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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 49Subtitle BChapter XSubchapter C → Part 1220

Title 49: Transportation


§1220.0   Applicability.
§1220.1   Records required to be retained.
§1220.2   Protection and storage of records.
§1220.3   Preservation of records.
§1220.4   Companies going out of business.
§1220.5   Waiver of requirements of these regulations.
§1220.6   Schedule of records and periods of retention.

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 1321, 11144, 11145.

Source: 50 FR 10775, Mar. 18, 1985; 51 FR 22083, June 18, 1986, unless otherwise noted.

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§1220.0   Applicability.

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

Railroad companies

Electric railway companies

Express companies

Persons furnishing cars to railroads

Ratemaking organizations

This part applies also to the preservation of accounts, records and memoranda of traffic associations, demurrage and car service bureaus, weighing and inspection bureaus, and other joint activities maintained by or on behalf of companies listed in the above paragraph of this subpart.

[50 FR 1075, Mar. 18, 1985 and 51 FR 22083, June 18, 1986, as amended at 51 FR 44297, Dec. 9, 1986; 62 FR 50525, Sept. 26, 1997]

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§1220.1   Records required to be retained.

Companies subject to this part shall retain records for the minimum retention periods required by §1220.6, Schedule of records and periods of retention. 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 Board. The company may request a ruling from the Board 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.

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§1220.2   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 Board if prescribed records are substantially destroyed or damaged before the term of the prescribed retention periods.

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§1220.3   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.

[50 FR 10775, Mar. 18, 1985, as amended at 56 FR 30874, July 8, 1991]

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§1220.4   Companies going out of business.

The records referred to in these regulations 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 Board, the successor company shall preserve records of the merged company in accordance with these regulations.

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§1220.5   Waiver of requirements of these regulations.

A waiver from any provision of these regulations may be made by the Board upon its 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.

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§1220.6   Schedule of records and periods of retention.

The following schedule 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 below shall be retained as determined by the management of each company.

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 company      Do.
2. Minutes of Directors, Executive Committees, Stockholders and other corporate meetings      Do.
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 operate      Do.
(c) Copies of formal orders of regulatory bodies served upon the companyNote A.
(d) Deeds, charters, and other title papersUntil disposition of property.
(e) Patents and patent recordsNote A.
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) above      Do.
(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 freight      Do.
(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 others      Do.
7. Other: (See Note A)
B. Treasury
1. Capital stock records:
(a) Capital stock ledgerNote A.
(b) Capital stock certificates, records of or stubs of      Do.
(c) Stock transfer register      Do.
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 ledgers      Do.
(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 papers      Do.
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. Other: (See Note 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 equivalent      Do.
(b) Paid and canceled vouchers, expenditure authorizations, detailed distribution sheets and other supporting data including original bills and invoices, if not provided for elsewhere      Do.
(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 data      Do.
(c) Authorization for writing off receivables1 year.
(d) Reports and statements showing age and status of receivables      Do.
6. Records of accounting codes and instructions3 years after discontinuance.
7. Other: (Note 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 equipment      Do.
(c) Records pertaining to retirements and replacements of property and equipment      Do.
(d) Records pertaining to depreciation      Do.
(e) Records of equipment number changes      Do.
(f) Records of motor and engine changes      Do.
(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. Other: (Note A)
E. Personnel and Payroll
1. Personnel and payroll records1 year (Note A).
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 data      Do.
(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 vouchers      Do.
(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. Other: (See Note 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 cancelled      Do.
2. Freight waybills:
(a) Local waybills      Do.
(b) Interline waybills received from and made to other carriers      Do.
(c) Company freight waybills      Do.
(d) Express waybills      Do.
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 filed      Do.
(2) All other freight bills      Do.
(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 filed      Do.
(2) All other freight bills      Do.
(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 delivered      Do.
(b) Notice to consignees of arrival of freight; tender of delivery      Do.
5. Agency records (to include conductors, pursers, stewards, and others):
(a) Cash books      Do.
(b) Remittance records, bank deposit slips and supporting papers      Do.
(c) Balance sheets and supporting papers      Do.
(d) Statements of corrections in agents' accounts      Do.
(e) Other records and reports pertaining to ticket sales, baggage handled, miscellaneous collections, refunds, adjustments, etc      Do.
J. Transportation
1. Records pertaining to transportation of household goods:
(a) Estimate of charges1 year.
(b) Order for service      Do.
(c) Vehicle-load manifest      Do.
(d) Descriptive inventory      Do.
2. Records and reports pertaining to operation of marine and floating equipment:
(a) Ship log3 years.
(b) Ship articles      Do.
(c) Passenger and room list      Do.
(d) Floatmen's barge, lighter, and escrow captain's reports, demurrage records, towing reports and checks sheets2 years.
3. Car distribution and movement-railroads only:
(a) Records of car allotment and distribution      Do.
(b) Records of cars ordered, furnished and loaded      Do.
(c) Records showing dates and numbers of trains, initials and number of cars, movement of cars, and mileage of cars and trains      Do.
(d) Report of cars interchanged with connecting lines      Do.
(e) Reports of unfilled car orders1 year.
(f) Per diem and mileage reports made and received, including reclaims and discrepancy and adjustment reports2 years.
(g) Demurrage and storage records      Do.
4. Dispatchers' sheets, registers, and other records pertaining to movement of transportation equipment3 years
5. Import and export records including bonded freight and steamship engagements2 years.
6. Records, reports, orders and tickets pertaining to weighting of freight3 years.
7. Records of loading and unloading of transportation equipment2 years.
8. Records pertaining to the diversion or reconsignment of freight, including requests, tracers, and correspondence      Do.
9. Other: (See Note A)
K. Tariffs and Rates
1. Official file copies of tariffs, classifications, division sheets, and circulars relative to the transportation of persons or property3 years after expiration or cancellation.
2. Authorities and supporting papers for transportation of property or passengers free or at reduced rates3 years.
3. Records and documents required by provisions of §1253.20 to be maintained2 years.
L. Supporting Data for Reports and Statistics
1. Supporting data for reports filed with the Surface Transportation Board 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 income      Do.
(c) Supporting data for reports detailing use of proceeds from issuance or sale of company securities      Do.
(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 Surface Transportation Board or other regulatory body3 years after disposition of the property.
2. Supporting data for periodical reports of accidents, inspections, tests, hours of service, repairs, freight car locations, etc3 years.
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 otherwise      Do.
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.

[50 FR 10775, Mar. 18, 1985, as amended at 51 FR 22083, June 18, 1986]

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