Carriers may make copies of records and documents, but copies must meet the following minimum requirements (49 CFR 390.31):
- Copies must be readily accessible, legible, identifiable, and reproducible.
- Any significant element of the original record or document that will not be preserved in black and white copy must be clearly indicated before the copy is made.
- The reverse side of printed forms do not need to be copied if it lacks content common to all forms, but an identified specimen for each form shall be on the film for reference.
- The film used for photographing copies must meet the minimum specifications of the National Bureau of Standards, and all processes recommended by the manufacturer must be observed to protect copies from deterioration or accidental destruction.
- Each roll of film must include a microfilm of a certificate or certificates stating that the photographs are direct or facsimile reproductions of the original records.
Original records and documents may be destroyed if the copies meet these minimum preservation requirements. Records requiring signatures are exempt from photographic preservation.