“Basic” Inspection of Terminal (BIT) Program Update

Major Changes Effective January 1, 2016

On October 3, 2013 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 529 (Vehicles: motor carriers: inspections and fees – AKA: BIT Reform bill) sponsored by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal. The bill was supported by all major trucking associations in California including the California Construction Trucking Association.

AB 529 will significantly alter the Biennial Inspection of Terminal (BIT) program and how motor carriers are prioritized for a terminal inspection. For starters, the program will be called the Basic Inspection of Terminal program. The intent behind reforming the BIT program is to allow CHP to more closely target its limited human resources (inspectors) to focus on unsafe motor carriers. Bluntly, if you’ve always received a satisfactory terminal rating, chances are you will always get a satisfactory rating so why should you continually face a terminal inspection? You won’t as long as your crash history and safety data from all inspections indicates good safety management practices are in-place.

Some of the key changes to BIT include:

  • Every motor carrier in the state that does not currently have a U.S. DOT number will have a number assigned. If you do not have a U.S. DOT number, CHP will notify you this fall of its assignment. Motor carriers can display either their CA number or U.S. DOT number or both on their vehicles. The process of CHP assigning US DOT numbers to motor carriers operating only with a CA number and Motor Carrier Permit has already begun.
  • The assignment of the U.S. DOT number will allow CHP to upload all vehicle, terminal, and carrier inspections conducted on a particular motor carrier into the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Safety Measurement System (SMS). This system populates carrier information and safety data in what is termed CSA – Compliance, Safety, Accountability.
  • CHP will utilize the safety data to prioritize terminal inspections. AB 529 allows CHP the discretion not to inspect a terminal more often than one time every six years (currently it is mandatory every 25 months). If your safety profile within FMCSA’s SMS is good, you won’t need to go through a terminal inspection every 25 months.
    Expands significantly the number of motor carriers required to enroll in the BIT program. Currently a motor carrier operating the following types of equipment is required to enroll in BIT:

    • Any motortruck with three or more axles having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds.
    • Truck tractors.
    • Trailers or semitrailers used in combination with the vehicles listed above.
    • Any truck or combination of a truck and any other vehicle, transporting hazardous materials that require placards, a hazardous materials transportation license, or hazardous waste transporter registration, including pickups used for this purpose.
      Any motortruck with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds (excluding a pickup truck as defined in Section 471 VC), while towing any trailer or semitrailer that results in a combination length over 40 feet (excluding trailer coaches, camp trailers, and utility trailers, as those terms are defined in the Vehicle Code).
      Simply, any motor carrier operating a commercial motor vehicle subject to regulation by the California Public Utilities Commission, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or the California Department of Motor Vehicles will be included (think of the fleets operating 2-axle delivery trucks. They will now be included in BIT).
    • NOTICE: Including CMV’s operated in commercial use of 10,001 pounds GVWR or more also means fleet equipment not previously required to have 90-BIT inspections will now need to comply with all inspection requirements.
  • Leased equipment. Currently, when a vehicle is leased to a motor carrier for a period of four months or less, the registered owner (lessor) is responsible for it under BIT, including presenting the vehicle for inspection, and all maintenance and maintenance records requirements. The new Basic Inspection of Terminals program will end that practice and motor carriers (lessee) will be responsible on day one.
  • CHP will no longer collect BIT fees. BIT fees will be paid to DMV at the time of obtaining a new or renewing an existing motor carrier permit (MCP). For motor carriers that possess a non-expiring MCP, they will no longer pay BIT fees since there is no annual renewal for a non-expiring MCP (as long as you keep current with paying annual Unified Carrier Registration fees).

We will have a presentation on changes with BIT at this falls annual membership meeting to be held in the Bay area. If you have any immediate questions, contact CCTA Director of Governmental Affairs Joe Rajkovacz at the office (909) 982-9898 or email him joe@calcontrk.org

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