Manufacturer Information / Reporting Guidance
Manufacturer Part 551-574 Helpdesk - Contact Information
NHTSA’s Crash Data and Manufacturer Helpdesk - email email@example.com or call 1-888-399-3277 for questions
NHTSA is responsible for the management and oversight of Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) specifications across all vehicle-based products. In addition, NHTSA requires that manufacturers, parts manufacturers, tire manufacturers and companies that participate in finalizing vehicles for use on U.S. roads identify themselves through reporting that is governed by CFR 49 Parts 551 to 574. Under these rules manufacturers are required to provide general vehicle specifications and identification marks (e.g., VIN, DOT Code, etc.) to NHTSA, which NHTSA has consolidated and provided for use to the public in the NHTSA Product Information Catalog and Vehicle Listing (vPIC). vPIC can be accessed using the following link:
vPIC is designed to provide users a full range of tools to view submittals, decode VINs and a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for development purposes. All data is provided from the manufacturer directly to NHTSA and is added to the interfaces once reviewed and accepted. Manufacturers are required to submit details on their activities and/or products at least 60 days prior to start, which includes production of new vehicles. NHTSA uses this data for analysis, regulatory and research purposes to improve vehicle safety on the roads as well as to communicate with manufacturers about specifics on their vehicles or vehicle-based products. To support the Open Data Initiatives of the Federal Government NHTSA developed vPIC, which allows researchers, public users and industry the ability to use the same data the Agency uses so that a common data standard can be leveraged across vehicle safety research areas.
Manufacturer Requirements – Reporting Requirements
Information on Manufacturers of vehicle products intended for sale within the United States for both foreign and domestic manufacturers is required to be submitted to NHTSA for self-certification and reporting purposes within 60 days of official production of a vehicle or vehicle-based product intended for operation on U.S. roads using one of the approved methods as indicated below. For non-US companies, the sale, importation and or operation of vehicles from foreign companies must first conform to CFR 49 Part 551, which requires that a company designate a U.S. Agent for Service of Process that will be the primary contact for the company in the event of a safety issue. While the option to submit using U.S. Postal or hardcopy is still a valid mechanism to send documentation to NHTSA the Agency highly encourages manufacturers to use the new vPIC Manufacturer Portal within vPIC to submit. Using the vPIC Manufacturer Portal is intended to streamline the process by allowing manufacturers the ability to submit directly to NHTSA electronically the same data that would be sent in via paper, but in a way that allows for review and discussion to occur without significant delays that can occur through the mail. To use the vPIC Manufacturer Portal please use the following link:
Note: Effective immediately in order to streamline review / discussion of submitted materials all manufacturers should submit applications for Parts 551, 566, 565, and Plant/Manufacturer Code through the vPIC Manufacturer Portal. Electronic submittals will be accepted for these requirements to meet the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) goals of reducing manual paper-based processes. For assistance on submitted material and or Helpdesk requests manufacturers may contact the Manufacturer Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-888-399-3277.
Part 551 Submittals (Designation of U.S. Agent for Service of Process): Upon completing the steps in the vPIC Manufacturer Portal, all foreign manufacturers are required to mail a completed designated agent for service of process set of documents (49 CFR Part 551, Subpart D) to: U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA Correspondence Unit, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Room W41-306, Washington, D.C. 20590. Questions about the requirements of Part 551 may be directed to the email@example.com email at this time. Please ensure that if you are submitting a 551 for consideration / acceptance you follow all steps, which includes mailing a signed form, or your submittal could be significantly delayed.
Prior to contacting the Helpdesk, manufacturers are asked to review the regulatory and general reporting requirements within the following rules:
- CFR 49 Part 551 (Foreign Manufacturers and Importers – Designation of an Agent for Service of Process)
- CFR 49 Part 565 (Vehicle Identification Number Guidance)
- CFR 49 Part 566 (Manufacturer Identification – Reporting Requirements)
- CFR 49 Part 574 (Tire Identification Number [TIN] Guidance)
Currently CFR 49 Parts 551 – 574 are under review and data reporting requirements are being determined for ensuring that current technologies within vehicles are addressed. Please address any questions to the NHTSA's Crash Data and Manufacturer Helpdesk regarding current reporting and/or future reporting considerations for the following areas:
- 49 CFR Part 551
- 49 CFR Part 565
- 49 CFR Part 566
- 49 CFR Part 574
- Manufacturers’ Information Database (MID), including equipment manufacturers
- Request for manufacturer or plant codes for tire, brake hose, and glazing manufacturers
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or VIN Correction Letters
All other questions (e.g., import certification, recalls reporting, early warning reporting, etc.) should be sent to the general NHTSA Helpdesk, or to the specific contact points per discussions and/or direction from other NHTSA offices. Questions requiring a NHTSA specialist will be routed to the correct office through this process to ensure the correct person is involved with your request. Turnaround time of 2-4 weeks is required for any inquiries that you have already submitted during this transition.
Publishing of material within the NHTSA Manufacturers’ Information Database (MID) may require additional input based on our review of the material. Please ensure that you build adequate review time into your submittal process prior to initiating production. At a minimum, manufacturers should plan for a 30-day review period for all submissions. Timing on acceptance and postings to vPIC interfaces could exceed this timeframe based on complexity of the submissions or any issues regarding its content. Please keep in mind that 565 submittals are required to be provided to NHTSA not later than 60 days prior to the first production model for sale is shipped. Manufacturers are asked to submit data prior to this period with enough time for review and acceptance for posting.