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FMCSA eliminating registrant DOT numbers

October 6, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

For mom and pop’s, truck drivers who are owner-operators and manage their own base plates,  registrant-only DOT numbers will expire in mid-October.

This is a move by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve the inspection and crash information that its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program is based upon.

FMSCA officials recently presented plans for eliminated these “registrant-only” DOT numbers from registration procedures for truck equipment. Here are important dates to know:

  • September 1, 2012: No more issued DOT numbers during the registration process for valid registrant-only companies (including rental and leasing companies and leased owner-operators).
  • September 15, 2012: No more registrant-only option on the MCS-150 filing forms.
  • October 13, 2012: Remaining active registrant-only DOT numbers are scheduled to be automatically removed.

Why remove DOT numbers?

According to an article on overdriveonline.com, FMCSA eliminating registrant DOT numbers:

The existence of these numbers had contributed to poor data quality in the Motor Carrier Management and Information System database, where inspectors somewhat regularly erroneously filed violations under carriers’ or equipment-providers’ registrant-only numbers, rather than the correct operating authority. This allowed those violations to be left out of the CSA metric and the associated motor carrier to “evade enforcement,” FMCSA said, by flying under the agency’s radar.

Motor carriers were either registering for a registrant-only DOT number either by mistake, or by “intent to evade,” as they could avoid enforcement in the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System.

What truck drivers can do to update their status

The FMSCA has been mailing the registrant-only numbers, to notify them of of the elimination of the DOT numbers category.

If you are a truck driver who is an interstate carrier, then you need to update your MCS-150 form. This form is included in the mailing.

I recently wrote about the FMSCA removing language regarding “fatigued driving” that causes truck accidents, from its CSA language. This removes the accountability of tired truckers and the trucking companies that employ them, and it also skews the data.  There are only a few lawyers around the nation who really specialize in helping people hurt or families that have lost a loved one who was killed in a truck accident, so I recognize the outcry over this caving into the truck industry lobby has been muted.  But to me, as one of those lawyers, that makes the interference in the FMCSA’s mission of making trucks safer and saving lives sadder still.

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