FMCSA Proposes New “Pillow Tag” Inspection Rule for Domestic Motor Carriers

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would mandate that all U.S.-based motor carriers who are engaged in interstate commerce must only use trucks and motor vehicles that are certified as satisfying all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

The proposed rule is open for public comment until August 3, 2015, and would require all U.S. based carriers conducting interstate commerce to either operate vehicles that display the FMVSS certification label or obtain a letter from the original vehicle manufacturer stating that the vehicle satisfied all applicable FMVSS requirements on the date of manufacture. If a driver is stopped, as part of the roadside inspection process, a driver would be expected to either be operating a vehicle with the FMVSS label or provide the letter from the manufacturer to enforcement officials.

This rule would not apply to foreign-domiciled vehicles, such as those operated by Mexico- or Canadabased motor carriers who are involved in international traffic. Under current law, vehicles manufactured for sale or use in the U.S. must display an FMVSS certification label, and vehicles that are properly imported by a Registered Importer must likewise display an FMVSS certification label. As a result of these current laws, FMCSA believes that this additional requirement would not have an impact on the vast majority of U.S. carriers, and that all vehicles operated by U.S. motor carriers would typically already have such labels.