Agency adjusts duty policy

| June 11, 2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration June 10 announced the current requirement for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers to prepare, in duplicate, a record of duty status for each 24-hour period may be satisfied through providing 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 supporting documents. The guidance, effective immediately, is applicable to all interstate drivers of CMVs subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

FMCSA said it received an exemption application from a motor carrier requesting relief from the requirement to prepare RODS in duplicate. The motor carrier explained it plans to implement a new approach for receiving and processing RODS, in which its drivers would complete their RODS and then electronically scan them at one of the carrier’s terminals or a truckstop that offers the scanning service. The image then would be transmitted electronically 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. The agency admitted that current regulations could be construed as limiting the processing of RODS between drivers and carriers. However, FMCSA says it has opted for a more pragmatic application of the rules.

FMCSA specified that drivers who electronically scan a copy of their original RODS for subsequent submission to the motor carrier are not required to prepare the RODS in duplicate. The agency said 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, while the driver retains the original records for the current day and the previous seven consecutive days.

FMCSA reemphasized that 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.