The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued guidance on its intent to expand its conducting of off-site safety compliance reviews under 49 CFR part 385, subpart A in order to determine whether a commercial motor vehicle owner or operator is fit to operate. This guidance is now in effect for the duration of the President’s national emergency declaration.

The challenges associated with the COVID-19 public health emergency to travel and the desire to protect the health of the investigators and industry professionals has resulted in the FMCSA temporarily foregoing physical visits to the motor carrier to conduct compliance reviews and assign safety ratings. The FMCSA determined that they will be able to follow all their procedures for these compliance reviews, and that there will not be a compromise to safety.

Motor carriers can access and provide their records and operations information directly to the FMCSA through a secure portal in order to allow for review and examination. Records may also be provided via fax or email in the event an owner or operator is unable to access the portal. Reviews of findings with the FMCSA may also take place electronically, whether by phone or video conference.