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FMCSA Seeks to Mandate Electronic ID for CMVs

On September 23, the FMCSA introduced a proposal which would require CMVs (Commercial Motor Vehicles) to use electronic ID. 

What Does It Mean?

If this mandate is passed, it will require CMVs to have electronic ID technology that can be accessed by law enforcement. This electronic ID will wirelessly communicate an ID number to safety enforcement personnel. They can then identify the CMV, review information about the company including driver safety records, then communicate to the driver whether to pull in to the next inspection station.

LPR (License Plate Recognition) systems and USDOT number readers serve a similar purpose, but the information that can be gathered from these is more limited and sometimes less accurate. This could mean unnecessary inspections for some carriers, while other higher-risk carriers are missed. 

The FMCSA states that the goal of this mandate is to “improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the roadside inspection program by more fully enabling enforcement agencies to focus their efforts at high-risk carriers and drivers.”

With electronic ID, more safety data can be collected, all while a truck is still in motion. 

What Do Drivers Think?

While the FMCSA claims that the foremost reason for this proposed mandate is to improve safety, many drivers and carriers have some serious concerns. 

One concern is that having such a close eye on all CMVs will force drivers to strictly follow HOS rules to an unrealistic degree. For instance, a driver may only be a few minutes beyond his allowed number of driving hours, but could still face consequences from safety enforcement if he was stopped.

Many drivers are concerned that requiring electronic ID would take away some of their privacy, and carriers are worried that this mandate would only be an extra expense for them while doing little to improve road safety.

The FMCSA opened up a window for comments on this proposal from September 23- November 22. Keep reading to see a few of the comments left by other drivers and company owners:

“I say no to this in the strongest way possible. This is nothing but an automated moneygrab from the same truck driving tax paying citizens that this country relies on to keep commerce and goods flowing through the country.”

–Jay Bee


“I understand and appreciate the need for enforcement on CMVs. However, this electronic identification requirement is another step towards pushing the O/O's out so that the mega carriers can monopolize the shipping industry. E-logs pushed a bunch of shoe-string legal trucking companies out. This will push more fledgling companies out of legal operations.”



“This would do nothing more than increase costs for carriers. Trucks are already required to have all kinds of identifying information on the side. Officers have eyes that can read those markings.”

–Benjamin Lee


“If it is true that the FMCSA said it is considering the amendments “to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the roadside inspection program by more fully enabling enforcement agencies to focus their efforts at high-risk carriers and drivers.” Then why require us safe drivers and owner operators to incur this cost, just require “at risk” trucks to have the ID, then they will be easy to identify…”

–Louis Broussard Jr.


The FMCSA and DOT already have access to all of this information via the US DOT number, truck license plate, PrePass, and CDL holder's license number. This is yet another over-reach as well as an another example of over regulation on what is already the highest regulated industry in the world. This also would be an invasion of privacy and could become a major cyber security problem, as well as identity theft. Obviously, this comment should serve as an obvious, and absolute "No." ' "

–Jeff Hopkins


To read the full list of comments left about the proposed mandate, Click Here

Are the feelings of these drivers and company owners too extreme, or could this mandate do more harm than good? Let us know what you think.

To read the full proposal from the FMCSA, Click Here.

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