DOT Releases Updated Rulemakings Calendar – May

The Department of Transportation (DOT) released its monthly significant rulemakings report this week, which outlines all the projected dates for upcoming major rulemakings being undertaken by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other DOT Agencies.

Of note in the May report is the continued delay of the URS 2 rulemaking until 2017. The URS 2 would require a separate unique identifier (USDOT#) for each authority that a company may operate as, among other provisions. This rulemaking was part of MAP-21 signed into law on July 6, 2012, and was part of the Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act that was sponsored by TIA.     

The following major rulemakings were included in the report:

  1. Carrier Safety Fitness Determination – FMCSA proposes to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to adopt revised methodologies that would result in a safety fitness determination (SFD). The proposed methodologies would use the BASIC scores, investigations, or a combination of on-road safety data and investigation information to determine a carrier’s SFD. 

    Stage:  NPRM

    Publication Date:  January 21, 2016 (Comments are due May 23, 2016)

  2. Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – This rulemaking would create a central database for verified positive controlled substances and alcohol test results for CDL holders and refusals by such drivers to submit to testing. 
    Stage:  Final Rule
    Publication Date:  August 18, 2016 (Previously March 21, 2016)

  3. Electronic Logging Devices and HOS Supporting Documents – This rulemaking would establish: (1) minimum performance and design standards for hours-of-service (HOS) electronic logging devices (ELDs); (2) requirements for the mandatory use of these devices by drivers currently required to prepare HOS records of duty status (RODS); (3) requirements concerning HOS supporting documents; and (4) measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs.

    Stage:  Final Rule

    Publication Date:  November 30, 2015 (Previously October 26, 2015)

    Effective Date: Carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017. Carriers and drivers who use AOBRDS prior to the compliance date must transition to ELDs no later than December 16, 2019. See more here.

  4. URS 2 or MAP-21 Enhancements & other updates to URS – FMCSA proposes to: 1) adjust the URS registration fee for new interstate motor carriers, freight forwarders, brokers, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) applicants, and cargo tank facilities under FMCSA jurisdiction that must register with the Agency to operate in interstate commerce; 2) implement several MAP-21 provisions that require changes to the URS regulations, the online application for USDOT Number/Operating Authority Registration (Form MCSA-1) and MCSA-1 Instructions; 3) prohibit transfers of operating authority registration; 4) and make several technical amendments to the MCSA-1 Form and Instructions for purposes of clarification.

    Stage:  NPRM

    Publication Date:  January 18, 2017 (Previously August 2, 2016)

  5. Prohibition of Coercion – Rulemaking to ensure that an operator of a commercial motor vehicle is not coerced by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary to operate a commercial vehicle in violation of a regulation promulgated under 49 U.S.C. § 31136 or chapters 51 or 313 of title 49, U.S.C.

    Stage:  Final Rule

    Publication Date:  November 23, 2015 (Previously October 29, 2015)

  6. Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, Freight Forwarders, and Brokers – The FMCSA announces that it is considering a rulemaking to increase the minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers, including liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage in the case of freight and passenger motor carriers. The legislative history of the Federal minimum insurance requirements strongly suggests that Congress recognized that crash costs would change and that DOT would regularly examine the levels and make adjustments as necessary. In completing the report Congress required under section 32104 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), FMCSA has determined that the current financial responsibility minimums are inadequate to fully cover the costs of some crashes in light of increased medical costs and DOT’s revised value of statistical life estimates. The FMCSA is also considering extending the financial responsibility requirements to private motor carriers, as authorized by section 4120 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). In addition, FMCSA is considering financial responsibility requirements for passenger carrier brokers, implementation of certain MAP-21 provisions concerning broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility, revisions of the rules concerning self-insurance and trip insurance.

    Stage:  Undetermined

    Comment Period Ended:  TBD

  7. Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters – This joint rulemaking with NHTSA would respond to petitions from ATA and Roadsafe America to require the installation of speed limiting devices on heavy trucks. The Agency believes this rule would have minimal cost, as all heavy trucks already have these devices installed, although some vehicles do not have the limit set. This rule would decrease the estimated 1,115 fatal crashes annually involving vehicles with a GVWR of over 26,000 pounds with posted speed limits of 55 mph or above. 

Stage:  NPRM

Publication Date: Spring 2016 (Previously December 3, 2015)

Comment Period Ended: TBD  


  • Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) – An ANPRM is a published notice in the Federal Register used by the Agency to test out a proposal or solicit comments and ideas before it drafts a NPRM. An Agency is not required to publish an ANPRM, but may choose to at their discretion.
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) – A NPRM is a published notice in the Federal Register that provides the public with an opportunity for public comment on the proposal before the Agency issues a Final Rule.
  • Final Rule – After the comment period of the NPRM closes, and the Agency reviews all the publicly submitted comments and analyzed them, the Agency decides whether or not to proceed with the rulemaking. If the Agency decides to proceed with the rulemaking, it would issue a Final Rule. A Final Rule adds, changes, deletes, or affirms the regulatory text of the NPRM and is typically the last step of the rulemaking process. 

If you have any questions, contact Chris Burroughs (, 703.299.5705).