Be Part of the Ultimate Safety & Compliance Community
Trending news, knowledge-building content, and more – all personalized to you!
A direct final rule makes regulatory changes and states that those changes will take effect on a specified date unless FMCSA receives an adverse comment by the date specified in the direct final rule published in the Federal Register.
(a) Types of actions appropriate for direct final rulemaking. Rules that the Administrator determines to be non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse public comments may be published in the final rule section of the Federal Register as direct final rules. These include non-controversial rules that:
(1) Make non-substantive clarifications or corrections to existing rules;
(2) Incorporate by reference the latest or otherwise updated versions of technical or industry standards;
(3) Affect internal FMCSA procedures such as filing requirements and rules governing inspection and copying of documents;
(4) Update existing forms; and
(5) Make minor changes to rules regarding statistics and reporting requirements, such as a change in reporting period (for example, from quarterly to annually) or eliminating a type of data collection no longer necessary.
(b) Adverse comment. An adverse comment is a comment that FMCSA judges to be critical of the rule, to suggest that the rule should not be adopted, or to suggest that a change should be made to the rule. Under the direct final rule process, FMCSA does not consider the following types of comments to be adverse:
(1) Comments recommending another rule change, unless the commenter states that the direct final rule will be ineffective without the change;
(2) Comments outside the scope of the rule and comments suggesting that the rule’s policy or requirements should or should not be extended to other Agency programs outside the scope of the rule;
(3) Comments in support of the rule; or
(4) Comments requesting clarification.
(c) Confirmation of effective date. FMCSA will publish a confirmation rule document in the Federal Register, if it has not received an adverse comment by the date specified in the direct final rule. The confirmation rule document tells the public the effective date of the rule.
(d) Withdrawal of a direct final rule.
(1) If FMCSA receives an adverse comment within the comment period, it will either publish a document withdrawing the direct final rule before it becomes effective and may issue an NPRM, or proceed by any other means permitted under the Administrative Procedure Act.
(2) If FMCSA withdraws a direct final rule because of an adverse comment, the Agency may issue a notice of proposed rulemaking if it decides to pursue the rulemaking.
[75 FR 29916, May 28, 2010; 84 FR 71733, Dec. 27, 2019; 86 FR 17296, Apr. 2, 2021]