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PIA - United States-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

United States-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program

PRIVACY IMPACT ASSESSMENT

September 22, 2011


Overview of FMCSA Privacy Management Process for United States-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program

The mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an Operating Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses (motor coaches). To carry out its safety mandate, FMCSA partners with stakeholders—including federal, state, and local enforcement agencies; the motor carrier industry; safety groups—on efforts to reduce crashes involving motor carriers.   

FMCSA has announced in the Federal Register 76 FR 2807 April 13 2011 and also on July 8th 2011 its proposal for the initiation of the United States-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program (Pilot) in order to evaluate the ability of motor carrier of property whose principal place of business is in Mexico to operate safely within the United States beyond the municipalities and commercial zones along the U.S.-Mexico border. This Pilot is the first step in the negotiated resolution of the 2001 NAFTA Arbitration Panel to impose retaliatory tariffs on goods transported from the U.S. into Mexico in response to the failure of the U.S. to allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to provide long-haul trucking services within the United States. The US-Mexico Cross-Border Long-Haul Pilot Program will allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to function throughout the United States. The Pilot program will not exceed three years from the date FMCSA grants the first provisional certificate. U.S.-domiciled motor carriers will be granted mutual privileges to operate in Mexico for the same period. Participating Mexican carriers and drivers are required to comply with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including those concerned with motor carrier safety, customs, immigration, vehicle registration, vehicle taxation and fuel taxation. Simultaneous and comparable authority to operate within Mexico must be made available to U.S. carriers. The Pilot will also require the participating carriers to allow the installation of electronic monitoring devices to assist FMCSA in its enforcement of hours-of-service (HOS) and cabotage requirements.   

This Pilot program consists of two activities – Carrier Approval and Compliance Monitoring. Once approved for participation in the Pilot Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to are authorized to operate beyond the municipalities and commercial zones along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Pilot application process includes the submission of an application package by a motor carrier to DOT, DOT verification of the information in the package, completion of safety and security vetting of the carrier and drivers by DOT and the Department of Homeland Security, completion of a Pre-Authorization Safety Audit (PASA) of the carrier (including its drivers included in the Pilot) and publication of the results in both the FMCSA and Federal Registers, and as appropriate granting the carrier operating authority by DOT. The application package will contain information on both the carriers and individual drivers working for the carriers who intend to participate in the pilot program to cross the border and operate inside the United States.   

Once a carrier is approved in the Pilot program, DOT will install electronic monitoring devices with GPS capabilities on all participating carriers enabling FMCSA to monitor the vehicle and verify compliance with hours-of-service and domestic point-to-point transportation restrictions established by the Program. FMCSA will own the monitoring equipment and thereby will have access and control of the data provided by the electronic monitoring devices and GPS units and will be able to customize reports and alerts from the system of the vendor that will collect the data. In addition, the electronic monitoring devices that FMCSA will install will have functionality to allow on-duty start and end times to be entered and tracked. As a result, FMCSA will be monitoring on-duty time driving status to ensure that drivers comply with FMCSA hours-of-service regulations while operating in the United States. FMCSA agrees, however, that the participating motor carriers will be expected to maintain the appropriate supporting documents for review by FMCSA during the safety and compliance reviews. It is FMCSA's intention to acquire devices and monitoring software that will allow the Agency to develop alerts and reports of the vehicles and drivers' information. These reports will be reviewed by FMCSA at least weekly to identify compliance issues. If there are any indicators of problems, FMCSA will initiate an investigation. Finally, once the pilot program is terminated, the program participants must return the equipment to FMCSA.   

Information submitted by carriers, including Personally Identifaibale Information (PII) for drivers participating in the program is maintained in the Mexican Carrier Application Tracking System (eMCATS); a standalone web-based application used to facilitate access to information related to the carrier's Pilot application and processing authorized FMCSA officials. eMCATS is a Business Process Management (BPM) tool developed in conjunction with Mexican Long-Haul Pilot Program and provides FMCSA internal stakeholders with an improved application tracking process by allowing enhanced traceability and visibility into all steps of the process from receiving the application package, verification of the application, safety and security vetting, PASA procedures, posting of information in the FMCSA and Federal Registers and granting the operating authority for long-haul transportation.   

This PIA was conducted because the Pilot collects and maintains information in identifiable form about Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers. This information is used to facilitate screening CMV drivers for driving offenses which could render the individual ineligible to operate vehicles in the US as part of the Pilot. FMCSA does not anticipate there will be US driver's information collected however the agency is providing the PIA in an effort of transparency. Additionally the Program leverages technology the use of which may raise privacy concerns.  

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and United States-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program

As part of a carrier's application for participation in the Pilot the following information must be provided for each participating driver;
ALL drivers regardless of nationality

  • Driver License Information including:
    • Name (as it appears on license)
    • Date of Birth (as it appears on license)
    • Issuing State and Country
    • License Number
    • Home address
  • Copy of driver's employment application
  • Evidence of satisfactory fulfillment of 49 CFR 391.51 which establishes physical qualifications for CMVs within the United States.

Carriers provide this information by furnishing paper copies of the participating driver's driver license, employment documentation, and medical examiner certificate as appropriate. This information is then keyed into the FMCSA systems by authorized FMCSA personnel.

As part of the on-going compliance monitoring activity FMCSA collects the following information via the electronic monitoring devices affixed to the carrier vehicle;

  • Driver name
  • Vehicle location

Participation in the Pilot is voluntary however once a driver selects to participate in the Pilot the submission of the required data elements and installation of the electronic monitoring device is mandatory.

Why the Pilot Program Collects Information

CMV driver information is used by the Department to facilitate screening for driving offenses which would render the individual ineligible to operate vehicles in the US as part of the Program. Driver information is validated against the Commercial Driver License System (CDLIS) maintained by AAMVAnet, Inc. to ensure the driver has not been convicted of violating a local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation). The CDLIS system also verifies driving history against official driving records repositories held in the Licencia Federal Information System (LIFIS) maintained by the government of Mexico.

Additionally the driver's information will be checked against FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management System (MCMIS).

The Medical Examiner's Certificate is required to determine the driver's physical qualification according to the requirements in 49 CFR 391.41-49. The Driver's name and location is collected on the electronic monitoring devices to track driver's hours of service and to ensure the vehicle is not being used for domestic transportation.

Information on drivers is shared with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) for the purposes of screening for driver violations (Commercial Vehicle Inspection and Traffic Tickets and wants and warrants and any criminal history (convictions). Information on the CBP uses of the information and privacy protections may be found at www.dot.gov/privacy.

Drivers deemed eligible to participated in the Pilot will be entered in to FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) which provides multiple agencies, namely CBP and Federal and State roadside commercial vehicle inspectors, who conduct commercial motor vehicle enforcement activities and monitor hazardous materials shipping by motor carriers access to information about carriers and CMV drivers operating within the United States.

How the Pilot Program Uses Information

Based on the results of the eligibility and security checks FMCSA will determine if the individual is authorized to participate in the Pilot.

PII concerning drivers operating CMVs participating in the Pilot will be used by FMCSA as part of the PASA, compliance reviews and other safety reviews of the participating carriers.

CMV Driver PII is used to query on driver license number and issuing state plus full name, and/or date of birth (as required by state) provides verification of driver name and driver license number and will produce general information from CDLIS/LIFIS on the CMV driver (address, date of birth, license restrictions, etc.) as well as driver license status (i.e., licensed, eligible, not eligible, reported deceased) and driver conviction history.

The driver name and driver location collected on the electronic monitoring devices will enable federal and state safety enforcement personnel to verify driver's compliance with hours of service regulations.

How the Pilot Program Shares Information

At the port-of-entry, inspection station or other point of engagement, federal and state safety enforcement personnel to retrieve safety compliance and enforcement information on the approved carriers using FMCSA secure web application Query Central (QC) to access the systems discussed above to verify both vehicle and driver information in real-time. Users of QC will submit driver information from the individual's driver's license.

The driver name and driver location collected on the monitor devices will be stored and backed up on a separate and secure information storage and retrieval system at FMCSA's service provider location. This information will be shared with federal and state safety personnel to verify and download driver's compliance with hours of service regulations. Federal and state safety enforcement will also be able to download current day and previous seven days record of duty status for all drivers participating in the Pilot.

All external agencies and parties with access to the driver PII collected by FMCSA have entered into information sharing agreements with the Department to ensure that the information is secured appropriately and that access is limited to those with an authorized need to know.

How the Pilot Program Provides Notice and Consent

Carriers were notified through the two Federal Register notices as discussed in the Introduction regarding the eligibility requirements for both carriers and drivers for participation in the Pilot including the need to collect PII. FMCSA does not collect driver information directly from individual drivers; as part of the Pilot application process carriers are required to collect the required data elements from the drivers and provide them to FMCSA and are responsible for informing the drivers why their information is being collected and the purposes for which it will be used. The Driver's name and location is collected on the electronic monitoring devices to provide near-real-time tracking of the location of all Mexican trucks participating in the Program. This tracking information will be used to monitor cabotage (point-to-point transportation) of participating motor carriers and to measure the distances of travel for each carrier and each power unit.

Participation in the program by both motor carrier and drivers is voluntary but is required if the carrier or driver seeks to participate in the Long-Haul Trucking Program.

How the Pilot Program Ensures Data Accuracy

FMCSA systems used in support of the Pilot have implemented data rules and input validations for verifying the format and content of collected information (e.g., character set, input length, numerical range, acceptable values) that is keyed in by FMCSA authorized users fro the hard copy documents submitted by the carriers. FMCSA leverages multiple levels of peer reviewers and approvers to validate the data entry and ensure that there are no transcription errors in the database. FMCSA also implements audit trails and systems reviews to ensure that data is not altered by unauthorized parties or for unauthorized purposes.

How the Pilot Program Provides Redress

Per the terms of the Pilot drivers who are denied participation in the program may seek reason for denial from the motor carrier. Additionally, drivers may seek access to their information by writing an inquiry to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Attn: FOIA Team MC-MMI, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

How the Pilot Program Secures Information

PII concerning drivers operating CMVs for the United States-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program will be entered in eMCATS and stored on a secure FMCSA LAN Segment at Volpe. This information will be secured in accordance with the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 200, Minimum Security Requirements for Federal Information and Information Systems and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-53, Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations. eMCATS, a subsystem under the FMCSA LAN Segment at Volpe is approved through the FMCSA LAN Segment Certification and Accreditation under the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The FMCSA LAN was granted a three year certification in April 2009.

FMCSA uses role-based access based on a demonstrated need to know to restrict access to information in the eMCATS environment. Data may only be accessed using the FMCSA Volpe LAN Segment network with encrypted passwords and user sign-on functionality.

FMCSA requires all users of eMCATS to receive annual security and privacy training regarding the safeguarding, security, and privacy concerns relating to information stored in eMCATS. This training is available online, and must be completed prior to a user accessing functionality within the FMCSA Volpe LAN environment.

How the Pilot Program Retains Information

The FMCSA retains information for 5 years and disposes of information in accordance with approved National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Records Schedules NI-557-05-6, Item 7B. Hard copies of Driver Licenses, Driver Medical Examiners Certificate to verify compliance with part 391 and Driver's employment applications will be stored in FMCSA division offices for 5 years in accordance with NARA records schedule NI-557-05-6, Item 7B. Hard copies of Driver Licenses, Driver Medical Examiners Certificate to verify compliance with FMCSA regulations and Driver's employment applications will be stored in FMCSA Division offices.

System of Records

Personal identifiers are not used to search for information in the records created as part of the Pilot. Therefore, United States-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot does not result in the creation Privacy Act system and does not require a System of Records Notice (SORN). 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Part 391.51 General Requirements for Driver Qualifications File

Updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2013