The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the New Jersey Motor Truck Association and the Port Drivers Federation 18 have jointly filed a petition with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to prohibit the formation of mandatory drayage truck registries being compiled by various ports as well as one currently used by California Air Resources Board (CARB) since 2007.

OOIDA said the petition aims to prevent what it calls “an unworkable patchwork of local and state laws” that could impede the efficient movement of goods in interstate commerce.

“Registries and their required identification stickers are essentially a de facto re-regulation of interstate commerce,” said OOIDA President Jim Johnston. “These illegal practices should not be carried out under the guise of compliance with environmental regulations.”

Increasingly over the past few years, said OOIDA, port authorities have begun requiring interstate motor carriers to affix compliance decals, RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags, or participate in mandatory registries as part of an environmental effort to reduce emissions. Failure to comply with the registries means denial of a motor carrier’s ability to offer service in the marketplace and potential fines, OOIDA said.

The petition filed by the three groups argues that such “port registries” violates Section 209(c) of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) resulting in a regulatory regime that affects the price, route, or service offered by motor carriers.

The petition also requests a determination that additional identification requirements imposed through the use of registries are prohibited by Section 4306 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

“Failure by the DOT to uphold the law will undoubtedly encourage more authorities to adopt similar mandates that will impede efficient movement of goods,” added OOIDA’s Johnston. “It’s a return to the worst of the things that deregulation did away with long ago.”