FMCSA considering electronic IDs on trucks to improve roadside inspections

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Updated Sep 26, 2022

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering a change to its regulations to require every commercial motor vehicle operating interstate to be equipped with electronic identification technology capable of wirelessly communicating a unique ID number to federal or state motor carrier safety enforcement personnel.

FMCSA said it is considering the amendments “to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the roadside inspection program by more fully enabling enforcement agencies to focus their efforts at high-risk carriers and drivers.”

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The agency said it doesn’t currently require trucks to be equipped with systems capable of transmitting a unique electronic ID, but FMCSA provides grant funding to states for technology projects that electronically identify a CMV; verify its size, weight and credentials information; and review its carrier’s past safety performance while the vehicle is in motion.

FMCSA added that it is testing Level 8 Electronic Inspections to enhance its current process for monitoring and enforcing safety compliance. The electronic inspections being tested would enable FMCSA to “assess on-the-road safety compliance while a CMV is still in motion, minimizing disruption to the motor carrier and, therefore, supply chain, and doing so in a way that significantly reduces large trucks and bus emissions across the nation.”

FMCSA’s notice stems from a 2010 petition from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance that requested that all CMVs used in interstate commerce be equipped with an electronic device capable of transmitting a unique ID number when queried by law enforcement. FMCSA denied the petition in 2013 due to a lack of information regarding the costs and benefits of an electronic ID mandate.

CVSA requested in 2015 that FMCSA reconsider the denial and provided more information, and FMCSA granted the request in November 2015.

Comments will be accepted on FMCSA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking for 60 days beginning Friday, Sept. 23. Comments can be made here through Nov. 22.

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The agency asks that respondents provide information regarding the best possible technical and operational concepts along with associated costs, benefits, security, vulnerability, privacy and other relevant deployment and operational implications. A full list of questions FMCSA is seeking information on can be found in section VI of the docket when it’s published.