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3.1.1 Safety Audits (385.309, 385.311)

A Safety Audit is a review of a carrier’s records designed to verify that a carrier has basic safety management controls in place to ensure compliance with applicable FMCSRs and HMRs. The Safety Audit will be conducted, usually within the first 12 months of operation, by an FMCSA- or State-certified auditor at the carrier’s place of business, an agreed upon location, or electronically, by submitting relevant documents online or via fax.

The areas a Safety Auditor may review include, but are not limited to: (See the Safety Audit Evaluation Criteria in Appendix A to Part 385).

What Happens When a Carrier Passes or Fails a Safety Audit? (385.319)

Upon completion of the Safety Audit, the auditor will review the findings with the carrier. New entrant motor carriers will be notified in writing if they have passed or failed no later than 45 days after completion of the Safety Audit.


What Happens to the Carrier

Pass The carrier’s safety performance will continue to be closely monitored for the remainder of the 18-month new entrant period under FMCSA’s New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. If no subsequent safety performance problems are found, the carrier will be granted permanent registration and continue to be monitored under CSA.
Fail FMCSA will provide the carrier written notice that its U.S. DOT new entrant registration will be revoked and its operations placed out-of- service unless it takes the actions specified in the failure notice to correct safety problems. For more information about reinstating registration after a failed Safety Audit, see 49 CFR 385.329T.

New entrant carriers will automatically fail a Safety Audit if they do not comply with all 16 specific regulations detailed in 49 CFR 385.321.

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