9 Tips for Submitting DataQs

Use these expert tips to challenge erroneous violations.

Mark Schedler - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

June 17 , 2019

DataQs Process

A motor carrier, driver, or other stakeholder can take 15 to 20 minutes to register for DataQs via the FMCSA Portal or through the DataQs system directly. DataQs is open to the public and the website provides an online help function to walk users through the process. Requests for data corrections require simple forms to be filled in with information from the relevant report, such as the report number, date, time of event, state, and an explanation for why the data should be changed. All information is routed to the organization responsible for the data. Electronic correspondence is used to communicate with the requestor when additional information is needed.

All changes to data must be made at the source, i.e., the agency that entered the data, so all DataQs requests are forwarded to the appropriate agency, which is usually the state in which the violation occurred. The decision of that agency will take 30 to 90 days, and is final. FMCSA is not authorized to override that agency’s decision. If corrected, your score will be adjusted accordingly between the 20th and the 28th of the month, when SMS is updated. However, don’t expect a huge drop since the prior two years’ data is being used in the calculation and the impact will depend on the BASIC involved.


9 Tips for Using DataQs

  1. Challenge the citation in court before you submit a DataQs request. If the court dismisses the ticket, it must be removed from your CSA scoring. If the citation is reduced, it may be reduced to a 1-point violation in the CSA system.
  2. Due to the time-weighting process in SMS, make the request as soon as possible while the information is fresh and a thorough investigation is possible.
  3. Specify the correct “Roadside” event type for the Request for Data Review (RDR). Examples: Crash, Inspections/Violations, or Warnings
  4. Provide the accurate inspection report number (double-check the number).
  5. Be specific in what you want reviewed, be factual, and avoid opinions.
  6. Attach necessary document(s) that support the request on the first submission.
  7. If you are an owner-operator with a valid lease agreement, include the lease agreement with your DataQs request.
  8. Ensure contact information is accurate and updated.
  9. Check the status frequently, as additional information may be requested.


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