMCSA compliance requirements
  • Secure areas where hardcopy documents that contain PII collected online are stored
  • Perform regular backups of information collected online to protect against loss
  • Use technical controls to secure information collected online, including but not limited to:
    1. Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
    2. Encryption
    3. Firewalls
    4. Password Protections
  • Periodically assess security procedures to ensure personnel and technical compliance
  • Employ external access safeguards to prevent and identify unauthorized attempts to hack into FMCSA systems or cause harm to FMCSA information

Tampering with FMCSA's website is against the law. Depending on the offense, it is punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

Your Rights Under the Privacy Act of 1974

The Privacy Act of 1974 governs the means by which the federal government collects, maintains, and uses PII in a system of records. A "system of records" is a group of any records under the control of a federal agency from which information about individuals is retrieved by name or other personal identifier. The Privacy Act is not applicable to all information collected online.

The Privacy Act requires federal agencies to perform the following:

  • Publish a Privacy Act System of Records Notice (SORN) in the Federal Register describing the existence, character, and uses of a new or revised system of records
  • Ensure that your PII is accurate, relevant, current, and complete in order to guarantee fairness in their dealings with you
  • Allow you, at your request, to access and review your PII in a system of records and to dispute incorrect or outdated information

FMCSA implements the requirements of the Privacy Act in accordance with Department of Transportation regulations documented in 49 CFR Part 10 ("Maintenance of and Access to Records Pertaining to Individuals").

When FMCSA collects PII from you online that is subject to the Privacy Act (i.e., personal identifiers maintained in a system of records), we will provide a Privacy Act Statement specific to the PII being collected. The Privacy Act Statement will provide you with the following information:

  • The purpose for which the information will be used
  • The authority for collecting the information
  • Whether providing the information is voluntary or mandatory
  • How you will be affected if all or some of the requested information is not provided

All FMCSA Privacy Act Notices may be viewed online.

Our Privacy Practices

To request more information or to submit comments and concerns about our privacy practices, please contact Pam Gosier-Cox, FMCSA Privacy Officer, at pam.gosier.cox@dot.gov. FMCSA has also conducted Privacy Impact Assessments for applicable information systems.

Updated: Wednesday, April 2, 2014