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Petitions for Rulemaking, Exemption, and Retrospective Review 

Any person may petition a DOT operating administration or component of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) with rulemaking authority to (1) issue, amend, or repeal a rule; (2) issue an exemption, either permanently or temporarily, from any requirements of a rule; or (3) perform a retrospective review of an existing rule.  See 49 CFR 5.13(c).

To file a petition concerning an OST rule, you may submit a request electronically by emailing  Hard copies may be submitted to the DOT Docket Clerk by mailing it to:

U.S. Department of Transportation
Docket Operations
West Building Ground Floor
Room W12-140
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.
Washington, D.C. 20590

You are not required to submit your petition by both electronic and paper means.  The Office of Regulation is responsible for coordinating OST petitions for rulemaking.  

What should I include in my petition?

DOT’s regulation at 49 CFR 5.13(c)(4)(i) describes what contents must be included in a petition.  Each petition must:

  1. Describe the nature of your request and set forth the text or substance of the rule or specify the rule that you seek to have issued, amended, exempted, repealed, or retrospectively reviewed, as the case may be;
  2. Explain your interest in the action requested, including, in the case of a petition for an exemption, the nature and extent of the relief sough and a description of the persons to be covered by the exemption;
  3. Contain any information and arguments available to you to support the action sought; 
  4. In the case of a petition for exemption, unless good cause is shown in that petition, be submitted at least 60 days before the proposed effective date of the exemption.

What happens after I submit my petition?

Petitions concerning OST rules will be reviewed to determine whether the petition contains adequate justification.  Either way, you will be notified whether the petition is granted or denied.

How do I submit a petition for a rule issued by another DOT operating administration?

Most DOT operating administrations (e.g., the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) have their own procedures governing petitions.  Please refer to each operating administration’s website for their procedures.  For assistance, you may contact the individuals listed on this page.  If you are unsure which DOT operating administration to petition, you may file a petition using the procedures described above, and the Office of Regulation will ensure your petition is routed appropriately.

Petitions for Guidance Documents

How do I submit a petition concerning a guidance document?

You may submit a request electronically for issuance, reconsideration, modification, or rescission of OST guidance documents by emailing  For guidance documents issued by other DOT operating administrations, please see the DOT Guidance Portal for further instructions. 

Last updated: Wednesday, September 1, 2021