DOT green lights electronic records and signatures
As of January 4, 2011, Department of Transportation (DOT)-covered motor carriers may use electronic signatures and electronic records storage in complying with DOT regulations, according to recent regulatory guidance (76 Fed Reg 411, January 4, 2011). Under the new guidance, for purposes of complying with any Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule requiring a document to be created, signed, certified or retained, electronic methods may be usedalthough they are not required. The FMCSA also rescinded previous guidance stating that electronic storage of records was permissible only if the records could be produced within two working days of the request. Now, FMCSA permits electronic storage as long as records accurately reflect the information in the record and are accessible in a form that can be accurately viewed or produced within any time frame established by FMCSA rules. The agency specifically states that once records are scanned, the original paper documents may be destroyed, including the road test document required by FMCSA regulations. Questions on electronic document retention? Contact your Vigilant staff representative.