Have you received a warning letter from the DOT asking you to review your record and improve your overall score? Several of our members have received such letters. This is not a letter that you want to get. It is a warning letter that, in so many words, means that if you do not improve your score, then you may be visited — another way of saying that you may get an audit.
You may look at your overall record and review your score by going to the Safety Management System (SMS) website at this address: ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/. This site allows you to check your company record for accidents and inspections, and then investigate the details of items such as your roadside inspections.
Type in your USDOT number or your company name, and your profile will come up after selecting your company.
If you need a PIN, you can obtain one by following the links on the SMS website. If you cannot locate your PIN or were never assigned one, please go to the link below and follow the instructions to request a new one: fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/request-pin-number.
Once you complete the PIN registration process, you will receive your PIN immediately by email or by mail based on which method you requested. Assistance with PIN issues can be obtained by calling the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration technical support line at 1-800-832-5660 during normal business hours.
Please note that you need a USDOT Number PIN, not the Docket Number PIN.
From your carrier information page, you can get additional details by clicking on either “View Complete Measurement Profile” or any of the “BASIC” items shown going across the page (blue rectangles). Be sure to look under the tab even if it says “Inconclusive.” You will only see information if they have entered something into one of the BASIC items. This is one of those “no news is good news” things. If there is no information under an item, that is great! You have not been written up in that area.
If there is information in one of the BASIC items, then you can see more details by clicking on the “+ Inspection History” link found along the left side of the page. This will let you see the actual items that were written up on the inspection. If you logged in with your PIN, then you can see the driver name as well. This is very useful for tracking driver performance and identifying potential training issues.
Why should a motor carrier log in to the SMS?
Logging in to the SMS provides additional functionality. Motor carriers that log in can view their Cargo-Related and Crash Indicator BASICs measurements and assigned percentiles. In addition to the publicly available BASICs, users can also view additional detailed information on roadside inspections and crashes that are not available to the general public, such as driver names and other carrier-specific details.
If you received a warning letter from the DOT and would like me to help you review the data, please send me an email or give me a call. I would be happy to help you through the websites and the data.