For Expert Assistance Please Call 866-378-7827


The Drive Star Group of Companies is very proud to meet or exceed the standards set out by the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as those of the Canadian National Safety Code, which are enforced by the respective provincial Ministries of Transportation.

Drive Star is one of only a handful of serious drive-away companies who fully and unequivocally comply with the regulations in all jurisdictions.

Truck Driveaway & Truck Transport Vehicle Driveaway & Truck Delivery

However, many companies in this industry attempt to operate outside the scope of the FMCSA or NSC regulations mainly because of the administrative burden or for cost savings. These practices put both themselves and their clients at risk.

At Drive Star, our operating mandate is simple: ”Understand the rules, adopt them as corporate policies and prosper with your partners”.
In general, motor carriers operating in two or more jurisdictions anywhere in North America must comply with the following regulations, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Operating Authorities (US-DoT’s MCS-150, UCRA and/or Canadian NSC Safety Rating)
  • Proof of Financial Responsibilities (minimum Insurance coverage)
  • Driver Qualifications (pre-employment) and Driver Maintenance (perpetual)
  • Driver Drug & Alcohol Testing (pre-employment) and Random Testing (perpetual)
  • Driver Hours-of-Services Regulations
  • Driver Daily Vehicle Inspections (pre and/or post-trip)
  • IFTA – International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • IRP – International Registration Plan
  • IRS HUT (Heavy User Tax – Form 2290)
  • State HUT (where applicable)
  • PMCVI (Periodic Mandatory Commercial Vehicle Inspections)
  • Load Securement Standard
  • CBP & CBSA Customs (Border clearing &/or bonding of freight)

DoT Enforcement

The United States Department of Transportation, through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been rating motor carriers based on their overall performance by ranking them in one of three ways: Unsatisfactory, Conditional or Satisfactory. New carriers began their existence as “Satisfactory” form the start-up.

However, in December 2008, the “New Entrant Safety Assurance Process” was implemented by the FMCSA, which changed the rating process, as follows:
After obtaining a new entrant registration, the carrier is subject to an 18-month safety-monitoring period, during which, its roadside safety performance is closely monitored to ensure the basic safety management controls are operating effectively. Also, during this initial 18-month period, the motor carrier undergoes a safety audit.

That safety audit is conducted by a state or federal auditor who reviews the carrier’s safety management system. The components of review include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Driver qualification;
  • Driver duty status (log-books);
  • Vehicle maintenance;
  • Accident register; and
  • Controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements.

If the auditor determines the new entrant has adequate safety management controls in place, the new carrier is notified and continues to be closely monitored for the remainder of the 18-month period.

Alternatively, if the FMCSA determines the new entrant does not have adequate basic safety management controls, the carrier’s registration is revoked and its operations placed out-of-service, unless the new entrant takes specific actions to remedy its safety practices.

The new carrier automatically fails a safety audit and receives written notice that its US-DoT registration is revoked, if found in violation of any single one of 14 regulations listed in 49 CFR §385.321 and/or exceeds the threshold of 51% of two other particular regulations of that section.

At the end of the 18-months monitoring period – and provided no additional detrimental violations are detected, the US-DoT registration becomes permanent and the new entrant now joins other established carriers’ regular safety evaluation program: CSA– the new US-DoT carrier rating system!

CSA– the new US-DoT carrier rating system!

Akin to the carrier safety performance monitoring by the Canadian enforcement authorities compliance_logo
(see below), the FMCSA has introduced a revised process, which went into effect at the end
of 2010, and applies to all motor carriers currently holding a valid DoT number.
(click on logo on the right)

NSC Enforcement

Every Canadian motor carrier must be registered with its base province and be assigned an NSC Safety Rating. This regulation also applies to US motor carriers operating in Canada; however they may select their reporting jurisdiction based on where they will run most of their miles.
The initial Safety Rating issued to all motor carriers is that of “Satisfactory – Unaudited”

Provincial Ministries of Transportation monitor carrier safety performance based on the results of roadside inspections, crashes and/or driver violations of the respective highway traffic acts. Demerit points are issued to carriers and/or their drivers when they breach safety-related regulations.

When the accumulated carrier demerit points exceed a certain violation threshold, i.e. currently 35% in Ontario, the motor carrier is issued a Warning Letter.

If the carrier does not acknowledge the warning and/or its performance does not improve as a result thereof, one of two possible interventions occur:
1. The initial Safety Rating is downgraded to “Conditional”
2. The motor carrier undergoes an on-site Facility Audit

A Conditional rating will not only result in a substantial insurance premium increase, but may also cause the potential loss of those shipping clients, who perform due diligence before contracting a motor carrier to transport their goods, by verifying that carrier’s safety rating on the government’s website.

Once assigned a Conditional rating, it may take a motor carrier many years to get itself upgraded again, even after a marked improvement of its safety performance, because this will only occur as a result of an on-site audit.

On the other hand, if the intervention involved an on-site facility audit, the carrier will find its initial Safety Rating amended to either: ◾Satisfactory – Audited
◾Conditional – Audited

While “Excellent” safety ratings are available, they would hardly be issued as a result of a warning letter audit. Currently, the carriers which are rated as such were issued this preferred status as a result of a random or voluntary audit.

Canadian Controlled Goods Program:

The Controlled Goods Program (CGP) is a registration and compliance program that regulates access to controlled goods, including International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) items, in Canada. Under the authorities of the Defence Production Act (DPA) and the Controlled Goods Regulations, the CGP‘s mandate is to strengthen Canada’s defence trade controls through the mandatory registration and regulation of businesses and individuals who examine, possess and/or transfer controlled goods.

Drive Star is a fully licenced and registered Controlled Goods Program licence holder.



Within the aforementioned regulations lie a myriad of compliance requirements, which necessitate substantial administrative talent and time. To name just one: Monitoring the drivers’ “Hours-of-Service compliance for available duty-hours and comparing log-entries with time-stamped receipts for accuracy.

The burden for carriers that lack the administrative capacity and knowledge to deal with all components of the management controls can be so overwhelming that compliance is simply ignored.

At Drive Star, Safety & Compliance is a way of life. It is such a priority that we actually have a dedicated department to fulfill those responsibilities on a full time basis.

When considering the use of a drive-away carrier, clients should compare how others stack-up to what we, as a company, provide as an integral part of our service offering.

For additional information about our company, or to receive a compliance package detailing all
of our registrations and policies, please contact us as 866 – 378 – 7827.