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August 2023

DOT Safety Compliance Audits

Non-compliance with DOT regulations found during a safety compliance audit are acute violation 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 2022 were:

  1. Allowing a driver to operate with a suspended or revoked CDL

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

  3. Failing to randomly test for drugs and/or alcohol

  4. Using a driver who has tested positive for a drug

  5. 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 yearly full query (if needed) for each driver.

Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP) is where we can contest recordable accidents that occurred on or after August 1, 2019, a Request for Data Review (RDR) with the required police accident report and other supporting documents, photos, or videos must be submitted to prove the non-preventable accident. If the request is approved the accident will be moved to "Reviewed - Not Preventable Crash Activity" and will not count in the CSA scores.

The following crash types are eligible for participation in the program:

Struck in the Rear type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • in the rear; or

  • on the side at the rear.

Wrong Direction or Illegal Turns type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • by a motorist driving in the wrong direction; or

  • by another motorist in a crash when a driver was operating in the wrong direction; or

  • by a vehicle that was making a U-turn or illegal turn.

Parked or Legally Stopped type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • while legally stopped at a traffic control device (e.g., stop sign, red light, or yield); or while parked, including while the vehicle was unattended.

Failure of the other vehicle to Stop type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • by a vehicle that did not stop or slow in traffic; or

  • by a vehicle that failed to stop at a traffic control device.

Under the Influence type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • by an individual under the influence (or related violation, such as operating while intoxicated), according to the legal standard of the jurisdiction where the crash occurred; or

  • by another motorist in a crash where an individual was under the influence (or related violation such as operating while intoxicated), according to the legal standard of the jurisdiction where the crash occurred.

Medical Issues, Falling Asleep or Distracted Driving type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • by a driver who experienced a medical issue that contributed to the crash; or

  • by a driver who admitted falling asleep or admitted distracted driving (e.g., cell phone, GPS, passengers, other).

Cargo/Equipment/Debris or Infrastructure Failure type of crash when the CMV:

  • was struck by cargo, equipment, or debris (e.g., fallen rock, fallen trees, unidentifiable items in the road); or crash was a result of an infrastructure failure.

Animal Strike type of crash when the CMV:

  • struck an animal

Suicide type of crash when the CMV:

  • struck an individual committing or attempting to commit suicide

Rare or Unusual type of crash when the CMV:

  • Was involved in a crash type that seldom occurs and does not meet another eligible crash type (e.g., being struck by an airplane or skydiver or being struck by a deceased 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 are 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 21.


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 at 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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