FMCSA Fines & Penalties Have Increased – Again

FMCSA Fines & Penalties Have Increased – Again
Mariah Barr
5 mins read

You should always strive to avoid committing recordkeeping and CDL violations, but these higher penalties may be the extra motivation you need to stay compliant this year.

Trucking violation fines have gone up – again.

The FMCSA’s latest change took effect on January 6, 2023, and the fines have increased by a multiple of 1.07745, to be exact. While this may seem like a slight increase, it’s only adding to the ever-rising costs throughout the trucking industry, such as insurance premiumsCDL speeding ticket fines, and unfortunate accidents. And if you take a look at some of the maximum FMCSA fines and penalties below, you'll see that this increase isn't so small after all.

We’re more than familiar with the steep penalties for failing DOT safety inspections and committing recordkeeping violations, and this recent spike makes it even more important for carriers to keep up with regular truck maintenance as well as up-to-date driver file management.

See Our Top Recordkeeping  Success Strategies for 2023

FMCSA’s civil penalties affected by this rule are all located in appendices A and B to 49 CFR part 386.

Below are some of the most prevalent CMV, recordkeeping, and CDL violations for motor carriers; the current fines; and the new fines as of January 6, 2023. You can see the entire 2023 FMCSA penalty increase ruling here.

Violation Description Current Penalty New Penalty
Out-of-service order (requiring or permitting operation of CMV by driver). $20,719 $22,324
Out-of-service order (operation by driver of CMV or intermodal equipment that was placed out of service). $2,072 $2,232
Out-of-service order (requiring or permitting operation of CMV or intermodal equipment that was placed out of service). $20,719 $22,324
Out-of-service order (failure to return written certification of correction). $1,036 $1,116
Out-of-service order (failure to cease operations as ordered). $29,893 $32,208
Out-of-service order (conducting operations during suspension or revocation for failure to pay penalties). $16,864 $18,170
Employer violations pertaining to knowingly allowing, authorizing employee violations of out-of-service order (maximum penalty). $34,712 $37,400
Recordkeeping — maximum penalty per day $1,388 $1,496
Recordkeeping — maximum total penalty $13,885 $14,960
Knowing falsification of records $13,885 $14,960
Commercial driver’s license (CDL) violations $6,269 $6,755

Let’s break down how this increase applies to some of the above violations and the resulting FMCSA fines and penalties:

  • The new minimum penalty for CDL violations or employer violations pertaining to knowingly allowing and/or authorizing employee violations of out-of-service orders is now $6,755, which was previously $6,269.
  • The recordkeeping maximum penalty per day is 1,496 instead of $1,388, and the maximum total penalty is now $14,960 instead of $13,885.

Get Your Free DOT  Recordkeeping Checklist

Failing to Prepare for DOT Audits is Preparing to Fail

What's another noteworthy FMCSA tactic that’s on the rise? Unannounced offsite DOT audits.

Technological advancements have made it easier for enforcement officers to complete audits faster than ever. In fact, offsite audits increased by a whopping 400% between 2019 and 2020. That’s not all – you may have only 48 hours to submit all of your driver records in a digital format.

With more DOT audits being conducted remotely (meaning an auditor doesn't even need to knock on your business' door to collect your records), you truly never know when or where you’ll be faced with an unexpected compliance evaluation.

What You Need to Know About  Offsite Compliance Audits

Take Control of Your DOT Compliance

The combination of increased FMCSA fines and penalties and surprise compliance reviews means it’s time to do your own business audit before you’re faced with a DOT audit.

Get DOT Audit Support Now

Keeping your driver files in order and audit-ready takes diligence, accuracy, and organization. If you’re not sure where to start, you may want to involve a compliance consultant that can help identify problem areas and provide suggestions on programs that will help bring you – and keep you – in full compliance.

Foley’s DOT compliance software keeps all your compliance programs in one place. You'll never have to worry about recordkeeping violations with your driver qualification files, drug and alcohol testing program, FMCSA Clearinghouse compliance, and other federal requirements.

Ready to avoid CDL violations and expensive fines like the ones above? Talk to one of our compliance experts today or fill out the form below! 


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