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FMCSA conducting remote compliance reviews during pandemic

June 1, 2020
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidance on conducting compliance reviews remotely will remain in effect until the president’s national emergency has been revoked.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it will conduct compliance reviews by leveraging all available technology to access information and records. The goal is to limit exposure risk for the regulated community and safety investigators.

Using the same standards otherwise applicable, FMCSA said it will assign safety ratings following a compliance review even if no on-site review activities have taken place.

“Although the definition of ‘compliance review’ describes these reviews as ‘on-site,’ in practice, the advent of electronic recordkeeping and other technology now allows FMCSA to perform the same investigative functions remotely that it could perform previously only by in-person reviews of the motor carrier’s files,” according to FMCSA.

Motor carriers may access and transmit their information through a portal directly with FMCSA and upload documents in a secure environment, the agency stated. Many motor carriers maintain their records electronically and prefer to submit the records directly from the electronic application where they are stored. Motor carriers may also fax or email documents to FMCSA if they choose, or if they cannot access the portal. FMCSA may also use email and phone and video calls as a substitute for in-person interaction with motor carrier officials during the compliance review or to review the findings of the compliance review with company officials during the close out.

FMCSA said its guidance document is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until the COVID-19 national emergency has been revoked.