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9.2.3 The Pre-Authorization Safety Audit (PASA) Process

The PASA is a comprehensive review of the applicant motor carrier’s safety management systems, addressing the motor carrier’s current performance and past history. A motor carrier must successfully complete the PASA before its application for long-haul operating authority can be granted. Even if the motor carrier is currently operating under a commercial zone Certificate of Registration, the motor carrier may not begin long-haul operations in the U.S. before the PASA is completed and FMCSA grants the carrier’s application for operating authority.

The PASA will include:

  1. Evaluation of the carrier’s safety inspection, maintenance, and repair facilities or management systems, including verification of records of periodic vehicle inspections.
  2. Verification of a controlled substances and alcohol testing program consistent with U.S. Federal regulations.
  3. Verification of drivers’ qualifications, including confirmation of the validity of the Licencia Federal de Conductor or commercial driver’s license of each driver that the carrier will use.
  4. Verification of proof of financial responsibility.
  5. Verification of the carrier’s system of compliance with hours of service rules, including recordkeeping and retention, consistent with U.S. Federal regulations.

An applicant must pass the PASA to obtain provisional operating authority. FMCSA will reject the long-haul applicant if the PASA is failed. The applicant may reapply for long-haul provisional operating authority after correcting deficiencies and paying any necessary fees for reapplication. The applicant must still pass a PASA to obtain provisional operating authority. If the applicant has an existing commercial-zone Certificate of Registration the applicant may continue to operate within municipalities and commercial zones along the U.S.-Mexico border until the carrier becomes subject to enforcement or another action that leads to a suspension, revocation, or order to cease commercial zone operations.

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