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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) Grant


The MCSAP is a Federal grant program that provides financial assistance to States to reduce the number and severity of crashes and hazardous materials incidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The goal of the MCSAP is to reduce CMV-involved crashes, fatalities, and injuries through consistent, uniform, and effective CMV safety programs.  The MCSAP is FMCSA's largest grant program that supports State and local law enforcement agencies to utilize over 12,000 enforcement officers to increase enforcement and safety activities nationwide.

The FAST Act consolidated several previously stand-alone FMCSA grant programs. The MCSAP grant now includes Basic and Incentive, New Entrant (safety program required by the FAST Act to be conducted by States for New Entrant safety audits on interstate motor carriers and intrastate motor carriers, at the State's discretion), Border Enforcement (safety program conducted by States for border CMV safety projects and activities focused on international commerce) and components of other consolidated grant programs:

  • Safety Data Improvement - provides financial and technical assistance to States to facilitate the collection of accurate, complete, and timely data on all large commercial truck and bus crashes that involve a fatality, injury, or a vehicle towed from the crash scene.
  • Innovative Technology Deployment (ITD) (Operations & Maintenance Only) - advances the technological capability and promotes the deployment of intelligent transportation system applications for CMV operations and supports and maintains CMV informations systems and networks; and
  • Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) - cooperative Federal/State public safety program that links carrier safety fitness to State vehicle registration process.

Additionally, funding for some provisions of ITD and PRISM are available through the High Priority grant program.  See the MCSAP Comprehensive Policy (MCP) for additional information regarding funding eligibility.

Funding Information

The MCSAP is a formula grant program that provides financial assistance to States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to reduce the number and severity of crashes and hazardous material incidents involving CMVs.  Specifically, only the State lead agency (as designated by the Governor) is eligible to apply for MCSAP grant funding by submitting a commercial vehicle safety plan (CVSP), in accordance with the provisions of 49 CFR 350.201 and 205. Individuals and businesses are not eligible.

For FY 2017 and until the new MCSAP allocation formula is implemented, the FAST Act requires FMCSA to utilize an interim formula calculation which mandates that a State’s MCSAP amount be calculated by adding the traditional Basic and Incentive award to the 3-year average (FY 2013-2015) of that jurisdiction’s New Entrant and Border Enforcement (if eligible) grant awards. A comprehensive explanation of the methodology utilized to calculate a State’s award may be found in the MCSAP Comprehensive Policy (MCP).  A State may also request the MCP from their Division Office.

Applications for the MCSAP Grant must be submitted electronically.

MCSAP Formula Working Group

The FAST Act required the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to establish the MCSAP Formula Working Group within 180 days of enactment. The FAST Act mandated that the Working Group be composed of representatives from State CMV safety agencies, an organization representing State CMV enforcement agencies, FMCSA, and any other persons that the Secretary considers necessary. State safety agency participation must make up at least 51% of the Working Group, and the group is exempt from the Federal Advisory Committee Act.


The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), Pub. L. No. 114-94, §§ 5101(a) and 5101(c) (2015) authorize the MCSAP.  The MCSAP is governed by 49 U.S.C. §§ 31102 and 31104, as amended, and by 49 CFR part 350.