August 2022

Updated: Aug 15

DOT Safety Compliance Audits

Non-compliance with DOT regulations found during a safety compliance audit are acute violations and requires the carrier to submit a corrective action plan to address the violations. These violations also may generate fines for the carrier, safety rating changes, and possible carrier shutdown.

The top four acute violations in 2021 were:

  • Allowing a driver to operate with a suspended or revoked commercial driver’s license (CDL).

  • Failing to implement an alcohol and/or drug testing program.

  • Failing to implement random controlled substance and alcohol testing programs.

  • Allowing a driver with more than one CDL to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

There are new DOT annual inspection reports that include the Antilock Brake System and the Rear Impact Guard checks. The auditors are looking for these items on the reports.

All Annual Inspection Forms must be completely filled out by the mechanic that does the inspection, including the company and vehicle information.

During all safety, and compliance audits the auditor is looking for Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse compliance. The pre-employment full query, driver consent form, the annual limited query, and the annual full query (if needed) for each driver.

IRS - 2290

Internal Revenue Service Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (IRS Form 2290) must be filed by the end of August. The taxable year runs from July 1st to June 30th. Any vehicle that has a GVW of 55,000 pounds or more is subject to the tax. The maximum tax remains at $550.00. The Schedule I paid receipt listing vehicle serial numbers is required to purchase license plates. The tax is prorated monthly for vehicles placed in service after July. When a vehicle is sold, the new owner must pay the tax under their name. The carrier selling the vehicle may apply for a credit for the unused part of the tax and apply it to a new vehicle or file for a refund.

Carriers operating vehicles across international borders should have a copy of the stamped Schedule I receipt in the cab of the vehicle being used in the United States. Customs officials will be checking vehicles that cross the border from Canada and Mexico to ensure compliance.

The return must be filed electronically. Any carrier that would like us to file the tax return must make a check payable to the U.S. Department of Treasury for the amount of the tax due, and we must receive it by August 22.


Every company with an interstate USDOT number is required to file under the UCR. Many states now require even intrastate companies and farmers that operate vehicles over 10,000 GVW or combination vehicles over 10,000 pounds to obtain a DOT number even if they do not cross a state line. Each state can determine if they will require solely intrastate private and for-hire carriers to register under the UCR. States have begun enforcement of the UCR filings. Each state has established its own fines for non-filing.

Several UCR filings did not reach the FMCSA website which is the official location for enforcement. We have verified all of the UCR filings we completed and can verify any others when requested. Enforcement of the UCR is now taking place.

During DOT safety audits, auditors are looking for the operation of vehicles prior to the payment of the UCR fee for the new year. Make sure that the UCR fee is paid before the end of each year to avoid any fines.


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