[Federal Register: June 10, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 111)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-2010-0168]
Policy on the Retention of Supporting Documents and the Use of
Electronic Mobile Communication/Tracking Technology in Assessing Motor
Carriers' and Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers' Compliance With the
Hours of Service Regulations
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of Regulatory Guidance and Policy Change.
SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
provides notice to the motor carrier industry and the public of
regulatory guidance and policy changes regarding the retention of
supporting documents and the use of electronic mobile communication/
tracking technology in assessing motor carriers' and commercial motor
vehicle drivers' compliance with the hours of service regulations.
DATES: Effective Date: This change in policy is effective July 12,
2010. Comments should be submitted on or before July 9, 2010. Late-
filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments (identified by Docket Number FMCSA-
2010-0168) using any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.regulations.gov.Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, Ground
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor,
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's
Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket Management System
published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or
you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Mancl, Team Leader,
Enforcement and Compliance Division, MC-ECE, Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC
20590. Telephone: 202-493-0442. Web site address: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fmcsa.
In 1997, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), FMCSA's
predecessor agency, issued a policy memorandum recognizing that
advanced technologies, which were
emerging and being implemented within the industry, offered an
opportunity to improve operational and safety performance. To promote
and encourage the use of these new technologies in the industry's
operations and overall safety management, the Agency limited the use of
the data and records generated by advanced technologies for checking
hours of service compliance during reviews and regulatory enforcement
After more than a decade, the Agency's policy achieved its purpose;
the once emerging technologies are today a widely accepted and
essential component of the industry's logistics, operations and safety
management systems. FMCSA therefore rescinded the 1997 policy on
November 19, 2008, effective December 19, 2008. (73 FR 69717)
On December 24, 2008, the Associate Administrator for Enforcement
and Program Delivery issued an internal Agency policy memorandum
titled: "Use of Advanced Information Technology Policy." This
memorandum informed FMCSA and State enforcement personnel that FMCSA
would exercise its full statutory authority under 49 U.S.C. 504(c) to
inspect and copy records of a motor carrier. If a motor carrier uses
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or other electronic mobile
communication/tracking technology during the ordinary course of its
business, FMCSA has the authority to request these records and use them
during the course of an investigation. FMCSA considers electronic
mobile communication/tracking records to be supporting documents, as
they record the time, date, and/or location of motor vehicles and/or
Since December 2008, there has been some confusion concerning
FMCSA's use of these technologies for enforcement purposes and the
requirements for motor carriers to retain and produce related records
upon demand. The Agency has identified the need for further guidance
regarding the use of electronic mobile communication/tracking records
to verify compliance with 49 CFR Part 395, Hours of Service Drivers.
Today's Policy, therefore, supersedes the December 2008 Policy.
Following up its commitment as stated in the April 2010 final rule,
Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs) for Hours-of-Service (HOS)
Compliance, 75 FR 17208, FMCSA is drafting a notice of proposed
rulemaking (NPRM) to further advance motor carrier safety through
improved HOS compliance. This NPRM will have three components: (1)
Proposing that EOBRs be required for considerably more motor carriers
and drivers, (2) proposing that motor carriers be required to develop
and maintain systematic and effective HOS oversight for their drivers,
and (3) proposing, pursuant to Sec. 113 of the Hazardous Materials
Transportation Authorization Act of 1994, title I of Public Law 103-
311, 108 Stat. 1673 (Aug. 26, 1994) (HMTAA), requirements for motor
carriers to retain HOS supporting documents. The Agency anticipates
publishing the NPRM by the end of 2010 and publishing a final rule
within 24 months. In clarifying current enforcement practices, today's
guidance moves toward the anticipated NPRM.
This Policy is intended to be used by enforcement personnel as
guidance in making enforcement decisions. Nothing in this Policy is
intended to alter a motor carrier's duty to ensure that its employees
and agents are complying with all applicable regulations. A motor
carrier is responsible for the acts and omissions of its employees and
agents with respect to regulatory compliance.
Previous policy statements have used the terms "GPS" and
"Advanced Information Technology" to describe electronic mobile
communication/tracking technology. FMCSA recognizes that these terms
are no longer adequate to describe electronic mobile communication/
tracking technology. Such technologies can no longer be considered
"advanced" as they are now widely accepted and used in the industry.
Likewise, electronic mobile communication/tracking systems may rely on
technology other than GPS to determine the time, date, and/or location
of motor vehicles and/or drivers. For ease of discussion in this
Policy, the use of the phrases "electronic mobile communication/
tracking technology," "electronic mobile communication/tracking
systems," and "electronic mobile communication/tracking records"
shall be deemed to include those technologies and records that allow a
motor carrier to identify the location of a motor vehicle or driver, or
that allow a motor carrier to send or receive messages to or from its
drivers. The application of this Policy to a technology or record does
not depend on the method of communication or the technology used to
obtain the time and/or position location information.
Supporting Documents Requirements for Motor Carriers Without Qualifying
Electronic Mobile Communication/Tracking Technology
Supporting documents are motor carriers' records that are
maintained in the ordinary course of business and may be used by the
motor carrier to verify information recorded on the driver's RODS. On
April 4, 1997, as part of a set of guidance and policy statements,
FHWA, FMCSA's predecessor agency, published a list of more than thirty
examples of supporting documents that motor carriers needed to retain
pursuant to 49 CFR 395.8(k)(1) (62 FR 16370, 16425) (Guidance Question
10). Based on its enforcement experience since 1997, FMCSA recognizes
that certain documents in that list are not regularly used by
enforcement staff to verify the accuracy of records of duty status
(RODS) and that requiring motor carriers to retain these documents is
no longer necessary. FMCSA will therefore no longer consider the
following to be ``supporting documents'' and will not require motor
carriers to maintain and produce such documents pursuant to 49 CFR
Driver call-in records;
International registration plan receipts;
International fuel tax agreement receipts;
Cash advance receipts; and
Driver fax reports (cover sheets).
The Agency rescinds the list of examples of supporting documents in
the April 4, 1997, Guidance Question 10 and provides the following
updated, shorter list: Bills of lading, carrier pros, freight bills,
dispatch records, electronic mobile communication/tracking records (as
explained below), gate record receipts, weigh/scale tickets, fuel
receipts, fuel billing statements, toll receipts, toll billing
statements, port of entry receipts, delivery receipts, lumper receipts,
interchange and inspection reports, lessor settlement sheets, over/
short and damage reports, agricultural inspection reports, driver and
vehicle examination reports, crash reports, telephone billing
statements, credit card receipts, border crossing reports, customs
declarations, traffic citations and overweight/oversize permits and
Motor carriers without qualifying electronic mobile communication/
tracking technology must continue to retain other supporting documents
that may be used to verify information on the driver's RODS. If the
motor carrier has multiple offices or terminals and these records are
maintained at motor
carrier locations other than the motor carrier's principal place of
business, see Regulatory Guidance on the Definition of "Principal
Place of Business," July 29, 2009 (74 FR 37653), they must be
forwarded to the principal place of business, or other location
specified, upon a request by an authorized FMCSA representative or
State official in accordance with 49 CFR 390.29.
Supporting Documents Requirements for Motor Carriers That Use
Qualifying Electronic Mobile Communication/Tracking Technology
If a motor carrier uses a paper RODS system and also uses
electronic mobile communication/tracking technology on specific
vehicles and can produce electronic mobile communication/tracking
records acceptable to the Agency under this Policy, FMCSA will permit
the motor carrier to maintain and submit fewer paper supporting
Whether the electronic mobile communication/tracking records are
acceptable to the Agency under this Policy or not, the investigator has
the authority to demand those records, and he or she may accept them in
either printed or electronic form from the motor carrier. These records
will be used to assess motor carrier and commercial motor vehicle
driver compliance with the HOS regulations and for other evaluations
into the safety performance or regulatory compliance of the motor
carrier. Electronic mobile communication/tracking records may also be
used by the Agency as evidence in any proceeding to enforce Federal
motor carrier statutes and regulations.
For each vehicle a motor carrier uses for which the motor carrier
can produce electronic mobile communication/tracking records acceptable
under this Policy, the motor carrier is no longer required to maintain
or produce the following supporting documents pursuant to 49 CFR
395.8(k)(1) for the driver of that vehicle:
Gate record receipts;
Port of entry receipts;
Agricultural inspection reports;
Over/short and damage reports;
Driver and vehicle examination reports; \1\
\1\ This notice does not affect motor carriers' duty to maintain
driver and vehicle examination reports in accordance with the
retention requirements of 49 CFR part 396. See 49 CFR 396.11(c)(2)
Overweight/oversize reports and citations;
Credit card receipts;
Border Crossing Reports;
Customs declarations; and
Telephone billing statements.
Motor carriers that seek to take advantage of the less burdensome
supporting documents retention requirements available under this Policy
are precluded in HOS enforcement proceedings from challenging the
accuracy of their own electronic mobile communication/tracking records.
Qualifying Electronic Mobile Communication/Tracking Technology
For each vehicle for which a motor carrier seeks to take advantage
of the less burdensome supporting documents retention requirements
available under this Policy, the motor carrier must show that the
electronic mobile communication/tracking records have the
Positioning Frequency: The system must be set up to communicate
position location at a rate of at least one time per hour, per vehicle,
while the vehicle is in motion.
Vehicle Integration: The system must be integrally synchronized
with the vehicle.
Report Functionality: The system must be capable of generating upon
demand a document/record, either printed (paper) or electronically
rendered (spreadsheet, portable document format, tagged image file
format or other commonly available software format), showing the
required Report Content.
Report Content: The position history report must include, at a
minimum, vehicle identification information, date, time, proximity
location (reference points), and latitude and longitude for each
Retention: Motor carriers must maintain position history reports
for a period of six months in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8(k)(1).
If the motor carrier's electronic mobile communication/tracking
records for a particular vehicle do not qualify under this Policy, the
motor carrier must maintain all supporting documents that may be used
to assess motor carrier and commercial motor vehicle driver compliance
with the HOS regulations, pursuant to 49 CFR 395.8(k)(1). A motor
carrier that uses electronic mobile communication/tracking technology
in the ordinary course of business for any purpose is expected to
include the use of records and information generated by that technology
in its HOS oversight activities.
A motor carrier's responsibility to ensure the accuracy of its
drivers' RODS is not limited by the list of examples of supporting
documents in this Policy. A motor carrier is liable for false RODS
submitted by its drivers and other HOS violations if the motor carrier
had or should have had the means by which to detect the violations,
regardless of whether the means to detect the violations is included in
the list of examples of supporting documents.
All motor carriers that use electronic mobile communications/
tracking technology, whether or not such technology is qualifying
technology under this Policy, must continue to retain data generated by
that system in the ordinary course of business. The motor carrier is
not required, for purposes of responding to investigations by FMCSA or
State enforcement personnel, to convert the data from the format in
which it is ordinarily retained. However, if the motor carrier receives
in the ordinary course of business electronic or printed reports or
other communications in which the data is converted to a more readable
or usable format, the motor carrier must retain such reports or
communications and provide them to investigators upon demand.
If a motor carrier denies the Agency access to its supporting
documents, including, without limitation, electronic mobile
communication/tracking records, the motor carrier's action shall be
considered a denial of access under 49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(E). As with all
supporting documents, a failure to maintain electronic mobile
communication/tracking records may be cited under 49 CFR 395.8(k)(1).
FMCSA recognizes that motor carriers may use electronic mobile
communication/tracking technologies for applications other than
recording the time, date and/or location of a motor vehicle and/or
driver. An electronic record of vehicle performance trends and events
such as speeding or hard-braking, or vehicle performance measures such
as fuel consumption (MPG) or engine speed (RPM), which may be captured
through on-board sensors and transmitted via electronic mobile
communication/tracking technology, is not required to be maintained as
a supporting document under 49 CFR Part 395. However, if a triggering
event or performance measure creates a record of the time, date, and/or
location of a motor vehicle and/or driver, then the time, date and/or
location of that event or measure must be retained.
Other statutes and/or regulations may require the retention of
certain listed documents. This Policy does not affect a motor carrier's
responsibility to comply with these other statutes and/or regulations.
This Policy is not intended to address motor carriers that use
EOBRs under the terms of a remedial directive and EOBRs or Automatic
On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) under the terms of a settlement
agreement. Carriers subject to a remedial directive or settlement
agreement must comply with the terms of that directive or agreement,
including requirements to retain particular documents.
Issued on: June 4, 2010.
William A. Quade,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement and Program Delivery.
[FR Doc. 2010-13901 Filed 6-9-10; 8:45 am]
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