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Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIISubchapter B → Part 379

Title 49: Transportation


§379.1   Applicability.
§379.3   Records required to be retained.
§379.5   Protection and storage of records.
§379.7   Preservation of records.
§379.9   Companies going out of business.
§379.11   Waiver of requirements of the regulations in this part.
§379.13   Disposition and retention of records.
Appendix A to Part 379—Schedule of Records and Periods of Retention

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 13301, 14122 and 14123; and 49 CFR 1.87.

Source: 62 FR 32044, June 12, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to part 379 appear at 66 FR 49871, Oct. 1, 2001.

§379.1   Applicability.

(a) The preservation of record rules contained in this part shall apply to the following:

(1) Motor carriers and brokers;

(2) Water carriers; and

(3) Household goods freight forwarders.

(b) This part applies also to the preservation of accounts, records and memoranda of traffic associations, weighing and inspection bureaus, and other joint activities maintained by or on behalf of companies listed in paragraph (a) of this section.

§379.3   Records required to be retained.

Companies subject to this part shall retain records for the minimum retention periods provided in appendix A to this part. After the required retention periods, the records may be destroyed at the discretion of each company's management. It shall be the obligation of the subject company to maintain records that adequately support financial and operational data required by the Secretary. The company may request a ruling from the Secretary on the retention of any record. The provisions of this part shall not be construed as excusing compliance with the lawful requirements of any other governmental body prescribing longer retention periods for any category of records.

§379.5   Protection and storage of records.

(a) The company shall protect records subject to this part from fires, floods, and other hazards, and safeguard the records from unnecessary exposure to deterioration from excessive humidity, dryness, or lack of ventilation.

(b) The company shall notify the Secretary if prescribed records are substantially destroyed or damaged before the term of the prescribed retention periods.

§379.7   Preservation of records.

(a) All records may be preserved by any technology that is immune to alteration, modification, or erasure of the underlying data and will enable production of an accurate and unaltered paper copy.

(b) Records not originally preserved on hard copy shall be accompanied by a statement executed by a person having personal knowledge of the facts indicating the type of data included within the records. One comprehensive statement may be executed in lieu of individual statements for multiple records if the type of data included in the multiple records is common to all such records. The records shall be indexed and retained in such a manner as will render them readily accessible. The company shall have facilities available to locate, identify and produce legible paper copies of the records.

(c) Any significant characteristic, feature or other attribute that a particular medium will not preserve shall be clearly indicated at the beginning of the applicable records as appropriate.

(d) The printed side of forms, such as instructions, need not be preserved for each record as long as the printed matter is common to all such forms and an identified specimen of the form is maintained on the medium for reference.

§379.9   Companies going out of business.

The records referred to in the regulations in this part may be destroyed after business is discontinued and the company is completely liquidated. The records may not be destroyed until dissolution is final and all pending transactions and claims are completed. When a company is merged with another company under jurisdiction of the Secretary, the successor company shall preserve records of the merged company in accordance with the regulations in this part.

§379.11   Waiver of requirements of the regulations in this part.

A waiver from any provision of the regulations in this part may be made by the Secretary upon his/her own initiative or upon submission of a written request by the company. Each request for waiver shall demonstrate that unusual circumstances warrant a departure from prescribed retention periods, procedures, or techniques, or that compliance with such prescribed requirements would impose an unreasonable burden on the company.

§379.13   Disposition and retention of records.

The schedule in appendix A to this part shows periods that designated records shall be preserved. The descriptions specified under the various general headings are for convenient reference and identification, and are intended to apply to the items named regardless of what the records are called in individual companies and regardless of the record media. The retention periods represent the prescribed number of years from the date of the document and not calendar years. Records not listed in appendix A to this part shall be retained as determined by the management of each company.

Appendix A to Part 379—Schedule of Records and Periods of Retention

Item and category of recordsRetention period
A. Corporate and General
1. Incorporation and reorganization:
(a) Charter or certificate of incorporation and amendmentsNote A.
(b) Legal documents related to mergers, consolidations, reorganization, receiverships and similar actions which affect the identity or organization of the companyNote A.
2. Minutes of Directors, Executive Committees, Stockholders and other corporate meetingsNote A.
3. Titles, franchises and authorities:
(a) Certificates of public convenience and necessity issued by regulating bodiesUntil expiration or cancellation.
(b) Operating authorizations and exemptions to operateUntil expiration or cancellation.
(c) Copies of formal orders of regulatory bodies served upon the companyNote A.
(d) Deeds, charters, and other title papersUntil disposition of property.
4. Annual reports or statements to stockholders3 years.
5. Contracts and agreements:
(a) Service contracts, such as for operational management, accounting, financial or legal services, and agreements with agentsUntil expiration or termination plus 3 years.
(b) Contracts and other agreements relating to the construction, acquisition or sale of real property and equipment except as otherwise provided in (a) aboveUntil expiration or termination plus 3 years.
(c) Contracts for the purchase or sale of material and supplies except as provided in (a) aboveUntil expiration.
(d) Shipping contracts for transportation or caretakers of freightUntil expiration.
(e) Contracts with employees and employee bargaining groupsUntil expiration.
(f) Contracts, leases and agreements, not specifically provided for in this sectionUntil expiration or termination plus 1 year.
6. Accountant's auditor's, and inspector's reports:
(a) Certifications and reports of examinations and audits conducted by public accountants3 years.
(b) Reports of examinations and audits conducted by internal auditors, time inspectors, and others3 years.
7. OtherNote A.
B. Treasury
1. Capital stock records:
(a) Capital stock ledgerNote A.
(b) Capital stock certificates, records of or stubs ofNote A.
(c) Stock transfer registerNote A.
2. Long-term debt records:
(a) Bond indentures, underwritings, mortgages, and other long-term credit agreementsUntil redemption plus 3 years.
(b) Registered bonds and debenture ledgersUntil redemption plus 3 years.
(c) Stubs or similar records of bonds or other long-term debt issuedNote A.
3. Authorizations from regulatory bodies for issuance of securities including applications, reports, and supporting papersNote A.
4. Records of securities owned, in treasury, or held by custodians, detailed ledgers and journals, or their equivalentUntil the securities are sold, redeemed or otherwise disposed of.
5. OtherNote A.
C. Financial and Accounting
1. Ledgers:
(a) General and subsidiary ledgers with indexesUntil discontinuance of use plus 3 years.
(b) Balance sheets and trial balance sheets of general and subsidiary ledgers3 years.
2. Journals:
(a) General journalsUntil discontinuance of use plus 3 years.
(b) Subsidiary journals and any supporting data, except as otherwise provided for, necessary to explain journal entries3 years.
3. Cash books:
(a) General cash booksUntil discontinuance of use plus 3 years.
(b) Subsidiary cash books3 years.
4. Vouchers:
(a) Voucher registers, indexes, or equivalent3 years.
(b) Paid and canceled vouchers, expenditure authorizations, detailed distribution sheets and other supporting data including original bills and invoices, if not provided for elsewhere3 years.
(c) Paid drafts, paid checks, and receipts for cash paid out3 years.
5. Accounts receivable:
(a) Record or register of accounts receivable, indexes thereto, and summaries of distribution3 years after settlement.
(b) Bills issued for collection and supporting data3 years after settlement.
(c) Authorization for writing off receivables1 year.
(d) Reports and statements showing age and status of receivables1 year.
6. Records of accounting codes and instructions3 years after discontinuance.
7. OtherNote A.
D. Property and Equipment
Note.—All accounts, records, and memoranda necessary for making a complete analysis of the cost or value of property shall be retained for the periods shown. If any of the records elsewhere provided for in this schedule are of this character, they shall be retained for the periods shown below, regardless of any lesser retention period assigned.
1. Property records:
(a) Records which maintain complete information on cost or other value of all real and personal property or equipment3 years after disposition of property.
(b) Records of additions and betterments made to property and equipment3 years after disposition of property.
(c) Records pertaining to retirements and replacements of property and equipment3 years after disposition of property.
(d) Records pertaining to depreciation3 years after disposition of property.
(e) Records of equipment number changes3 years after disposition of property.
(f) Records of motor and engine changes3 years after disposition of property.
(g) Records of equipment lightweighed and stenciledOnly current or latest records.
2. Engineering records of property changes actually made3 years after disposition of property.
3. OtherNote A.
E. Personnel and Payroll
1. Personnel and payroll records1 year.
F. Insurance and Claims
1. Insurance records:
(a) Schedules of insurance against fire, storms, and other hazards and records of premium paymentsUntil expiration plus 1 year.
(b) Records of losses and recoveries from insurance companies and supporting papers1 year after settlement.
(c) Insurance policiesUntil expiration of coverage plus 1 year.
2. Claims records:
(a) Claim registers, card or book indexes, and other records which record personal injury, fire and other claims against the company, together with all supporting data1 year after settlement.
(b) Claims registers, card or book indexes, and other records which record overcharges, damages, and other claims filed by the company against others, together with all supporting data1 year after settlement.
(c) Records giving the details of authorities issued to agents, carriers, and others for participation in freight claims3 years.
(d) Reports, statements and other data pertaining to personal injuries or damage to property when not necessary to support claims or vouchers3 years.
(e) Reports, statements, tracers, and other data pertaining to unclaimed, over, short, damaged, and refused freight, when not necessary to support claims or vouchers1 year.
(f) Authorities for disposal of unclaimed, damaged, and refused freight3 years.
3. OtherNote A.
G. Taxes
1. Taxes.Note A.
H. Purchases and Stores
1. Purchases and stores.Note A.
I. Shipping and Agency Documents
1. Bills of lading and releases:
(a) Consignors' shipping orders, consignors' shipping tickets, and copies of bills of lading, freight bills from other carriers and other similar documents furnished the carrier for movement of freight1 year.
(b) Shippers' order-to-notify bills of lading taken up and canceled1 year.
2. Freight waybills:
(a) Local waybills1 year.
(b) Interline waybills received from and made to other carriers1 year.
(c) Company freight waybills1 year.
(d) Express waybills1 year.
3. Freight bills and settlements:
(a) Paid copy of freight bill retained to support receipt of freight charges:
(1) Bus express freight bills provided no claim has been filed1 year.
(2) All other freight bills1 year.
(b) Paid copy of freight bill retained to support payment of freight charges to other carriers:
(1) Bus express freight bills provided no claim has been filed1 year.
(2) All other freight bills1 year.
(c) Records of unsettled freight bills and supporting papers1 year after disposition.
(d) Records and reports of correction notices1 year.
4. Other freight records:
(a) Records of freight received, forwarded, and delivered1 year.
(b) Notice to consignees of arrival of freight; tender of delivery1 year.
5. Agency records:
(a) Cash books1 year.
(b) Remittance records, bank deposit slips and supporting papers1 year.
(c) Balance sheets and supporting papers1 year.
(d) Statements of corrections in agents' accounts1 year.
(e) Other records and reports pertaining to ticket sales, baggage handled, miscellaneous collections, refunds, adjustments, etc.1 year.
J. Transportation
1. Records pertaining to transportation of household goods:
(a) Estimate of charges1 year.
(b) Order for service1 year.
(c) Vehicle load manifest1 year.
(d) Descriptive inventory1 year.
2. Dispatchers' sheets, registers, and other records pertaining to movement of transportation equipment3 years.
3. Import and export records including bonded freight2 years.
4. Records, reports, orders and tickets pertaining to weighting of freight3 years.
5. Records of loading and unloading of transportation equipment2 years.
6. Records pertaining to the diversion or reconsignment of freight, including requests, tracers, and correspondence2 years.
7. OtherNote A.
K. Supporting Data for Reports and Statistics
1. Supporting data for reports filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Surface Transportation Board, the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics and regulatory bodies:
(a) Supporting data for annual financial, operating and statistical reports3 years.
(b) Supporting data for periodical reports of operating revenues, expenses, and income3 years.
(c) Supporting data for reports detailing use of proceeds from issuance or sale of company securities3 years.
(d) Supporting data for valuation inventory reports and records. This includes related notes, maps and sketches, underlying engineering, land, and accounting reports, pricing schedules, summary or collection sheets, yearly reports of changes and other miscellaneous data, all relating to the valuation of the company's property by the Federal Highway Administration, the Surface Transportation Board, the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics or other regulatory body3 years after disposition of the property.
2. Supporting data for periodical reports of accidents, inspections, tests, hours of service, repairs, etc.6 months.
3. Supporting data for periodical statistical of operating results or performance by tonnage, mileage, passengers carried, piggyback traffic, commodities, costs, analyses of increases and decreases, or otherwise3 years.
M. Miscellaneous
1. Index of recordsUntil revised as record structure changes.
2. Statement listing records prematurely destroyed or lostFor the remainder of the period as prescribed for records destroyed.

Note A—Records referenced to this note shall be maintained as determined by the designated records supervisory official. Companies should be mindful of the record retention requirements of the Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, State and local jurisdictions, and other regulatory agencies. Companies shall exercise reasonable care in choosing retention periods, and the choice of retention periods shall reflect past experiences, company needs, pending litigation, and regulatory requirements.

[62 FR 32044, June 12, 1997, as amended at 77 FR 59824, Oct. 1, 2012]

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