Fleet compliance is no simple feat. There are significant costs, complexities and time spent in keeping all fleet vehicles compliant around-the-clock and without disruption.
However, there are a number of important factors companies with fleets can keep in mind to ensure they mitigate unnecessary risks, avoid hefty fines and keep their fleets moving.
The expert team at ACERTUS is focused on risk management and compliance for a variety of industry partners, including fleet-management companies (FMCs), carriers, product shippers and many others. In working with these partners, the team has identified four key ways companies can be proactive and reduce their overall compliance risk.
Prevent Triggering Red Flags
When it comes to filing with the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and registering or renewing with the International Registration Plan (IRP) for larger vehicles – those that weigh more than 26,000 pounds, have three or more axles and frequently travel out-of-state – it’s crucial that companies pay close attention to how they submit information. Consistency and accuracy are important to prevent triggering red flags, which often lead to audits.
To reduce the risk of red flags, unnecessary audits and fines, companies with fleets should be diligent and keep these facts in mind:
- IRP fleets must renew at the same time every year, while those registered with IFTA must file every quarter.
- If a CMV is traveling out of state and it’s not listed under IRP and IFTA, permits will need to be secured every time the vehicle leaves the state
- It’s best practice that data used for IRP registration or renewal and IFTA filing, including mileage used by commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), is the same across the board.
- If a CMV doesn’t travel out of state one quarter, IFTA filing is still required.
- If a CMV travels unloaded, but it’s listed under IRP and IFTA, the corresponding registration (or renewal) and filing must still occur by the respective dates.
- Filing multiple amendments with IFTA to correct mistakes should be avoided, as this can also throw up a red flag.
Have a Strong Driver Safety Program in Place
While companies with fleets are required to maintain driver logs and driver-qualification (DQ) files to ensure they’re in full compliance, it’s also critical for companies with fleets to have strong driver safety programs in place that feature safety training and protocols.
Depending on the company type, size, number of drivers and its unique business needs, safety trainings could occur semi-annually, quarterly or even monthly. To have a successful program, companies will want to ensure they have strong, accurate and consistent training protocol in place, addressing procedures for reporting accidents, incidents or cargo claims.
Driver safety meetings can be conducted by a safety/risk manager, via training courses or via an outside partner. If there is a 24-hour safety department available, either through the company in question or through an outside compliance partner, this is ideal. That department can then serve as the first point of contact for the driver, receiving calls and dispatching the proper personnel whenever and wherever needed.
Ensure Titling, Registration and Base Plating are Covered
Regardless of fleet vehicles’ size or type, they must be fully in compliance. If CMVs weigh more than 26,000 pounds, have three or more axles and travel in two or more states, it’s an advantage for them to be registered with IRP. However, smaller fleet vehicles must still be in compliance with the respective states’ Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs). This is where title-and-registration services can come in.
Companies with fleets must know which regulations and requirements apply to their respective fleet vehicles, ensuring vehicles are covered when it comes to all titles, registrations and renewals – and that all paperwork is up-to-date. Base plates must be updated without any expired tags on all fleet vehicles, as well.
To stay on top of all title-and-registration services, including registrations, renewals, corrections, state transfers, inspections, base plating and more, companies can partner with an expert provider to help them manage these needs and stay fully compliant.
Work with a Trusted Compliance Partner
One of the most effective ways to mitigate risks and prevent unnecessary audits and fines is to work with a trusted, expert partner on fleet-compliance needs.
The team at ACERTUS can help with everything from permitting, apportioned vehicle registration with IRP and IFTA fuel tax reporting to Highway Use Taxes (HUT), weight/mile taxes, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards, title-and-registration services, license plating and sticker application, driver training and DQ files, toll and transponder management and more. ACERTUS can also provide companies with data and analytics, so they have the information they need to mitigate risks and prevent unnecessary audits.
ACERTUS’ expertise doesn’t just stop at compliance, however. As the only full-scale, tech-enabled automotive-logistics platform designed to move, store, recondition and title and register finished vehicles, ACERTUS delivers proven, complete and start-to-finish service. Through a transformative combination of technology, people and experience, ACERTUS turns logistics into a competitive advantage for anyone moving vehicles.
Learn more about ACERTUS’compliance services – as well as its full rangeoffleet-logistics solutions–athttps://acertusdelivers.com. To connect with one of our team members or receive aquick pricingquote,contact us hereor call us atthis phone number:855-ACERTUS (855-923-2655).