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Motor Carriers

February 28, 2018


Motor carriers account for 64% of the total weight of freight moved as illustrated in our 2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics.  Throughout the years, that percentage has steadily increased and we expect it to continue.

Today, commercial vehicles play a critical role in the Nation’s economy.  Large trucks move billions of tons of goods each year.  Motorcoaches transport passengers across the nation, and school buses carry America’s children safely to and from school each day.  Millions of Americans work with commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in various aspects of the transportation industry, and as of December, 2015, approximately 6 million people drove large trucks and buses, or were involved in the transportation of hazardous materials.

The daily uninterrupted flow of goods, services and passengers throughout the country is made possible by the efficient and safe delivery of those goods, services and passengers.  The safety rules, which govern the industry, help protect the people who work in the industry as well as the general traveling public.

To improve CMV safety, in 1986, Congress enacted the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA).  It was intended to improve highway safety by removing unsafe CMVs and unqualified and unsafe drivers from the roads.  The CMVSA standardized the minimum requirements for obtaining and retaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and prohibited drivers from holding more than one CDL.  In 1999, Congress passed the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act and created the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  The FMCSA is a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation, with a mission to “reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.”

(Sources include: FMCSA’s 2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics; National District Attorneys Association (NDAA)’s Commercial Drivers’ Licenses: A Prosecutor’s Guide to the Basics of Commercial Motor Vehicle Licensing and Violations)


States with an Employer Notification Service (ENS)

Motor carriers, do you have drivers licensed in a State that has an Employer Notification Service (ENS)? 

An ENS is a program that automatically sends updates to the requestor when a 1) driver’s license status changes, 2) there is a crash, and-or 3) a conviction is posted to the driver’s record.  The use of these services, in particular those with “push” notifications, satisfies the FMCSA requirement for a motor carrier to make an inquiry into each driver’s record (§391.25   Annual inquiry and review of driving record). The below link will bring you to a document that lists the current States that offer such a system, or something similar.

Employer Notification Services by State

Employer Notification Service (ENS) Design and Best Practices Recommendation

As required in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21); P.L. 112-114, the FMCSA established recommendations and a plan for the development and implementation of a national driver record notification system.  The report includes, an assessment of the merits of achieving a national system by expanding the Commercial Driver’s License Information System and an estimate of the fees that an employer will be charged to offset the operating costs of the national system.

FMCSA created this report with the help of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

ENS Design and Best Practices Recommendation

AAMVA produced the Best Practices Guide for ENS for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under grant/cooperative agreement number FM-CDL-0143-13-01-03.  Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the FMCSA.

This report includes survey results, findings, and analysis about possible solutions for an employer notification system (ENS).  The purpose of this report is to present the pros and cons of the various ENS solutions and propose a fee model to be used for the implementation of a national ENS using AAMVAnet and CDLIS. 

FMCSA is making this information available to promote information sharing among all stakeholders, as FMCSA continues to investigate other potential solutions.  FMCSA will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Updated: Friday, July 13, 2018
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