Whew, It's been a busy couple of weeks. A Safety Bulletin was published for Motor Carrier Inspectors by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance regarding electronic documents. You can access this bulletin on their website a www.cvsa.org. If you utilize electronic documents and are concerned about their acceptance during a roadside inspection you should print a copy of the bulletin and place a copy in each of your vehicles so your drivers would be able to bring it to the attention of an inspector if any issues arise during the inspection. This is great clarification for the industry.
As outlined in FMCSA Guidance for 390.31, when an inspector conducts a roadside inspection or a compliance review, the driver or motor carrier may present anything required by FMCSA in Parts 300-399 in electronic format.
In Canada, most of these documents can generally be produced in electronic format during a roadside inspection. However, regulations prescribing these requirements are governed by each province and territory so acceptable electronic documents may vary. Carriers and drivers intending on carrying and surrendering required documents electronically should consult with the jurisdiction(s) in which they intend to travel to determine what is acceptable.
Documents required to be produced on demand by an inspector at roadside must be presented in an electronic format at the time of request, just as a paper document would be required. Documents required within 48 hours for other investigations must be presented within that timeframe.
Original documents do not need to be retained if they are retained electronically.