FMCSA registrant DOT numbers

If you’re a leased owner-operator and manage your own base plates, your registrant-only DOT number will expire in mid-October as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration attempts to plug yet another data-quality hole in the inspection and crash information well that the Compliance, Safety, Accountability safety ranking system is based upon. Senior agency officials Thursday presented plans for eliminating so-called “Registrant-only” DOT numbers from state-federal collaborative efforts in registration procedures for truck equipment.

The practice for valid registrant-only companies – rental and leasing companies as well as leased owner-operators – to be issued such a number during the vehicle registration process was eliminated on September 1, and the registrant-only option on MCS-150 filing forms was removed September 15. Remaining active registrant-only DOT numbers are scheduled to be automatically removed on October 13.

The existence of these numbers had contributed to poor data quality in the Motor Carrier Management and Information System database, where inspectors somewhat regularly erroneously filed violations under carriers’ or equipment-providers’ registrant-only numbers rather than the correct operating authority. This allowed those violations to be left out of the CSA metric and the associated motor carrier to “evade enforcement,” FMCSA said, by flying under the agency’s radar.

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