Agency proposes eliminating zero-defect vehicle reports

Updated May 15, 2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hopes to stop requiring that the industry submit and retain driver vehicle inspection reports when zero defects are indicated.

The Department of Transportation is internally reviewing a proposal to rescind the mandate for interstate truckers submit no-defect Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports for carriers to retain.  Agency officials hope to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the matter by Sept. 10.

Last year, the FMCSA published a final rule to end requiring no-defect DVIRs, applicable only to intermodal equipment. That rule is effective June 12.

The upcoming NPRM was mentioned during a May 8 House small business committee hearing on agency progress in decreasing regulatory burdens. Rescinding these reports for non-intermodal equipment alone would save the industry an annual $1.5 billion, testified Polly Trottenberg, a Department of Transportation undersecretary.

“The savings from each report is modest, but when you consider it provides almost daily savings for millions of drivers, it has a large impact,” Trottenberg said.

Agency officials initially developed the proposal after truckers asked it be rescinded on a much smaller population of carriers. The FMCSA later decided to apply it to a much larger segment of carriers and to seek public comment on the rulemaking.

The FMCSA also will propose a rulemaking to allow carriers to use e-signatures in support of electronic recordkeeping, she said. No timeline was immediately available on the proposal.

Tottenberg noted that while the agency is attempting to provide regulatory relief, the DOT received an additional one hundred statutory mandates contained in the two-year surface transportation reauthorization.

These new mandates will result in as many as 60 separate rulemakings, over half of which have been assigned to FMCSA, she said.