Frequently Asked Questions
Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain labor or a commercial sex act; and the commercial sexual exploitation of children under any circumstances. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) combats human trafficking by working with public and private sector stakeholders to empower transportation employees and the traveling public to recognize and report possible instances of human trafficking.
Paragraph 8 of section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-386) defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as —
(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
(B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
The "top 30%" is a factor defined by examining ALL motor carriers registered for a USDOT Number. The factor establishes a threshold where in the total population of motor carriers, 30% of them fall above the number for out-of-service rates and crashes at the 70th percentile. The "top 30%" threshold rates will remain static rather than change every two years and are published on the FMCSA website, for motor carriers to determine their ability to transport permitted Hazardous Materials.
Since the inception of the program, data from the entire eight year period was used in the calculations for the new fixed rates. The threshold rate calculation included only carriers that had at least 12 inspections over the 8 years. The top (worst-performing) 30% of the National averages were determined by establishing a cut-off at the numerical threshold value located at the 70th percentile in each category using eight years of data. All carriers with a driver, vehicle, or HM OOS rate less than the cut-off are considered to be below the National Average for each category, and, therefore, eligible for participation in the program. Carriers with a driver, vehicle, or HM OOS rate that is equal to or greater than the cutoff in each category are in the 30%, or the worst-performing category, and will be denied an HMSP.
Motor carriers that transport permitted HM may obtain their out-of-service rates from their Company Safety Profile and compare it to the national rates posted on the FMCSA website.
In order to calculate the fixed crash rate the 8-year period, since the inception of the program, was divided into four 2-year periods. Qualifying motor carriers had at least 2 crashes in at least one 2-year period. Then the number of power units for each qualifying 2-year period was captured based on snapshots taken immediately after the end of each FY. The crash rate for each 2-year period motor carrier was then determined in each time period by taking the number of crashes indicated and dividing by the number of power units times two. Finally, all carrier/time period combinations were ranked based on crash rate, with a resulting crash rate threshold at the 70th percentile of 0.136.
A motor carrier may determine its crash rate as the number of crashes divided by the number of power units as follows: HM Permitted Motor Carrier crash rate = Number of crashes in the past 365 days / total number of power units (operating).
The New Fixed Rates are: Driver: 9.68; Vehicle: 33.3; HM: 6.82; Crash: 0.136. These rates are now in effect and are being used to establish a company's eligibility for an HMSP. Detailed information on the method used to calculate these rates is published on FMCSA's SAFER website. The Federal Register notification can be viewed at 77 FR 38215.
Last Updated : April 15, 2014
The FMCSRs do not specify that the Medical Examiner must give a copy of the Medical Examiner's Certificate to the driver immediately following the examination. The Medical Examiner may require additional medical tests or reports from your treating physician.
Last Updated : April 1, 2014
- First-time applicants registering via the Unified Registration System or existing carriers applying for property carrier applications using the OP-1 form may take 20-25 business days
- Email or Fax: OP-1 Property carrier applications (existing carriers only) may take 3-7 business days
- Mail: OP-1 Property carrier applications (existing carriers only) may take 45-60 business days
- Authority applications that are identified for vetting may take an additional 2-8 weeks. For more information on the vetting process, click here.
US DOT number:
- Online via the Unified Registration System: US DOT numbers are given instantly; a carrier notification letter will follow in the mail
The agency will issue a final decision within 180 days of the date it receives your completed application. However, if you leave out required information, it takes longer to complete your application.
Last Updated : April 1, 2014
When it was published, the rule affected about 3,100 carriers, of which about 1,000 are intrastate carriers and 2,100 were interstate carriers. Of this total number affected, about 2,400 of these carriers were small businesses.
Last Updated : April 14, 2014
The Medical Examiner would advise FMCSA of the location of the records and the range of dates during which examinations were conducted for that employer.The Agency would then contact the previous employer to obtain the necessary information.
Last Updated : May 30, 2019
FMCSA's information systems do not have crash statistics associated with the use of electronic navigation systems. However, even one truck or bus striking an overpass is one too many, which is why the Agency is taking action to ensure professional truck and bus drivers know the importance of selecting the right navigation system.
Last Updated : April 3, 2014
Each unit of intermodal equipment must identify the intermodal equipment provider (IEP) by its legal or trade name and USDOT number. Section 390.21(g)(4) gives an IEP four options for identifying its IME, which include:
- Marking the identification on the curb side of the item of equipment. The marking must be in letters that contrast sharply in color with the background on which the letters are placed. The identification code must be readily legible, during daylight hours, from a distance of 50 feet (15.24 meters) while the CMV is stationary. It must be kept and maintained in a manner that retains this legibility
- Placing the identification marking on a label placed upon the curb side of the item of equipment. The label must be readily visible and legible to an inspection official during daylight hours when the vehicle is stationary. The label must be a color that contrasts sharply with the background on which it is placed, and the letters must also contrast sharply in color with the background of the label. The label must be kept and maintained in a manner that retains this legibility
- Including the USDOT number of the IEP, as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN) and 4-character Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) and 6-digit unique identifying number on the interchange agreement so that it is clearly identifiable to an inspection official
- Placing the identification information on a document placed in a weather-tight compartment affixed to the frame of the item of IME. The color of the letters used in the document must contrast sharply in color with the background of the document. The document must include additional information to identify the specific item of IME (such as the VIN and 4-character SCAC and 6-digit unique identifying number)
- The marking information must be kept in an electronic database as stated in § 390.21(g)(4)(v). The electronic database must be available via real-time internet or through telephonic access. The system the industry uses to mark their intermodal equipment is GIER:
- Stands for the Global Intermodal Equipment Registry
- Can be accessed via the web or via the telephone at 877-511-4437
- Approximately 90% of intermodal equipment is registered in GIER
Last Updated : April 7, 2014
The driver should not return to driving sooner than 3 months after CABG, to allow the sternal incision to heal. The driver should meet all the following criteria:
Clearance by physician (usually cardiologist)
Resting echocardiogram with an LVEF >40% after CABG
Asymptomatic status with no angina
Last Updated : April 1, 2014
When submitting FMCSA Registration forms, all required fields must be complete and required supporting documentation must be attached. Incomplete applications are returned to the applicant and must be resubmitted, which delays the process.
Note: Each form is prefaced with detailed instructions to assist filling out the form.
7 reasons your MCS-150 may be incomplete and not processed:
Sending expired forms
Ensure you have the latest version. The expiration date is located at the top right of each page of the form. The current FMCSA Registration forms are here.
Acceptable form of ID not submitted
With exception of New Applications, a Driver’s License of the individual signing the form must be submitted (and must match a company officer listed on Line 30). An MCS-150 form to request updates cannot be processed until the proper Driver’s License is submitted and verified.
Section 1 – Legal Business Name
The name must match the company name on record unless you are requesting a Name Change. In that case, Articles of Incorporation or Amendment are required. If your company has Operating Authority, an Operating Authority Name Change request is required.
Section 22 and 23 must correspond (Interstate + Authorized For-Hire)
If Interstate and Authorized For-Hire are selected but the company does not currently have an Operating Authority, the form cannot be accepted. You must either apply for Operating Authority or make the appropriate selection on the MCS-150 and resubmit the form.
Section 24 and 25 must correspond (Motor Vehicles, Driveaway/Towaway and Class 9/Carried/Non-Bulk)
If Motor Vehicles or Driveaway/Towaway is selected on line 24, Class 9, Carried, and Non-bulk must be checked on line 25 (for miscellaneous hazardous material like flammable liquids).
Section 31 - Company Officer Signature (i.e., owner, president, partner)
A signature is required and must match a company officer listed on line 30
Section 31 - Filing Date
If you update your MCS-150 online, the system will be updated as of that date. If you send a paper MCS-150 on the same date or earlier, it cannot be processed. Ensure the date on your MCS-150 is greater than the last online update
The fact that the driver possesses a valid Canadian commercial driver’s license, with the proper class for the vehicle configuration being operated, is proof that the driver demonstrated his/her ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
Last Updated : December 22, 2014
FMCSA will review the permit holder’s SMS scores monthly to determine if the carrier has exceeded intervention thresholds for either the HM BASIC or any two BASICs besides the HM BASIC for the preceding two consecutive months. Scores are based on carrier performance for the preceding 24 months according to CSA procedures. If the carrier has exceeded the HM BASIC or any other two BASICs for each month over a consecutive two-month period, FMCSA will identify the carrier for investigation with HM emphasis.
Last Updated : July 29, 2015
On June 29th, 2015, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice (Vol. 80, No.124, p. 37037), “Proposal for Future Enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS)” for public comment. Any finalized changes to the SMS intervention thresholds will immediately apply to the HMSP program because the enhanced oversight determinations are based on carrier performance under various SMS intervention thresholds.
Last Updated : July 29, 2015
A first-time applicant who does not already have a US DOT number and is seeking broker authority must apply for operating authority via the Unified Registration System.
Companies with existing motor carrier authority should include their current USDOT Number on the OP–1 form when they register but leave the MC Number field blank. FMCSA will issue a separate MC Number for the broker authority. Source: 78 FR 54720, Sept. 5, 2013.
Last Updated : December 4, 2015
The issue and extent of safety belt discomfort was reviewed as a factor affecting driver safety belt use in the FMCSA-sponsored 2007 Safety Belt Technology Countermeasures Study.
Last Updated : April 15, 2014
Yes, if you are a resident of Mexico or Canada. Drivers certified in Canada are certified to drive in the United States, providing they meet U.S. requirements. For Mexican drivers, the medical examination is part of the Licencia Federal. It is not necessary for Mexican drivers to carry a separate medical certifying document.
A CMV operator from Canada or Mexico who has been issued a valid commercial driver’s license by a Canadian Province or the Mexican Licencia Federal is no longer required to have a medical certificate. The driver’s medical exam is part of the driver’s license process and is proof of medical fitness to drive in the United States. However, Canadian and Mexican drivers who have epilepsy or who are hearing-and-vision impaired are not qualified to drive CMVs in the United States. Furthermore, Canadian drivers who do not meet the medical fitness provisions of the Canadian National Safety Code for Motor Carriers but who have been issued a waiver by one of the Canadian Provinces or Territories are not qualified to drive CMVs in the United States. Similarly, Mexican drivers who do not meet the medical fitness provision of The Licencia Federal de Conductor but who have been issued a waiver by The Licencia Federal de Conductor are not qualified to drive CMVs in the United States.
Last Updated : February 12, 2020
Once you have your USDOT number, you will be able to operate as a private motor carrier. You will not be able to operate as a for-hire motor carrier until you have operating authority (an active MC number). For more information on operating authority, click here.
There is a $300 fee for each operating authority requested.