Performance and Registration Information Systems Management

To identify motor carriers responsible for the safety of commercial motor vehicles and monitor the safety fitness of those motor carriers by linking the vehicle registration process to safety performance monitoring and enforcement.

Furthermore, causing the carrier to improve their safety performance
through an improvement process, and where necessary, the application of registration sanctions.

Examples of Funded Projects

State improvements to data information and registration systems, bar-coding, training and outreach activities.

Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Office - State Division Offices of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

As Of July 1st 2008 46 States plus the District of Columbia have signed grant agreements with the FMCSA to implement the PRISM program, including: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NH, NJ, NC, NE, NH, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, and WY. On average it takes approximately 2 to 2 1/2 years for a State to acquire the necessary hardware and software required to build, populate, and maintain the necessary DMV PRISM data files to fully realize the potential of PRISM. Twenty nine States are presently PRISM capable, with four states in the process of implementation and nine states and DC committed to implement the program at their discretion sometime in the future. PRISM states that actively exercise their authority to deny, revoke, and or suspend a carriers registration include: AL, AR, CT, GA, IA, IN, KY, ME, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NM, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, and WV.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Assistance to States for the implementation of the PRISM program, including training, outreach, and the development of system requirements linking motor carrier safety to the States commercial vehicle registration processes.

This process allows States to capture the USDOT number of the motor carrier responsible for the safety of each vehicle at the vehicle level during registration.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

A qualified State of the United States and the District of Columbia.

Beneficiary Eligibility



Submission of a State grant request and PRISM Implementation Plan addressing the program requirements outlined in the PRISM Implementation Guide.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

At the State's request, FMCSA will conduct an initial briefing of the PRISM program for State officials.

If a State decides to join PRISM, FMCSA requests they state their intentions to implement the program in a Letter of Intent to FMCSA.

A two-day in-depth PRISM training session is then scheduled with the respective State to provide a general overview of the program and a thorough review of the grant requirements included in the PRISM Implementation Guide.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or officials designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

File with the FMCSA Division Office a Letter of Intent, or a SF 424 Short Form. The State's PRISM Implementation Plan specifying how the State will meet the program requirements, time frames for completion, and associated costs. A sample Letter of Intent, together with a SF 424 Short and a sample State Implementation Plan are available on the website

Award Procedures

The amount of the PRISM grant funding allocated to a qualifying State will be determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration based on the assessed needs of the State, the eligibility of the State, and the availability of funds. Once the State's PRISM Implementation Plan has been approved, the grant will be awarded and the State will be required to sign a grant agreement with FMCSA.


Not applicable.


Congress authorized funding for The Performance and Registration Information Systems Management Program (PRISM) through the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1991, Public Law 102-240; the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century of 1998, Public Law 105-178; and The Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2006, Public Law 109-59.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 21 to 60 days.


States will be notified via the Division Administrator of failure to submit a satisfactory PRISM Implementation Plan. States will then be requested to modify and resubmit the plan for approval.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. PRISM grants are 100 percent federally funded and require no State matching of funds.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are available for up to two years. Obligations to a State will remain available for expenditure during the two-year period specified in the grant agreement and may be extended under special circumstances with FMCSA approval.

Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly activity reports, including a summary of grant expenditures, are required to be filed with the FMCSA Division Office.


When a State has fully implemented the PRISM Program an Implementation Review is scheduled to ensure that States meet the requirements of the PRISM Program. Items needing modification are identified for corrective action with progress monitored on a bi-annual basis.


Records of all program activities covered in the State's PRISM Implementation Plan and records pertaining to other supporting activities must be kept for 3 years following the year of funding.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 Grants $5,000,000; Contracts $1,000,000; FY 08 $5,000,000; and FY 09 $5,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Financial assistance averages approximately $500,000 per State. Funding is determined based upon individual State needs for full implementation of the program.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The Implementation Guide, Procedures Manual, and System Specifications for the PRISM program maybe obtained by contacting Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature: 49 CFR 1.48. 49 CFR 386-399, Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations; 49 CFR 100-180, Hazardous Materials Regulations, Government Printing Office, $14-$27 per volume.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

State Division Offices of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Office of Enforcement and Compliance, MC-ECE, 1200 New Jersey Ave, S.E., Washington, DC, 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-9699.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The applicant must submit and receive formal approval of a State PRISM Implementation Plan specifying how the State will meet the program requirements, time frames for completion, and associated costs of the program.

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