[Federal Register: June 10, 2010 (Volume 75, Number =111)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Parts 390 and 395
Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Preparation of Drivers' Record
of Duty Status To Document Compliance With the Hours-of-Service
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of regulatory guidance.
SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces regulatory guidance concerning the
requirement for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to
prepare, in duplicate, a record of duty status for each 24-hour period.
FMCSA has determined that the current requirement may be satisfied
through the preparation of an original handwritten record, and
subsequent electronic submission to the motor carrier of a scanned
image of the original record; the driver would retain the original
while the carrier maintains the electronic scanned electronic image
along with any supporting documents.
The guidance is applicable to all interstate drivers of CMVs subject to
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
DATES: Effective Date: This regulatory guidance is effective on June
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas L. Yager, Chief, Driver and
Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and
Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New
Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590.
E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov. Phone (202) 366-4325.
The Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-554, Title II, 98
Stat. 2832, October 30, 1984) (the 1984 Act) provides authority to
regulate drivers, motor carriers, and vehicle equipment. It requires
the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe regulations which ensure
that: (1) CMVs are maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely;
(2) the responsibilities imposed on operators of CMVs do not impair
their ability to operate the vehicles safely; (3) the physical
condition of operators of CMVs is adequate to enable them to operate
the vehicles safely; and (4) the operation of CMVs does not have a
deleterious effect on the physical condition of the operators. (49
U.S.C. 31136(a)). Section 211 of the 1984 Act also grants the Secretary
broad power in carrying out motor carrier safety statutes and
regulations to ``prescribe recordkeeping and reporting requirements''
and to ``perform other acts the Secretary considers appropriate.'' (49
U.S.C. 31133(a)(8) and (10), respectively).
The Administrator of FMCSA has been delegated authority under 49
CFR 1.73(g) to carry out the functions vested in the Secretary of
Transportation by 49 U.S.C. chapter 311, subchapters I and III,
relating to commercial motor vehicle programs and safety regulation.
This document provides regulatory guidance concerning 49 CFR 395.8,
"Driver's record of duty status," specifically paragraphs (a)(1) and
(i). Currently, 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1) states, "Every driver who operates
a commercial motor vehicle [in interstate commerce] shall record his/
her duty status, in duplicate, for each 24 hour period." Section
395.8(i) requires that drivers submit or forward by mail the original
records of duty status (RODS) to the regular employing motor carrier
within 13 days following the completion of the form.
With regard to record retention, 49 CFR 395.8(k)(1) states, "Each
motor carrier shall maintain records of duty status and all supporting
documents for each driver it employs for a period of six months from
the date of receipt." Section 395.8(k)(2) states, "The driver shall
retain a copy of each record of duty status for the previous 7
consecutive days which shall be in his/her possession and available for
inspection while on duty."
Basis for This Notice
FMCSA currently requires (49 CFR 390.31, Copies of records or
documents) that records and documents specified under this subchapter
be preserved in their original form for the periods specified, unless
the records and documents are suitably photographed and the microfilm
is retained in lieu of the original record for the required retention
period. As used in Sec. 390.31, ``this subchapter'' means Subchapter B
[49 CFR parts 350-399] of Chapter III of Subtitle B of Title 49, Code
of Federal Regulations (CFRs). Section 390.31(b) provides criteria for
use in determining whether photographic copies of records may be
acceptable in lieu of original records
On April 4, 1997 (62 FR 16370, 16408), FMCSA published ``Regulatory
Guidance for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations'' which
included guidance concerning 49 CFR 390.31. The guidance reads as
Question: May records required by the FMCSRs be maintained in an
Guidance: Yes, provided the motor carrier can produce the
information required by the regulations. Documents requiring a
signature must be capable of replication (i.e., photocopy, facsimile,
etc.) in such form that will provide an opportunity for signature
verification upon demand. If computer records are used, all of the
relevant data on the original documents must be included in order for
the record to be valid.
FMCSA received an exemption application from a motor carrier
requesting relief from the requirement to prepare RODS in duplicate.
The motor carrier explained that it plans to implement a new approach
for receiving and processing RODS. Its drivers would complete their
RODS and then electronically scan them at one of the carrier's
terminals or at a truck stop that offers the scanning service. The
image would then be electronically transmitted to the motor carrier
while the driver retains the original paper RODS.
Upon reviewing the carrier's application for an exemption, FMCSA
determined that an exemption is not necessary. Admittedly, 49 CFR
395.8(a)(1) and 395.8(i) could be construed as limiting the processing
of RODS between drivers and carriers to the submission of the original
paper documents either in person or via mail, thereby necessitating the
preparation of the RODS, in duplicate. However, FMCSA has opted for a
more pragmatic application of the rules.
Based on a review of the regulatory text of 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1),
395.8(i) and 395.(k), and in consideration of 49 CFR 390.31 and the
1997 regulatory guidance concerning electronic recordkeeping, FMCSA
issues guidance allowing interstate CMV drivers to prepare single
originals of RODS and to submit electronically to the employing motor
carrier a scanned image of the completed RODS.
Part 395--Hours of Service of Drivers
Section 395.8 Driver's Record of Duty Status
Question: Are drivers who electronically scan a copy of their
original record of duty status (RODS) for subsequent submission to the
motor carrier required to prepare the RODS in duplicate?
Guidance: No. Although 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1) states, "Every driver
who operates a commercial motor vehicle [in interstate commerce] shall
record his/her duty status, in duplicate, for each 24-hour period,"
the intent of the requirement may be fulfilled through
the electronic submission of a scanned image of the original
handwritten RODS to the regular employing motor carrier within 13 days
following the completion of the form, while the driver retains the
original records for the current day and the previous 7 consecutive
days. Because existing regulations concerning the preservation of
records (49 CFR 390.31) allow motor carriers to store electronically a
scanned image of the original handwritten RODS submitted by drivers and
essentially dispose of the original paper document, there is no adverse
impact on the enforcement of the HOS regulations, and subsequently no
compromise on the application of the safety requirement by allowing the
driver to submit a scanned image of the original signed RODS to the
regular employing motor carrier within 13 days of the completion of the
record. Motor carriers must maintain the scanned image of the signed
RODS and all supporting documents for each driver for a period of six
months from the date of receipt (49 CFR 395.8(k)).
Issued on: June 4, 2010.
William A. Quade,
Associate Administrator for Enforcement and Program Delivery.
[FR Doc. 2010-13900 Filed 6-9-10; 8:45 am]
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