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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Who is FMCSA?

FMCSA is the lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), to include more than 500,000 commercial trucking companies, more than 4,000 interstate bus companies, and more than four million commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. FMCSA's mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

What Does FMCSA Do?

FMCSA 1) develops and enforces data-driven regulations that balance motor carrier (truck and bus companies) safety with efficiency; 2) harnesses safety information systems to focus on higher risk carriers in enforcing the safety regulations; 3) targets educational messages to carriers, commercial drivers, and the public; and 4) partners with stakeholders including Federal, State, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, safety groups, and organized labor on efforts to reduce bus and truck-related crashes.

Safety Programs

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)
CSA is FMCSA’s safety compliance and enforcement program that holds motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety. CSA affects motor carriers, including owner-operators, by identifying those with safety problems to prioritize them for interventions such as warning letters and investigations.

Safety Programs

Safety Measurement System (SMS)
An FMCSA-regulated motor carrier’s safety data appears online in the Safety Measurement System. FMCSA updates the SMS once a month with data from roadside inspections, including driver and vehicle violations; crash reports from the last two years; and investigation results.

Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP)
PSP helps carriers make more informed hiring decisions by providing secure, electronic access to a commercial driver’s five-year crash and three-year inspection history from the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).

New Entrant Safety Assurance Program
New Entrant Safety Assurance Programs affect U.S. and Canada-based motor carriers not domiciled in Mexico that apply for a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) identification number, in order to initiate operations in interstate commerce. New Entrants are monitored during the initial 18-month period and must: 1) operate safely; 2) maintain up-to-date records; 3) conduct periodic inspections and perform maintenance on CMVs; and 4) pass an FMCSA safety audit.

Grant Funding

FMCSA’s safety grant funding opportunities are primarily available to State and local government agencies in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands. Applicants for FMCSA funding opportunities should be working on commercial motor vehicle safety activities and should demonstrate a capacity to work with highway traffic safety.

Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) Grant
The MCSAP is a federal grant program that provides financial assistance to States to reduce the number and severity of crashes and hazardous materials incidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) through consistent, uniform, and effective CMV safety programs. The MCSAP is FMCSA's largest grant program that supports State and local law enforcement agencies to utilize over 12,000 enforcement officers to increase enforcement and safety activities nationwide.

Commercial Driver License (CDL) Program Implementation Grant
The CDLPI grant provides financial assistance to States to achieve compliance with the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 383 and 384. Additionally, the CDLPI grant program provides financial assistance for other entities capable of executing national projects that aid States in their compliance efforts and that will improve the national Commercial Driver's License (CDL) program.

CMV Operator Safety Training (CMVOST) Grant
The CMVOST grant program, has two goals: 1) to expand the number of CDL holders possessing enhanced operator safety training to help reduce the severity and number of crashes on U.S. roads involving commercial motor vehicles; and 2) to assist current or former members of the United States Armed Forces and their spouses to receive training to transition to the CMV operation industry.

High Priority (HP) Grant
The HP grant program is a discretionary (competitive) grant program designed to provide federal financial assistance to enhance MCSAP commercial vehicle safety plan (CVSP) activities, maintain innovative technology and/or new project(s) not included in the CVSP that will have a positive impact on CMV safety. 

FMCSA Hazardous Materials Program

Federal Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Program
In support of FMCSA’s mission to improve truck and bus safety on our nation's highways, on January 1, 2005, the Agency initiated the Federal Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Program for intrastate, interstate, and foreign motor carriers transporting certain types and amounts of hazardous materials. These carriers must maintain a certain level of safety in their operations and certify they have programs in place as required by the Hazardous Materials Regulations and the Hazardous Materials Permit regulations.

Cargo Tank Safety
FMCSA strives to improve the safety of cargo tank motor vehicles on the nation's highways. The Agency enforces related rules and regulations, conducts inspections, licenses hazmat carriers, conducts studies, issues advisory notices, and provides educational resources to assist in the safe movement of cargo tanks.

Consumer-Related Safety Programs

National Consumer Complaint Database (NCCDB)
FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database is an online interface allowing consumers, drivers and others to file complaints against unsafe and unscrupulous motor carriers and/or their employees.

Look Before You Book
Consumers planning to book an interstate bus trip can research company safety records online and quickly verify that the company is authorized to operate and has required liability insurance.

Our Roads, Our Safety
FMCSA developed the Our Roads, Our Safety program to help raise awareness among the general driving public (passenger vehicle drivers, truck drivers, bus drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians) about operating safely around and sharing the road with large trucks and buses.

Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2018
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