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FMCSA proposes to eliminate annual certificate of violations requirement


On December 14, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, proposing to eliminate the requirement that drivers operating commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce prepare and submit a list of their convictions of traffic violations to their motor carrier employers annually. In its notice, the agency explains that the so-called "certificate of violation" requirement is "largely duplicative of a separate provision that requires each motor carrier to make an annual inquiry to obtain the motor vehicle record (MVR) for each driver it employs from every State in which the driver holds or has held a CMV operator's license or permit in the past year." As a result, and to reduce the paperwork burden on drivers and motor carriers, the FMCSA is proposing to do away with the annual certificate of violations altogether.


Talk of this type of proposal has been making the rounds for years, so it's not entirely surprising. That said, hidden away in the FMCSA's proposal is a potential new requirement that motor carriers make annual MVR inquiries not only to every state in which a U.S.-based driver has been licensed in the past year, but also to the applicable licensing authorities for any drivers who have been licensed in Canada or Mexico within the last year. This diverges from the current rules, which only require carriers to pull MVRs from the states, even for drivers who have been licensed in other countries. The agency explains in its proposal that this change is required "to ensure motor carriers are aware of traffic violations for a driver who is licensed by a foreign authority rather than by a State."


The FMCSA is accepting comments on the proposal through February 12, 2021 in docket no. FMCSA-2018-0224.

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