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  • § 390.1
    Purpose.
  • § 390.3
    General applicability.
  • § 390.5
    Definitions.
  • § 390.7
    Rules of construction.
  • § 390.9
    State and local laws, effect on.
  • § 390.11
    Motor carrier to require observance of driver regulations.
  • § 390.13
    Aiding or abetting violations.
  • § 390.15
    Assistance in investigations and special studies.
  • § 390.16
    [RESERVED]
  • § 390.17
    Additional equipment and accessories.
  • § 390.19
    Motor carrier, hazardous material shipper, and intermodal equipment provider identification reports.
  • § 390.21
    Marking of self-propelled CMVs and intermodal equipment.
  • § 390.23
    Relief from regulations.
  • § 390.25
    Extension of relief from regulations—emergencies.
  • § 390.27

    Locations of motor carrier safety service centers.

    §390.27 Locations of motor carrier safety service centers.
    Service centerTerritory includedLocation of office
    EasternCT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NJ, NH, NY, PA, PR, RI, VA, VT, Virgin Islands, WV802 Cromwell Park Drive, Suite N, Glen Burnie, MD 21061.
    MidwesternIA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MO, MN NE., OH, WI4749 Lincoln Mall Drive, Suite 300A, Matteson, IL 60443.
    SouthernAL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN1800 Century Boulevard, Suite 1700, Atlanta, GA 30345-3220.
    WesternAmerican Samoa, AK, AZ, CA, CO, Guam, HI, ID, Mariana Islands, MT, ND, NM, NV, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WYGolden Hills Office Centre, 12600 West Colfax Avenue, Suite B-300, Lakewood, CO 80215.

    Note 1: Canadian carriers, for information regarding proper service center, contact an FMCSA division (State) office in AK, ME, MI, MT, NY, ND, VT, or WA.

    Note 2: Mexican carriers are handled through the four southern border divisions and the Western Service Center. For information regarding the proper service center, contact an FMCSA division (State) office in AZ, CA, NM, or TX.

  • § 390.29
    Location of records or documents.
  • § 390.31
    Copies of records or documents.
  • § 390.33
    Commercial motor vehicles used for purposes other than defined.
  • § 390.35
    Certificates, reports, and records: Falsification, reproduction, or alteration.
  • § 390.37
    Violation and penalty.
  • § 390.39
    Exemptions for “covered farm vehicles.”
  • § 390.40
    What responsibilities do intermodal equipment providers have under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR parts 350-399)?
  • § 390.42
    What are the responsibilities of drivers and motor carriers operating intermodal equipment?
  • § 390.44
    What are the procedures to correct the safety record of a motor carrier or an intermodal equipment provider?
  • § 390.46
    Are State and local laws and regulations on the inspection, repair, and maintenance of intermodal equipment preempted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?
  • § 390.101
    Scope.
  • § 390.103
    Eligibility requirements for medical examiner certification.
  • § 390.105
    Medical examiner training programs.
  • § 390.107
    Medical examiner certification testing.
  • § 390.109
    Issuance of the FMCSA medical examiner certification credential.
  • § 390.111
    Requirements for continued listing on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
  • § 390.113
    Reasons for removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
  • § 390.115
    Procedure for removal from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
  • § 390.201
    USDOT Registration.
  • § 390.203
    PRISM State registration/biennial updates.
  • § 390.205
    Special requirements for registration.
  • § 390.207
    Other governing regulations.
  • § 390.209
    Pre-authorization safety audit.

Part 390
FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS; GENERAL

Question 1: May motor carriers use electronic methods to store records or documents to satisfy a document retention requirement in Chapter III of Subtitle B of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR parts 300–399) ?

Guidance: Yes. Anyone may, but is not required to, use electronic methods to create and store records or documents to satisfy document retention requirements in Chapter III of Subtitle B of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 parts CFR 300–399). This guidance applies only to documents required to be generated and maintained or exchanged by private parties, regardless of whether FMCSA subsequently requires them to be produced or displayed to FMCSA staff or other parties entitled to access. This guidance does not apply to documents filed directly with FMCSA. The Agency, however, has already established electronic filing methods for certain documents. Interested parties can find out about available filing methods by consulting specific program information on FMCSA's Web site (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov).

Question 2: How much time does a motor carrier have to produce records if the motor carrier maintains all records in an electronic format?

Guidance: A motor carrier must produce records within the time frame FMCSA’s regulations require, regardless of whether the motor carrier maintains its records in an electronic or paper format. For example, if Agency rules require that a document be produced upon demand, you must be able to provide the Agency with an accurate copy of your electronic record upon demand. Similarly, if you are a motor carrier with multiple offices and are allowed 48 hours to produce a document in accordance with 49 CFR 390.29, you must be able to provide the Agency with an accurate copy of your electronic record within 48 hours.

Question 3: Using record scanning technology, these requirements can be fulfilled. Is my understanding of § 390.31(c) correct that once qualifying documents have been suitably scanned, original paper documents may be destroyed?

Guidance: Yes, scanned records, which include a verifiable signature, would fulfill the requirements of §390.31 and the original paper documents may be destroyed as stated in §390.31(c).

Question 4: If my understanding of 390.31 and its associated interpretations is correct, will this negate the necessity to maintain the original road test document as required by § 391.31(g)(1)?

Guidance:

Yes, as long as the road test document has been properly scanned.

An electronic signature is a method of signing an electronic communication that: (1) Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic communication; and (2) indicates such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic communication. An electronic signature may be made using any available technology that otherwise satisfies FMCSA’s requirements.

Question 5: What is an electronic signature?

Guidance: An electronic signature is a method of signing an electronic communication that: (1) Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic communication; and (2) indicates such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic communication. An electronic signature may be made using any available technology that otherwise satisfies FMCSA’s requirements.

Question 6: What is an electronic "captured image" signature and does it qualify as an electronic signature?

Guidance: An electronic "captured image" signature is a scripted name or legal mark that, while conventionally created on paper, may also be created using electronic devices. For example, many supermarkets and package delivery services use electronic captured image technology when they permit customers to sign their names in script using a stylus on an electronic pad. This qualifies as an electronic signature, so long as the signature and its related document are electronically bound and can be reproduced together.

Question 7: May anyone use electronic signatures to satisfy a requirement in Chapter III of Subtitle B of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR parts 300–399) that a party sign or certify a document?

Guidance: Yes. Anyone may, but is not required to, use electronic signatures to satisfy the requirements of Chapter III of Subtitle B of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR parts 300–399) that he or she sign or certify a document. This guidance applies only to documents requiring signatures that are generated and maintained or exchanged by private parties, regardless of whether the Agency subsequently requires them to be produced or displayed to FMCSA staff or other parties entitled to access. This guidance does not apply to documents filed directly with the Agency. The Agency, however, has already established electronic filing methods for certain documents. Interested parties can find out about available filing methods by consulting specific program information on FMCSA's Web site (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov).

Question 8: Are motor carriers and other interested parties required to use electronic methods?

Guidance: No. Interested entities may choose whether or not to use electronic methods or traditional paper methods. Where there are two parties to a transaction, both parties must agree to conduct business using electronic methods.

Question 9: Will a document generated using any available electronic method satisfy the requirements of Chapter III of Subtitle B of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations?

Guidance: No. An electronic document must fulfill the same function as a paper document. Documents generated using electronic methods may be used only if they accurately reflect the information in the record and remain accessible in a form that can be accurately reproduced for later reference. Documents generated using electronic methods will not be considered the legal equivalent of traditional paper documents if they are not capable of being retained and accurately reproduced for reference by any party entitled to access. For example, if FMCSA rules require that a document be produced upon demand, you must be able to provide the Agency with an accurate copy of your electronic record upon demand. Similarly, if you are a motor carrier with multiple offices and are allowed 48 hours to produce a document in accordance with 49 CFR 390.29, you must be able to provide the Agency with an accurate copy of your electronic record within 48 hours. It would not be sufficient to display the information on your computer terminal in your place of business. You must produce a copy that the Agency can refer to at a later date. Similarly, it would not be sufficient to provide a document with incomplete information or without a signature (whether electronic or handwritten), if required. Your electronic storage system must be capable of transferring a complete, accurate copy of the document to the Agency. Unless the agent requesting the information specifies otherwise, you should be prepared to produce paper copies of the electronically-stored records or documents within the applicable time frame. This means that if you are required to produce documents on demand, those documents may be stored electronically, so long as you can produce them in accordance with the Agency’s substantive requirements (e.g., immediately and without risk of losing or altering data). For an electronic document to be the legal equivalent of a paper document, it must be the functional equivalent with respect to integrity, accuracy and accessibility.

Question 10: If FMCSA or another agency entitled to access documents requests that I produce a copy of a document or signature, may I produce an electronic copy?

Guidance: Yes, however, you must be able to reproduce or transmit the document so the Agency can refer to it at a later date. The acceptable method of transmission may vary, depending on compatibility with the information systems and how the Agency or other entity entitled to access plans to use the document. Under some circumstances, electronic transfer may be acceptable. In other cases, you may be required to print paper copies of the electronically-stored records or documents. You should be prepared to produce paper copies within the time frame specified in the applicable regulations, unless the particular investigator specifically advises you that he or she is capable of accepting electronically transferred copies.

Question 11: May I use electronic methods to generate, sign, maintain and/or exchange any record the FMCSA regulations require without requesting an exemption or obtaining prior permission?

Guidance: You may use electronic methods to generate, sign, maintain and/or exchange any document that is generated and maintained or exchanged by private parties, regardless of whether FMCSA subsequently requires them to be produced or displayed to Agency staff or other parties entitled to access. You do not need to request an exemption or obtain prior permission so long as the electronic record meets all of the regulation’s substantive requirements and remains accessible in a form that can be accurately reproduced for later reference. (This does not apply to documents filed directly with the Agency. See Question No. 6.) Examples of documents generated, maintained or exchanged by private parties include, but are not limited to: Employment applications, driver histories and other qualification records, leases formed under 49 CFR part 376, driver-vehicle inspection reports, and records of duty status. These are only examples of documents about which FMCSA received specific questions and is not an exhaustive list of the types of documents that can be generated, signed, maintained or exchanged electronically.

Question 12: May I convert a paper document to an electronic document by typing the substantive information on the paper document into an electronic format such as a database?

Guidance: By typing the substantive information from a paper document into an electronic format such as a database, you are creating a new electronic record, not creating an electronic copy of the original. While you may generate and maintain such documents for your own use, they do not take the place of the original documents. To preserve an accurate copy of the original paper document, you must use scanning or other "image capture" technology. See Questions 3 and 4 for additional guidance.

Question 13: Is an electronic signature valid if a person only has access to an excerpt or summary at the time he or she signs a document?

Guidance: No. If you only provide an excerpt or summary at the time someone signs a document you may not subsequently attach his or her electronic signature to the complete document.

Disclaimer:

Although we make every effort to assure that the information we provide is complete and accurate, it is not intended to take the place of published agency regulations. Regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation and its Operating Administrations are published in the Federal Register and compiled in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Copies of appropriate volumes of the CFR in book format may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, or examined at many libraries.

The CFR may also be viewed online at http://ECFR.gpoaccess.gov.