SMS Scores

SMS Scores: The Basics of the FMCSA Safety Measurement System

Do you want to start a trucking company correctly? Having great SMS scores is crucial to the success of all US transportation companies. Safety matters when it comes to trucking and transportation. That’s why the FMCSA enforces SMS (the safety measurement system). SMS is about more than keeping trucking companies in compliance. It’s about the lives of your drivers and others on the road. Must visit DOT Compliant Drug & Alcohol Program.

Your SMS and SAFER scores measure adherence to safety practices. The scores serve as proof of the safety record for each carrier. Every SMS score can have a tremendous impact on the insurance rates of companies. Let’s continue going over the basics of why SMS scores are so important. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call Moving Authority right now. What is IFTA Sticker Registration?

What Is an SMS Score?

Check first FMCSA Registration Regulations Service. “SMS” refers to data within the FMCSA Safety Measurement System (SMS). It focuses on performance data used by the enforcement community and agency. The FMCSA has the power to conduct further monitoring of any motor carrier. That will happen if SMS score safety data isn’t where it needs to be. The SMS assesses data from crash reports and roadside inspections. It refers to safety data from the last two years. SMS also uses data related to investigations. This way, it can recognize and intervene with some motor carriers. These are carriers that pose safety risks for drivers on the interstate. Get FMCSA Trucking Authority.

Getting trucking contracts and Texas DOT Numbers. The FMCSA will update its SMS criteria and policies about once per month. The safety data gets organized into seven BASIC categories. BASIC stands for “Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories.” The SMS focuses on grouping carriers based on BASIC criteria. It will compare the safety scores of each carrier to many other carriers. The carriers in comparison have similar safety events. The FMCSA uses SMS to rank each carrier. It assigns a percentile that prioritizes the carriers for future interventions. Do you want to learn about the effectiveness of SMS? You can go to the SMS Effectiveness Test page. That’s where you’ll find full-scale SMS results. Enforcement users and carriers can log in and view their safety profiles. Please contact our organization if you need more information about SMS data. What Is IRP or Apportioned Registration?

What Data Gets Entered Into SMS?

How To Request the DOT PIN Number. SMS functions as a safety assessment tool. It assesses up-to-date roadside performance data. The FMCSA uses the data to rank the relative safety performance of each carrier. Six categories exist for the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories. (This refers to BASICs.) There is also the crash involvement (crash indicator) safety performance score. What is the DOT SAP Program?

View Your FMCSA SMS Scores

The FMCSA has its own SMS website listed online. The site provides an assessment of two key factors related to all US motor carriers. They are on-road performance and investigation results. These results get computed into the BASICs system. Each assessment covers 24 months of activity from each carrier. The FMCSA updates the safety score results every month. Check out the Basics of Farm Exemptions.

What are the top 3 DOT violations? A carrier wants to avoid receiving a yellow warning symbol. The symbol represents that a motor carrier exceeded the FMCSA intervention threshold. That’s because the FMCSA analyzes roadside data. Also, a carrier might get cited for at least one serious violation within 12 months. If so, the FMCSA will conduct an immediate safety investigation. Each carrier can receive a roadside inspection and specific intervention action. How to get a DOT Number in California.

How Do I Check the SMS Score of My Carrier?

The first step is to log into the FMCSA SMS website. That’s where you will provide your US DOT Number. The Safety Measurement System (SMS) will make a calculation. That’s where it measures the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement criteria. SMS will analyze BASICs information for each category. This way, SMS will assign a percentile or ranking for a carrier. The FMCSA uses this information to come up with similar carriers. This is The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

How to Prepare for Compliance DOT Audit, DOT Audit Checklist? So, how does an SMS score get calculated? SMS uses a score system based on a 0-100 scale. 100 refers to the worst performance and 0 represents the best performance. The lower your SMS score, the better your safety performance is. Say that a carrier in a group of carriers has the highest score measure. That means the carrier functions in the 100th percentile. Now, let’s say a carrier has the lowest score measure. This means the carrier’s operating within the 0 percentile. Does your SMS profile feature yellow warning symbols? If so, your transportation company might be investigated by the FMCSA. Say that safety investigations take place. And they lead to your company having a poor safety track record. Your carrier might receive civil fines and out-of-service orders. But that’s not all. Poor SMS safety scores can result in insurance cancellations, you can also visit MC Number Insurance Requirements.

What Does the CSA Program Do?

CSA refers to the “Compliance, Safety, Accountability” program. It’s a recent FMCSA safety program. The program focuses on improving bus and large truck safety. This way, the number of crashes per year can be reduced. CSA functions as a new carrier compliance and enforcement model. It positions the FMCSA and state partners to contact many carriers. This way, safety problems can be addressed before a crash takes place.

The CSA Program & SMS BASIC Scores

There are different levels of obligation when it comes to MCS-150. In 2015, the FAST Act went into effect across the US. As a result, the FMCSA now prevents the public from accessing BASIC scores. (This refers to the FMCSA BASIC website.) Do not expect the CSA program to go away. (CSA refers to Compliance, Safety, and Accountability.) But do expect the public to never have access to BASIC safety scores. Although the FMCSA might create a corrective action plan at some point. The FMCSA SMS website also does not feature public CSA information. This relates to safety performance and property carrier compliance. Check out Form OP-1 Application for Motor Property Carrier and Broker.


SMS refers to the Safety Measurement System. Think of it as an official on-road safety and performance measurement system. The FMCSA uses it every day to track safety and performance history. So why did the FMCSA create this safety system? Its purpose isn’t to remain the same. The FMCSA plans on the systems adapting and changing over time. This will happen as new measurement guides and technologies become established. The FMCSA updates SMS on a consistent basis. Your company can check out the FMCSA website to view the updates. Check out DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement.

SAFER refers to the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records. This system provides safety information. Both the trucking industry and the public can receive the information online. Any company can search for safety snapshots free of charge. All a carrier needs is an MC Number, DOT Number, or company name. Snapshots feature basic information about crashes, safety violations, and inspections. Please let Moving Authority know if you need help requesting a SAFER company profile.

Historical & Current FMCSA Safety Measurement Scores & Information

Most freight contracts function as digital and paper contracts. The FMCSA provides recent SMS BASIC Statistics and also related information. The statistics and information applies to carriers within the following categories:

-Unsafe Driving Scores

-Vehicle Maintenance Scores

-Driver Fitness Scores

-Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance Scores

-Controlled Substances and Alcohol Scores

Does your motor carrier want to view more than current BASIC scores? A carrier can also view the complete BASIC score history for any trucking company. Any organization can also access historical and current roadside inspection information. Check out Driver Qualification Files

What Is the Main Purpose of the Safety Measurement System (SMS)?

SMS (Safety Measurement System) operates within the standard CSA Operational Model. The SMS platform examines the on-road safety performance of both drivers and carriers. This way, the FMCSA can recognize candidates that need interventions. Plus, SMS helps target certain safety problems. These problems apply to both carriers and drivers. SMS monitors if safety problems get better or worse. Keep in mind that SMS replaced the SafeStat system that rated carriers. Also, check about BOC-3 filing.

Rating carriers Through the Weighted Point System

CSA technologies use a weighted point system. The system applies to various violations under one constant method. Through it, the system can improve the way careers get rated and measured. Each weighted value gets time-weighted and divided by relevant inspections. Then, the carriers will be separated into peer groups. Next, each transportation company receives a percentile ranking number. The FMCSA will track the number. But do not expect the FMCSA to track the individual weighted point totals. Through tracking a number, the FMCSA can figure out if intervention must take place. How Much Does a DOT Number Cost?

How Do I Check My CSA Score?

What is UCR filing? It’s easy for any motor carrier or transportation company to view its CSA score. All you've got to do is access the USDOT website. Once there, enter your PIN and USDOT Number. Do so at the SMS login page. Then, you can locate your CSA score with ease.

The BASIC Safety Score Categories of SMS

Must visit Dot Authority. SMS focuses on motor carrier data related to all US roadside inspections. These include state-reported crashes and safety-based violations. There’s also the federal motor carrier census to quantify performance. Here are the seven categories of BASIC:

-Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance Scores

-Unsafe Driving Scores

-Vehicle Maintenance Scores

-Controlled Substances and Alcohol Scores

-Driver Fitness Scores

-Crash Indicator Scores (Not Available to the Public)

-Compliance Scores (Not Available to the Public)

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You can learn more about BASIC safety score by accessing the CSA website. Or, you're welcome to call Moving Authority for more information. Our experts can explain the threshold of deficient scores for every BASIC category.

Improve Your SMS Scores Through Moving Authority

Does your company need to improve its SMS safety scores? If so, the Moving Authority team is standing by to assist. Our transportation experts can assess your information within minutes. Then, they can help you create a custom plan for achieving full-scale compliance. This way, your company can avoid receiving strict FMCSA fines and penalties. Our mission is to help prevent your business from receiving violations. Please call us right now to get started. Or, you're welcome to email us or send a message on this website. We look forward to helping your company improve its SMS safety scores.

SMS Scores