Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) - Overview
The PRISM program includes two major processes - the Commercial Vehicle Registration Process and Enforcement, which work in parallel to identify motor carriers and hold them responsible for the safety of their operation. The performance of unsafe carriers is improved through a comprehensive system of identification, education, awareness, data gathering, safety monitoring and treatment.
The International Registration Plan (IRP) commercial vehicle registration process of the States provides the framework for the PRISM Program.
The vehicle registration process ensures that all carriers engaged in interstate commerce are uniquely identified through a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number when they register their vehicles. The safety fitness of each carrier can then be checked prior to issuing vehicle registrations. Those motor carriers that have been prohibited from operating in interstate commerce by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may have their ability to register vehicles denied by the State. The use of registration sanctions also provides powerful incentive for unsafe carriers to improve their safety performance.
The Federal-State partnership of PRISM also provides an automated enforcement mechanism to ensure motor carriers meet biennial data updating requirements required by Section 217 of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (Form MCS-150). Put simply, participation States deny renewal of IRP license plates if the MCS-150 data of the motor carrier responsible for the safety of a vehicle will expire (i.e. exceed 24 months) before the new license plate expires.
The key requirement for Law Enforcement in PRISM States is to identify carriers and vehicles operating on the highway while under a FMCSA Out-of-Service Order and identify vehicles targeted by FMCSA for inspection. In addition to Federal Out-of-Service, FMCSA also identifies carriers that are high-risk with potential for future crashes. The high-risk carriers and drivers are determined by using the Safety Measurement System (SMS), which is the primary component of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program that was introduced in 2010.
In addition, PRISM provides for the deployment of roadside enforcement technologies that allow for more accurate identification of high-risk carriers and more efficient roadside inspections.
Fully implemented PRISM States show improved safety over time compared with other States, indicating PRISM could have contributed to lower crash rates. PRISM States achieve greater success in matching crash and inspection records to DOT numbers. Carriers domiciled in PRISM States with at least some vehicles registered in PRISM States have higher data quality than other States as reflected by more up-to-date MCS-150 reports. Furthermore, PRISM States that use bar-code readers have 20% to 30% higher valid Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) rates than other States. Bar-code readers also reduce the time required to conduct roadside inspections by about one-third the duration of an average inspection. These successes help the States and the US DOT to accurately identify and remove high-risk carriers from our nation's highways.
Note: The PRISM Evaluation Report and Appendices have been added to the PRISM Documents Library.
Jurisdictions participating in PRISM program need to maintain uniformity in the program and, therefore, must implement the PRISM requirements. General jurisdictional responsibilities fall into two broad categories: Registration and Enforcement.
The following is a list of specific requirements for registration agencies to implement PRISM.
- Identify, collect and maintain the USDOT number and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for the registrant and motor carrier responsible for the safe operation of each vehicle being registered. (Maintaining the USDOT number and TIN at the registrant level is not required when the registrant is not a motor carrier and does not need a USDOT number, such as owner/operators leased to a motor carrier and/or leasing companies that do not operate their own motor vehicles.)
- Print and barcode the motor carrier information on the cab card if the motor carrier responsible for the safety of the vehicle is not expected to change during the registration year.
- Validate the USDOT number before adding any USDOT number to the IRP registration files.
- Have the capacity to issue USDOT numbers by online access to the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) database using standardized procedures.
- Incorporate PRISM requirements in temporary authority processes.
- Seek and implement authority to suspend, revoke or deny registration if the motor carrier responsible for safety of the vehicle is prohibited from interstate operations.
- Seek and implement authority to retrieve plates from carriers whose registration has been suspended, revoked or denied based on PRISM sanctions. (In some States this authority must be procured separately from the previous requirement)
- Check carrier safety status before issuing credentials and deny the registration if the motor carrier is prohibited from interstate operations
- Maintain/update the USDOT number and TIN for the motor carrier responsible for the safe operation of each vehicle being registered and require an update to the MCS-150 information at both the registrant and vehicle levels if not updated within the past year, prior to issuing registration credentials
- Update the PRISM target file nightly with registration information for vehicles assigned to motor carriers in MCSIP.
- Provide the ability to query registration files by USDOT numbers of the registrant and motor carrier responsible for safety in order to obtain registration records details.
- Provide assistance to FMCSA in finding correct addresses of motor carriers by inquiring registration files.
- Provide motor carrier law enforcement with a report that lists vehicles and registration data for all vehicles assigned to a specific carrier upon request by the safety investigator/compliance review officer.
- Ensure PRISM training is provided to all appropriate staff.
- Ensure PRISM information and training is provided to motor carriers and other interested parties.
- Ensure all appropriate staff attends MCMIS training.
- Seek authority to stop and inspect vehicles based on the safety fitness of the motor carrier assigned to the vehicle. This requirement applies specifically to probable cause States.
- Provide the ability to identify vehicles assigned to carriers in MCSIP and give these vehicles priority for inspection.
- States must coordinate picking up plates with FMCSA Division Office.
- Implement procedures to determine how to correct the unassigned or incorrectly assigned safety events.
- Ensure PRISM training is provided to all enforcement officers.
- Improve the quality of data.
Compliance Review Option
If a State has chosen to perform the compliance reviews, collect motor carrier vehicle registration data during compliance reviews that may result in a future order to discontinue interstate operations.