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ATA Files Comments on Electronic Signatures

On Oct. 20, ATA responded to a recent Federal Register notice in which FMCSA asked OMB to extend its information collection request (ICR) relating to training certification for entry-level drivers. The Agency stated it would take 10 minutes for a driver to complete the tasks necessary to comply with the regulation: copying the training certificate, giving the copy to the motor carrier employer and placing the original of the certificate in a personal file. Total “annual burden hours” according to FMCSA, would be 7,602. In comments to OMB, ATA stated that, by allowing the training provider to produce and sign a certificate electronically, the transaction would only take seconds, rather than 10 minutes, and would also save paper. ATA used this ICR request as an opportunity to underscore the Agency’s neglect in issuing a rulemaking and/or guidance to authorize electronic signatures as adequate substitutes for handwritten signatures for compliance with many of the safety regulations. ATA recommended to OMB that it urge FMCSA to embrace the current and emerging technologies that will allow for motor carriers and drivers to use electronic signatures/records and bring about greater efficiencies.

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