Should electronic IDs be required on commercial motor vehicles?

September 23, 2022

Mark Schremmer

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is flirting with the idea of requiring interstate commercial motor vehicles to have electronic identification technology.

Prompted by a petition from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the agency said it’s considering the requirement “to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the roadside inspection program by more fully enabling enforcement agencies to focus their efforts at high-risk carriers and drivers.”

FMCSA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on Friday, Sept. 23. No formal proposal has been made, but the public will have 60 days to tell the agency if the requirement is a good idea.

Specifically, the agency wants feedback on whether it should amend the regulations “to require every commercial motor vehicle operating in interstate commerce to be equipped with electronic identification technology capable of wirelessly communicating a unique ID number” when asked by motor carrier safety enforcement.

CVSA petitioned for electronic IDs

CVSA originally petitioned FMCSA in 2010 asking the agency to mandate the technology in order “to help facilitate efficiency and efficacy in the roadside inspection program.”

In 2013, FMCSA denied the petition because of “the lack of information necessary to estimate the costs and benefits of an electronic identification mandate” to support a federal rulemaking. Attempting to address the agency’s concerns. CVSA filed a petition for reconsideration in 2015.

FMCSA accepted the second petition in November 2015 and said it would initiate a rulemaking.

Fast-forward to 2022, and the rulemaking is here.

“FMCSA is therefore soliciting further information regarding various aspects of electronic identification including the best possible technical and operational concepts along with associated costs, benefits, security, vulnerability, privacy and other relevant deployment and operational implications,” the agency wrote in the notice.

Comments

Commenters are asked to provide feedback on functionality, populations affected, cost/benefits, and other areas of using electronic IDs. A full list of questions from FMCSA can be found in the notice.

To comment on the notice, click here or go to the regulations.gov website and enter Document No. FMCSA-2022-0062. Comments will be accepted through Nov. 22. LL

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Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.