In the Fall of 2018, we advised our newsletter readers that FMCSA was planning to implement its “off-site review” process in all 50 States throughout 2019. FMCSA auditors have been conducting off-site reviews in only 9 States since 2010 but, in late 2018, FMCSA decided to implement this auditing process nationwide. Off-site reviews are ‘DOT audits’ focused on just a few regulatory compliance areas (HOS and/or driver qualifications as an example) that an auditor conducts from his or her office, after contacting and obtaining records electronically from a trucking company.

When we first alerted our readers about FMCSA’s off-site review expansion plans, we also made a pretty safe prediction that the number of off-side audits would go up, and probably pretty quickly. Current numbers of off-site audits are indeed going up across the country – there has been an increase from only 238 in all of FY 2018 to 505 thus far in FY 2019. While these numbers are still relatively low compared to on-site audits, they reflect more than a 100% increase in the first nine months of FY 2019. Given the efficiency of this type of audit, the numbers will continue to climb.

If you’re a fleet representative and FMCSA contacts you for an audit (off-site or otherwise), here are some suggested Dos and Don’ts:

  1. Verify the credentials of the auditor
  2. Ask about the reason for the review, the process to be used, and how long it will take
  3. Cooperate, respond timely and provide the requested records
  4. Designate a single company point of contact for the auditor to use throughout the process


  1. Volunteer information beyond what is requested
  2. Argue with the auditor or start out on the wrong foot
  3. Act defensive
  4. Admit violations