Currently, section (173.22(b)) states "No person may offer a motor carrier any hazardous material specified in 49 CFR 385.403 unless that motor carrier holds a safety permit issued by the FMCSA". Section 173.22(b) does not indicate how the shipper should check for a valid HMSP. According to 49 CFR 385.417, a motor carrier, upon request, must provide the number or their HM Safety Permit to a person who offers a HM listed in 385.403 for transportation in commerce.
FMCSA is creating a validation system to provide a service and assist shippers to meet the requirement of 385.417, which further provides that "...A motor carrier's safety permit number will also be available to the public on the FMCSA Safety Fitness Electronic Records System at https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov." Due to security concerns, this type of information will only be made available to shippers. The validation system will provide HM shippers with a means "to exercise due diligence and responsible care with respect to selecting motor carriers" (73 FR 4706).
HM shippers may register by use of the FMCSA by downloading form MCS-150. At this time, shippers will need to complete the MCS 150 and fax it to Computing Technologies, Inc., CoTs, at the fax number 202-366-3477. CoTs will mail a Notification Registration letter to the shipper containing a DOT number and PIN number. The shipper may call CoTs, at 800-832-5660, have their DOT and PIN numbers verified by CoTs, and will receive verification if the carrier or carrier/shipper has a valid HM safety permit. Shippers will receive a "yes" or "no" answer to the question of whether a carrier has a valid safety permit. No other information concerning the carrier will be available from CoTs. There will be a limit of five HM permit validation requests from shippers per phone call.