The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is warning of aggressive, confusing, or misleading – and in some cases, potentially fraudulent - marketing of compliance products and services by third party vendors.
While it is legal offer products and services related to regulatory compliance, NEFI members should only do business with reputable entities. "Trust but verify," as the saying goes. The FMCSA has advised that it does not endorse private businesses offering compliance assistance or their individual products or services. Further, it is unlawful for any business or individual to impersonate an FMCSA official or other government employee to obtain money or other information. Doing so may result in significant fines and up-to three years in prison. Click here read the full FMCSA advisory.
The Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association (MEMA) reports that some of its members were aggressively solicited for compliance products and services after registering with FMCSA for U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) numbers. Beginning September 1, 2018, Massachusetts requires that certain commercial motor vehicles, including all heating oil and propane delivery vehicles, obtain and permanently display USDOT numbers, regardless of whether they operate interstate or intrastate (see 540 CMR 2.22(2)). Shortly after registering, MEMA members report being solicited for compliance services. Solicitations may be received by e-mail, phone call, letter or fax.
If you believe you were the victim of fraud: Immediately report the crime to law enforcement and contact relevant financial instructions regarding accounts that may have been exposed. You should also report the incident to the U.S. DOT’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Hotline via https://www.oig.dot.gov/hotline or by calling (800) 424–9071.
To report marketing or solicitations you feel are overly aggressive or misleading: You may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
If you are seeking products or services related to regulatory compliance: NEFI may be able to either assist you directly or provide a list of reputable businesses. Call us at (617) 924-1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to FMCSA, states requiring USDOT numbers for intrastate operations include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
To securely obtain a USDOT number or update an existing registration: You may access the FMCSA’s Unified Registration System (URS) registration wizard online here. Complete information on registration can also be found here. Note: FMCSA reports a backlog in registrants and it may take several weeks to process your application. You should keep a copy of the on-line application for the USDOT number in the cab of every vehicle until your application is processed.