Wednesday, May 18, 2016

State enforcement agencies test the waters for electronic documentation

Alabama is among several states participating in a new pilot program to test various methods and devices for presenting to law enforcement officers electronic versions of required driver and vehicle credentials.

The 2016 Motor Carrier Electronic Credential Pilot began last month and was developed to promote the acceptance and use of electronic motor carrier credentials with devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptop computers, instead of paper documentation. The intent is to save time for carriers, drivers and law enforcement agents, as well as to keep in-cab credentials current and readily available.

Effective immediately in Alabama, a driver can simply offer electronic documents to law enforcement on a mobile electronic device. No enrollment is necessary. The pilot program will last through September 30, 2016.

The following three-minute video explains the procedures involved to use electronic documentation. It was produced by the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation, which is the lead state in the pilot program.

Three-Minute Electronic Credential Video

Other Resources
Electronic Credential Pilot handbook
Roadside Brochure

Alabama is now among a growing number of states participating in the program, which along with Wisconsin, includes Illinois (some agencies), Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. Federal and State law enforcement agencies will gather information during the pilot program to shape eventual official policies and procedure for maintaining and exhibiting required documentation.

International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) credentials may be downloaded from the Alabama IRP/IFTA system as an electronic (PDF) document. The IRP/IFTA credentials may be stored on the electronic mobile device.  During the pilot program, paper credentials must continue to be maintained within the motor vehicle so that they may be presented to non-participating law enforcement agencies.

Alabama Trucking Association officials say they have confirmed with state law enforcement agencies that their officers are ready to accept digital versions of required vehicle and driver documentation.

“This pilot program will give drivers and companies the opportunity to streamline the paper trail we are required to keep and provide quick access to forms needed during an inspection,” said ATA Director of Safety and Member Services Tim Frazier. “As we continue work to provide tools to simplify our industry’s daily tasks, this electronic capability is definitely a step in the right direction. Our State Department of Revenue and the ALEA Motor Carrier Division have teamed with us to make this opportunity successful.”

For questions regarding the pilot program, please contact the Office of Motor Carrier Services with the Alabama Dept. of Revenue at 334-242-2999.