DOT Terms

Accident

See "Crash"

Authority

Generally refers to the federal permit granting authority to operate as a for-hire carrier.

Cab Card

Generally refers to vehicle registration paperwork that is required to be carried in the truck for possible roadside compliance inspection.

Carrier CSA Performance

Generally refers to the measurement system implemented under the CSA program that scores companies on safety performance.

Carrier Rating

Currently, this refers to a rating given a carrier after a full compliance review. Rating can be Satisfactory, Conditional, or Unsatisfactory.

CDL

Commercial Driver's License - the special driver's licence required to operate vehicles that operate in excess of 26,000 lbs.

CMV

Commercial Motor Vehicle - defined simply is a power unit greater than 10,000 lbs., has the capacity to transport 8 or more passengers
for compensation, 15 passengers not for compensation, or hauls placardable quantities of hazardous materials. FMCSRs 390.5
has the full definition.

Crash

FMCSA's definition, in basic terms, considers fatalities, injuries, or tows, with a CMV, a crash (or accident). FMCSR 390.5 has all inclusions and qualifiers in the detailed definition. FMCSA doesn't consider preventability or all instances like a fleet's insurance does.

Company Policy

In terms of the FMSCR's, these are the minimum written policies a company must have in place within their trucking operations.

Compliance Audit

Compliance audits are audits of performance by various agencies that ensure carriers are meeting mandated requirements. Common auditing agencies are FMCSA, IFTA, and IRP.

CSA

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicles.

DataQ

The DataQ program is the industry's means to challenge the data validity or accuracy of entries in CSA.

DBA

"Doing Business As"— an alternative name a business may be referred to as.

DOT

Generally refers to departments within the federal, state, county, and city governments responsible for overseeing transportation policy.

DOT Number

Refers to the number assigned interstate carriers by the FMCSA or the state DOT for intrastate carriers for the purposes of tracking safety history.

Driver

A person who drives a CMV owned by a company.

Driver Logs

Refers to the daily log grid drivers must complete to be in compliance with the Hours of Service regulations.

Driver Performance

Generally refers to the data collection system implemented under the CSA program - PSP - that collects FMSCR violation data attributed to the driver.

Driver Qualification (DQ) File

Generally the documents a motorcarrier is required to obtain in the process of hiring a driver, outlined in the FMCSRs.

Drug and Alcohol Program Management

The program carriers put into place to meet the mandated FMCSA drug and alcohol testing requirements for drivers with a CDL.

ELD

Electronic logging device - means a device or technology that automatically records a driver's driving time and facilitates the accurate recording of the driver's hours of service, and that meets the requirements of subpart B of this part (FMCSR 395).

Entities

Business classifications - generally designated as sole proprietorship, corporation, or limited liability company.

FID / FEIN / EIN

Federal Identification Number, Federal Employer Identification Number, Employer Identification Number is a unique number assigned by the government and issued to companies for credentialing and recordkeeping purposes.

Fleet

For registration purposes, a fleet is a group of vehicles registered within an entity to travel in the same jurisdictions.

FMCSA

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - a division of the Department of Transportation that oversees commercial trucking.

FMCSR

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations - safety regulations for commercial trucking published by the FMCSA.

Fuel Tax

See IFTA Taxes.

HHG

Household goods. The movement of personal property.

Highway

Any road, street, or way, whether on public or private property, open to public travel.

HM

Hazardous materials, also abbreviated to haz mat.

Hours of Service

Generally refers to the regulations in the FMCSRs that regulate how many hours a driver can drive.

HVUT

A carrier must file Form 2290 and Schedule 1 with the IRS each year if a taxable highway motor vehicle is registered, or required to be registered, in the carrier's name under state, District of Columbia, Canadian, or Mexican law at the time of its first use during the period, and if the vehicle has a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more.

IEP

Intermodal equipment provider. The company that owns the chassis and or containers hauled by motor carriers.

IFTA

The International Fuel Tax Association, Inc., more commonly known as IFTA, Inc., is an Arizona not-for-profit corporation formed to manage and administer the International Fuel Tax Agreement.

IFTA Agreement

A tax collection agreement by and among the 48 contiguous states and the 10 Canadian provinces bordering the US for the uniform administration of motor fuels use taxation laws with respect to qualified motor vehicles operated in more than one member jurisdiction.

IFTA Decal

A carrier requiring IFTA registers for and annually renews an IFTA License. A decal is issued, placed on each side of the truck, to visually prove the truck is properly registered.

IFTA Taxes

To comply with the IFTA Agreement, a carrier must file quarterly fuel use tax reports which can result in tax owed or tax due.

IRP

The International Registration Plan is a registration reciprocity agreement among states of the United States, the District of Columbia and provinces of Canada providing for payment of apportionable equipment registration fees on the basis of total distance operated in all jurisdictions.

Kentucky KYU

Kentucky Highway Use Tax - this license is required for vehicles traveling in Kentucky with a registered gross weight of 60,000 lbs. and above to report mileage tax.

Lease Agreement

Generally refers to an agreement between a carrier and an owner / operator that outlines the services the owner / operator is expected to perform and rates the carrier will pay for those services.

Log Audit

As mandated in the FMCSRs, companies other than owner / operators are required to perform monthly audits on their driver logs to ensure accuracy and compliance.

Maintenance Files

Generally refers to the record-keeping files mandated by the FMCSRs in reference to the maintenance of equipment.

MC Authority

See Authority.

MCO / MSO

Manufacturer's Statement of Origin or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin — truck's birth certificate.

Mileage Tax

Refers to taxes paid by the mile traveled for trucks operating in Oregon, New York, Kentucky, and New Mexico.

Motor Carrier

Generally any commercial business operating CMVs at a greater weight than 10,000 lbs.

MVR

Motor Vehicle Record - the driving record of an individual obtained from the state where the driver's license was issued.

New Entrant

A New Entrant is regarded as a new carrier within its first 18 months of operation who has yet to have its required New Entrant DOT Audit.

New Mexico Permit

New Mexico imposes a weight-distance tax on owners, operators, and registrants of intra and interstate commercial vehicles with a declared gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds. This tax is based on vehicle weight and miles traveled on New Mexico roads. Companies must register and apply each year for a New Mexico Weight Distance Tax Electronic Permit for each vehicle.

New York HUT

New York State imposes a highway use tax (HUT) on motor carriers operating certain motor vehicles on New York State public highways.

Oregon Tax / Weight Identifier

Permanent or temporary paper credentials needed for out-of-state-based truckers to operate in Oregon.

Owner / Operator

A person who owns and operates his own commercial truck. Also referred to as independent contractor.

Permits

A general term used for the various permits a truck may need to travel in various jurisdictions.

PHMSA

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration — DOT agency charged with chemical hauling regulations.

Previous Employer Verification

Refers to part of the mandated Driver Qualification File process where employers must verify with previous employers the applicant's history of any drug or alcohol abuse.

Process Agents

A process agent is a representative within every state of travel who is authorized to accept legal documents on behalf of the carrier. Having a process agent is required as part of the process to obtain a Federal Motor Carrier Permit.

Prorate

Refers to the registration of equipment using the International Registration Plan (IRP) where fees are charged on a prorated basis, based upon distance traveled.

PSP

Pre-Employment Screening Program - refers to a program accessible by motor carriers for applicant's history, with driver permission, to view FMCSR violations attributed to the driver over the past 3 years for inspections and 5 years for crashes. Drivers can obtain their own record as well.

Reasonable Suspicion Training for Supervisors

DOT-mandated drug and alcohol awareness training for supervisors that oversee drivers.

Registrant

A Registrant is an owner / operator who leases his operation to another carrier and no longer operates under his own authority.

Roadside Inspections

Inspections performed roadside by trained enforcement personnel for compliance with the FMCSRs.

Roadside Violations

FMCSR violations found during a roadside inspection.

Title Work

The process of filing truck and trailer paperwork with the state of residence to prove ownership and obtain registration.

UCR

Unified Carrier Registration - under this program, states collect fees from motor carriers, motor private carriers, freight forwarders, brokers and leasing companies, based on the number of qualifying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in their fleets. The revenues generated will be used for enforcement of motor carrier safety programs.

URS

Unified Registration System - the Federal program that serves as a clearinghouse and repository of information on all entities that are regulated; including motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, internmodal equipment providers, hazardous materials safety permit holders, and cargo tank manufacturing and repair facilities. The URS will combine multiple registration processes, information technology systems, and forms into a single, electronic, and online registration process.

VMT

Vehicle Miles Traveled - an annual factor in various equations for motor carriers.