The FMCSRs require motor carriers to maintain many types of documentation. So, the question becomes, “Where should I keep all of this documentation”? If a motor carrier has a single business location, records required would normally be kept at that location. However, when a carrier has multiple offices, terminals, or other business locations, the carrier has a choice in where to keep most the records. Examples of places where they could keep the records would be the principal place of business, a regional office, or a driver work-reporting location. Regardless of where a motor carrier keeps the records, as long as they are able to get the records to an FMCSA representative within 48 hours of request, they are good to go. This 48 hour window does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or federal holidays. It is noteworthy to mention that some records must be kept in particular locations, such as in the vehicle or in a secure location with controlled access. If this is the case, the regulation will specify where the record should be held. FMCSRs allow most records to be kept in digital form as long as the records contain all the required elements and can be reproduced within 48 hours. Additionally, photocopies are generally accepted in place of the originals as long as a regulation does not say otherwise. If any significant characteristic is missing on the photocopy that was on the original copy, a notation of the missing characteristic must be made on to the photocopy.
What are examples of recordkeeping violations? The federal regulations contain prohibitions on fraudulent record keeping practices. It outlines that no motor carrier; its agents, officers, representatives, or employees can make or cause someone to make: (1) a fraudulent or intentionally false statement or entry on any required application, certificate, report, or record; or (2) a reproduction of any required application, certificate, report, or record for fraudulent purposes.
If you have a question about an accident or injury involving a semi-truck and how these regulations may be important as applied to the accident call Roth Davies, LLC Trial Lawyers for a free consultation.