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FMCSA Vetting Procedures

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Applicants for operating authority from the FMCSA are now finding that the application process can no longer be completed in 24 days, but may take 2 months or more. Since August 2008, the FMCSA has determined that new entrants have to be vetted to determine whether they are legitimately new carriers, or formerly approved carriers who have simply gone out of business and changed their names, only to apply for new authority. The FMCSA will examine new applicants to determine who the principals are and whether there are any affiliations with disqualified or unsafe operators. Once satisfied, the Certificate will be issued. However, a number of applicants have been denied authority. Bottom line for new applicants – be prepared to wait awhile for approval.

Follow up on 5/14/09:

The FMCSA had estimated to me that the additional time needed to investigate the applicant would be 6-8 weeks.  It has actually been 7 weeks, meaning that the total amount of time needed to obtain the Certificate is 10 weeks.  Be forewarned.  You must have your insurance in effect to avoid dismissal.  Therefore, only put one bus on the policy until approval is granted in order to minimize the insurance cost. Then add the additional buses to the policy.

Follow up on 6/16/09:

The FMCSA seems to be finally getting their act together.  Based on this week’s mail, it appears that my latest Application will make it through in exactly 2 months.  All in all, this is not terrible, as long as you can depend on this being done in a consistent pattern. My worst case is 5 1/2 months amid numerous requests for additional information.

 

Jerry A. Casser, Esq. (Fairfield NJ Transportation attorney)  www.jcasser.com

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