Safety Advisor: Keep Your Records Accurate Using DataQs

Maintaining accurate records with federal and state regulatory agencies has always been important for trucking companies operating in interstate commerce. Most of that information is available for all to see and is the basis of a company’s CSA and Safety Measurement System (SMS) results. Inaccurate data regarding a company’s moving violations, roadside violations or crash records can severely damage their standing with authorities and hurt them in court and with shippers, brokers and insurance companies.

All trucking companies should monitor their data and react when inaccuracies are identified. The DataQs system was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide trucking companies with an electronic method to record, document and resolve inaccurate data. The system has been around for years for trucking companies and is now also available to individual drivers. The following procedures have been developed by the FMCSA to allow carriers to challenge inaccurate data using the DataQs system.

Each motor carrier has been issued a Personal Identification Number (PIN) by the FMCSA which allows them to do online transactions within many FMCSA systems. This number can be found on the FMCSA “reminder” letter mailed to carriers to inform them of the required biennial update of carrier registration information (Form MCS-150). If you’re unable to locate your PIN, visit the FMCSA registration web page at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/online-registration/onlineregdescription.htm. Once the PIN registration process is completed, a notification letter with a PIN will be mailed within two weeks to the address submitted on the most recent Form MCS-150.

Assistance in getting a PIN can also be obtained by calling for FMCSA technical support at 1-800-832-5660 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

After receiving your PIN, you can register to challenge data by logging on to http://www.safersys.org and following these step-by-step procedures:

  • Go to the bottom right side of the page and click on “DataQs”
  • A page will come up for you to register to use DataQs
  • Click on the blue button marked “Register Online”
  • Fill out the required information, and then click the “Submit” button
  • You will be asked for a user name and password. Enter these and submit
  • As soon as this is completed, you will be registered and can then sign in to use the system
  • From this screen, you can select the type of challenge:
    • Crashes (accidents) and inspections are the most frequently challenged
    • You can also use the system to challenge Carrier Information, Operating Authority, Insurance Information, Compliance Reviews and more
  • After you click on the type of challenge you would like to make, click the “Continue” button
  • Fill in the required data, and click the “Submit” button

You can also request a copy of the inspection report in this program:

  • Instead of clicking “Add a Challenge” simply click “Request an Inspection Report”
  • Click the drop down box for “Select a State” and then click the state where the report was made
  • Click the “Continue” button
  • Fill in the requested data
  • Click the “Submit” button at the bottom right side

Not all states are part of this program. For example, you cannot get reports for Maryland and New York. The program will tell you what the state requires to get the particular report.

Important guidelines for using DataQs include:

  • Be VERY specific with your challenge; providing details on time, place, citation reference numbers and other pertinent information
  • Important – NONE of these screens take not‑at‑fault accidents off your records. The most common challenge for accidents is whether it qualifies as a DOT accident or not.
  • Quote the specific regulation or requirement to help explain your position
  • Pictures or a copy of the police report may help support your challenge

Responses to a challenge will typically be received within two days. Any data may be disputed up to 24 months. After this time the challenge falls off the company record, but can still be found on the driver’s record in the Pre-Employment Screening Program for an additional 12 months. The same data may only be disputed twice in the program.

The content of this material has been taken in large part from information published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. For more information, go to www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

For additional information on using the DataQs system, or for other safety topics, please contact your Sentry agent or your regional Sentry Safety Consultant at 1‑800‑443‑9655. We also encourage you to visit ForTruckersOnly.com and select “Customer Log In.”

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