Are you ready for a compliance review?


Have you been selected for a compliance review?

Being selected for a Compliance Review (CR) as a motor carrier can bring a lot of stress and headaches. But much of this anxiety lies in being uninformed about the auditing process.

Let’s look at what a Compliance Review entails and how you and your company can prepare for one.

What is a Compliance Review?

A Compliance Review is basically a checkup to evaluate performance of the FMCSA regulations and record-keeping to determine if safety management controls are compliant.

It is important to “do your homework” in advance, in case you do get audited, which is very possible.

Two important things you should you know if you are being audited?

  1. Know the regulations you are subject to as a motor carrier
  2. Know which records an Auditor will expect to review

6 Inspection Categories of a Compliance Review

Each category is called a “factor,” and is rated as:

  • satisfactory
  • conditional
  • unsatisfactory

1. General requirements

  • Documentation of proper liability coverage for the type of carrier and cargo. Refer to Section 387.9 of the FMCSR for details.
  • Forms CS-90 or MCS-82, signed by an insurance provider representative.
  • Vehicle markings: CMVs marked on two sides with the name listed on the MCS-150 form, and the DOT number preceded by “USDOT.”
  • Training records: Keep detailed records of all transportation safety training. Be able to show training for any employee involved in compliance.

2. Driver qualifications

  • Driver licenses must equal the vehicle class being driven and have the correct endorsements.
    • be sure to track your employees license expiration dates.
    • have a CDL Driver drug and alcohol testing program in place.
    • written policy on your testing program is required. Distributed this policy to all CDL drivers and get a signed receipt from all drivers to keep in your files.
    • if safety function duties require PART 40 Drug and Alcohol testing, then verify past three years of employment. Required tests include:
      • Pre-employment drug test, Post-accident drug and alcohol, Random drug and alcohol, Reasonable suspicion
  • Documentation for employees retained after a positive drug test result.
  • Driver qualification file should be well-organized and include the following items:
    • application for employment
    • employment verification from previous three years with safety performance history and drug/alcohol test results, if applicable.
    • Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) from past three years
    • Road test and certification
    • DOT physical certification from past three years
    • entry-level driver training, if needed
    • state agencies 3-year driving record inquiry
    • annual written driver statement of violations
    • signed annual reviews from motor carrier from past three years
    • waivers (if any)

For a complete list of documents that should be included in the Driver Qualification File, print out this handy checklist. But the items above are ones required for an audit.

3. Operational

  • 6 months of driver logs and supporting documents.
  • motor carriers must comply with record-keeping requirements even when using a logging exception.

4. Vehicle requirements

  • 12 months of vehicle maintenance file for any CMV under motor carrier control for 30 consecutive days. Include the following information:
    • Motor carrier number (or license plate number)
    • Model and year
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN) or serial number
    • Tire size
    • Owner (if not the motor carrier)
  • proof of periodic inspection (or approved sticker).
  • certification of anyone performing CMV brake system work.
  • 90 days’ worth of post-trip inspection reports, with mechanic signature that defects were corrected, signature of the next driver’s pre-trip inspection, and name of individual who accepted vehicle back into service.

Review Part 396 of the FMCSA for full details

5. Hazardous Materials

  • Shipping papers and emergency response information (from shipper). Retain these for one year (three years for hazardous waste).
  • Refer to 49 CFR Section 172.203 for full details of what must be on shipping papers.

6. Accidents

  • Accident register listing all accidents as defined by Section 390.5 of the FMCSR (a.k.a. “DOT recordable accidents”)
  • Per Section 390.15, the register must include this information:
    • Accident date and hour
    • Location city, state, and address
    • Number of deaths
    • Number of non-fatal injuries
    • Hazardous materials (not including fuel spills)
    • Driver’s name
    • Copy of State or Insurance Report
  • Maintain records on the accident register for three years.
  • View a sample accident register

Be ready for a Compliance Review at all times

Maintaining proper record-keeping and organization is key to being ready for a Compliance Review at all times.

If you maintain accurate records, and keep your files up to date, then the next time you see “You’ve been selected,” all the required materials will be at hand. No doubt, this will relieve stress and help you pass a Compliance Review quickly and without issue.




DOT Audit Services

CNS offers several different types of audit services, including:

All CNS services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe, compliant, and on the road.

If you have any questions, call 888.260.9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.

Utah increases International Registration Plan fees


As of January 1, 2020, Utah’s International Registration Plan (IRP) fees will increase for vehicles with a registered weight ranging from 0 to 80,000 pounds.

The registration fee for vehicles with a registered weight of 0 to 12,000 pounds will increase from $45 to $46. Vehicles with a registered weight of 12,001 to 80,000 pounds will have an increase of $1.50.

The fee change goes into effect at the beginning of 2020 and will apply to all supplements, renewals, new accounts or any account activity after the effective date of January 1, 2020.

International registration plan fee increases were also announced for Wisconsin, Nevada and North Dakota in August 2019.

Audit services

The long list of rules and regulations involved with the International Registration Plan (IRP) can be difficult to follow. Failure to stay up to date with your registration fee or changes to those rules and regulations can lead to the failure of an IRP audit.

All of our services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe and DOT compliant, which is why we offer mock audits and management that help avoid these types of issues.

If you have any questions, call (888) 260-9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.

IRP registration fees increase for multiple states


Wisconsin, Nevada and North Dakota have updated their IRP registration fee schedules for the upcoming year. The changes for Nevada and North Dakota will go into effect January 1, 2020, however Wisconsin’s changes will take effect on October 1, 2019.


IRP registration fees

Wisconsin IRP fee changes

Wisconsin has increased its’ fees for trucks, buses, and road tractors at 4,500 pounds and 6,000 pounds from $75 and $84 respectively, to $100 for both weights. Fees have also increased for truck tractors at 4,500 and 6,000 pounds from $93 and $102 respectively, to $118 for both weights.

See the updated Wisconsin IRP registration fee schedule.

Nevada IRP fee changes

Nevada has released its’ IRP registration fees for all jurisdictions. The new fees will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Adjustments were made to account for depreciation factors and to add the Nevada suggested purchase cost (OPC) for 2020.

The update also increased the maximum weight for registration in Nevada from 80,000 lbs. to 129,000 lbs., therefore eliminating the need for an overweight permit for a reducible load.

See the updated Nevada IRP registration fee schedule.

North Dakota IRP fee changes

Effective January 1, 2020, North Dakota has updated fee schedules for trucks, truck-tractors, tractors and buses. Fees for some weight ranges over 22,000 lbs. decreased in some instances.

Additionally, North Dakota is adding fee schedules for trucks, truck-tractors, tractors, and buses registered at 20,000 lbs. and less.

See the updated North Dakota IRP registration fee schedule.

Utah also recently announced an increase in IRP fees.

Audit services

The long list of rules and regulations involved with the International Registration Plan (IRP) can be difficult to follow. Failure to stay up to date with your registration fee or changes to those rules and regulations can lead to the failure of an IRP audit.

All of our services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe and DOT compliant, which is why we offer mock audits and management that help avoid these types of issues.

If you have any questions, call (888) 260-9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.