Mr. Jacques Schalckens
Auto Leasing Lines, Inc., U.S.A.
2717 Seville Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 34624
Dear Mr. Schalckens:
This responds to your request for information on registering as an agent for service of process for a foreign manufacturer that wishes to import motorcycles and buses. You also wish to know about Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements for the imported vehicles. The information you seek is provided below.
In a telephone conversation with Dorothy Nakama of my staff, you explained that the buses to be imported are designed to seat at least nineteen persons. Your letter requested information on "manufacturer status from D.O.T. under the small Volume Manufacturer program," which you explained refers to low volume manufacturers' exemptions from generally applicable CAFE standards.
NHTSA has established CAFE standards only for passenger cars and light trucks. Since there are no CAFE standards for motorcycles or for buses, manufacturers of motorcycles or buses need not meet CAFE standards.
I will now describe how to register as an agent for service of process for a foreign manufacturer. Prior to the assignment of a DOT identification number, the manufacturer must designate in writing, an agent who is a permanent resident of the United States upon whom all processes, notices, orders, decisions and requirements may be made. This designation and its acceptance must comply with 49 C.F.R. 551.45. The required designation should be mailed to the Office of Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Room 5219, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590, and must include, in addition to the information already submitted, the following:
1. A certification that the designation is valid in form and binding on the manufacturer under the laws, corporate by-laws, or other requirements governing the making of the designation at the time and place where it is made;
2. The full legal name, principal place of business, and mailing address of the manufacturer;
3. Marks, trade names, or other designations of origin of any of the manufacturer's products which do not bear its name;
4. A statement that the designation shall remain in effect until withdrawn or replaced by the manufacturer;
5. A declaration of acceptance duly signed by the agent appointed, which must be a permanent resident of the United States and may be an individual, a firm, or a U.S. corporation;
6. The full legal name and address of the designated agent; and
7. The signature of one with authority to appoint the agent.
The signer's name and title should be clearly indicated beneath the signature.
I have enclosed a copy of 49 CFR 551.45 and a sample of a properly executed designation of agent for your reference. Also included is information for new manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. If you have any questions about the requirements for the appointment of an agent, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Sharon Vaughn of my staff at (202) 366-1834.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions on motor vehicle matters other than the appointment of an agent, please contact Dorothy Nakama of my staff at (202) 366-2992.
Acting Chief Counsel