New Entrant Safety Audit


The New Entrant Safety Audit is conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to maintain compliance and performance with all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), including any Hazardous Materials Regulations, as well as other precautions deemed necessary by the agency.

All new trucking entities or other related business such as construction, transportation, etc., must adhere to the requirements and regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). A New Entrant can expect their Safety Audit during the 12 months commencing from the original start date. The process and procedures are a mandatory requirement that will assist motor carriers in completing the New Entrant Program.

All businesses who are assigned the New Entrant Safety Audit can expect this to take place within the first 12 months of starting. This also includes any business that utilizes a DOT number with the following circumstances.

  • Participating in the interstate transport of cargo or individuals.
  • Possessing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR) more than 10,000 lbs.
  • If any Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations apply.

DOT New Entrant Safety Audit

the-dot-new-entrant-safety-auditIf you are a new entrant to the trucking industry, you must participate in the DOT New Entrant Safety Audit to ensure compliance. Before you can register with DOT, you must provide all the appropriate documentation to prove your qualifications. Just so you understand, the New Entrant Safety Audit is simply a scaled-down example of the standard DOT Safety Audit, which basically reviews the documentation and records for motor carriers. The primary purpose is to establish whether a carrier is following the procedures of managing compliance regarding basic safety rules, required regulations, and proper record-keeping practices.

If your business fails the DOT new entrant safety audit, you must submit a corrective action plan within 45 days of the audit. This plan must explain how you intend to fix the problems identified. Failing to submit a plan could result in your business being taken out of service. To avoid this, you should make sure that you’re up to date on all of your safety inspections. You should also be aware of your drivers’ reporting requirements so that your DOT inspector can ensure that they are using proper equipment and properly trained drivers.

16 regulatory requirements

The final rule imposed by FMCSA imposes new entrants with additional costs associated with a safety audit. FMCSA categorizes carriers into two categories: those that pass the safety audit and those that fail. Those that fail the safety audit are placed out of service.

A new entrant will fail an audit without any type of control measures over the managing of basic safety requirements or the non-compliance of any of the 16 regulations set forth by the FMCSA section 385.321.

  • Failure to create a testing program for alcohol and/or controlled drugs
  • Performing a safety-sensitive function with a motorist who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher.
  • Using a driver who has refused to take an alcohol or controlled drug test as required by section 382.
  • Using a driver who has been found to be in possession of a prohibited drug.
  • Failure to develop an alcohol and/or random controlled drug testing program.
  • Using a driver who does not have a valid CDL on purpose.
  • Allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing an employee to operate a commercial motor vehicle with a commercial learner’s permit or commercial driver’s license that has been revoked by a State, has lost the right to operate a CMV in a State, or is otherwise disqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Allowing, mandating, enabling, or authorizing someone who is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle to drive with knowledge.
  • Operating a vehicle without the requisite minimum levels of financial responsibility coverage in force.
  • Operating a passenger-carrying vehicle without having met the statutory financial responsibility thresholds.
  • Using a disqualified driver on purpose.
  • Using a physically unqualified driver on purpose.
  • Failure to force a driver to keep track of his or her duty status.
  • Requiring or allowing the running of a commercial motor vehicle that has been designated “out of service” before repairs are completed.
  • Failure to repair out-of-service problems noted by the driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before resuming operation.
  • Using a commercial motor vehicle that has not been examined on a regular basis.

Requirements to pass

The new entrant safety assurance process was implemented on February 17, 2009, and is required to be in place by December 16, 2009. It raises the compliance bar and sets forth 16 essential safety management controls, which must be in place by a motor carrier in order to pass a safety audit. Non-compliance with any of the regulations will result in a failed audit. Certain violations identified during roadside inspections are also subject to expedited corrective action.

If your company fails the new entrant safety audit, you will have to submit a corrective action plan within 45 days of the audit. This plan should detail how you will resolve any of the issues that are uncovered during the audit. Failure to do so will result in your company being out of business for 30 days. In addition to the corrective action plan, you will also have to provide proof that your business is operating within the FMCSA guidelines.

Out-of-service order penalties

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently amended its regulations to include Out-of-service order violations as disqualifying offenses. Violators face fines of up to $5,000, plus surcharges. These fines are in addition to the disqualification period of 180 days to three years. In addition to disqualification, drivers and employers can be subject to hefty civil monetary penalties.

An out-of-service order is a declaration by a law enforcement officer authorized by the department under section 28-5204. A violation can be a result of a violation of the ELD mandate or a failure to log into their electronic logging devices. The ELD mandate is intended to reduce the penalties for out-of-service orders. Therefore, carriers should consider implementing this new rule by providing drivers with a checklist that explains the requirements.

Do you have questions? Give us a call (855)52AUDIT