Whatever the political headlines of the day, federal agencies continue to add new trucking regulations, adopt new forms and extend or discontinue previous waivers and exemptions. In this series, “Trucking Things to Know Now,” PrePass provides quick updates on regulatory developments, often with links to more information.
Missing medical exam results will be updated shortly. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is calling on an estimated 14,000 medical review officers (MROs) to submit missing results of truck driver medical exams. The MROs conducted the exams during a seven-month outage of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The move comes as FMCSA is still smarting from a recent audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General that found FMCSA and state driver licensing agencies have not acted quickly enough to disqualify truck drivers with histories of major violations. The registry outage, caused by an attempted hack, ran from December 2017 to August 2018. Normally, medical exam results must be posted by midnight local time of the next calendar day after the examination. FMCSA says that while many MROs have submitted the missing reports, not all have. The MROs need to respond by Sept. 30, 2021. When they submit those results it may disqualify additional truck drivers.
New Clearinghouse rules for student drivers. Are you a student truck driver, holding a commercial learner’s permit (CLP), or a motor carrier employing CLP holders? The FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse recently updated the registration process for CLP drivers. Student drivers employed by a motor carrier must register with the Clearinghouse as a “driver.” Student drivers in a training program not affiliated or operated by a motor carrier must, instead, register as a “student driver.” As a reminder, student drivers, as defined here, must designate a consortium/third-party administrator to fulfill their drug and alcohol testing requirements.
There’s a new federal drug testing form. Motor carriers and their “service agents” must use the new drug testing form supplied by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The government defines “service agents” as collectors, laboratories and medical resource officers. You can find the new Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form here.
The UCR is collecting new fees. An aggressive campaign to collect fees from an estimated 44,000 unregistered carriers has been approved by The Unified Carrier Registration Plan board. The UCR was created by Congress in 2005. Replacing the deregulated regime of the Interstate Commerce Commission and the state/provincial level public utility/public service commissions, the UCR requires annual fees from interstate motor carriers, private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies. The UCR board bases the fees on the number of trucks in a carrier’s fleet. Once collected, the board distributes the fees, about $100 million overall, to safety enforcement programs in 41 participating states. Carriers with USDOT numbers are required to pay the UCR fees, even if they are based in a non-participating state or in Canada and Mexico. Many think the majority of unregistered carriers are based in the nine non-participating states. Participating states have been enforcing proof of UCR registration at roadside since 2013 and have issued an estimated 1,800 violations so far in 2021. UCR says its collection efforts may lead to enhanced enforcement.
Stay tuned to the PrePass blog for the next installment of “Trucking Things to Know Now.”