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Laws & Regulations

Compliance Assistance Program (CAP)

About the Program

Introduction/Mission Statement

The goal of the Compliance Assistance Program is to help ensure that participants in the motor vehicle and equipment industry – especially new entrants and small manufacturers – have access to information and tools to fully understand and comply with their federal obligations. NHTSA’s Compliance Assistance Program will be transparent in providing the resources and education needed for entities to be successful, and will provide a direct channel for communication between commercial entities and NHTSA.


Program Contact Information

NHTSA’s Compliance Assistance Program site will continue to evolve over time. Current and prospective manufacturers may contact NHTSA for guidance on compliance issues at: NHTSA aims to provide quick, straight-forward responses to better direct entities toward the appropriate resources to help understand their obligations under federal law.


Additional Information / Disclaimers

Information provided through NHTSA’s Compliance Assistance Program is not official agency action or formal agency guidance. All requests and responses are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552. Responses do not constitute legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship. Questions or requests concerning, but not limited to, the following information will not be answered through the Compliance Assistance Program but rather will be re-directed to the appropriate person: ongoing litigation, ongoing investigations or enforcement actions, information on third-parties with whom NHTSA may be involved, state compliance for grant/transfer/penalty programs, and requests for specific interpretations or agency determinations on applicability/meaning of statutes or regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

New manufacturers should consult NHTSA’s New Manufacturers Handbook for an overview of NHTSA’s regulations and standards. Additional information can also be found at

NHTSA is not responsible for titling or registering motor vehicles or for regulating the operation of motor vehicles on public roads in the United States. That is instead the responsibility of the individual States. For assistance, please contact your State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Manufacturers of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment are encouraged to seek professional legal counsel to ensure you are meeting federal requirements.

All requests and responses are subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552. You do have the option to submit a request for confidential treatment of confidential business information, if appropriate. Requests for confidential treatment are governed by 49 C.F.R. Part 512. For more information on the process, please contact Dan Rabinovitz in the Office of the Chief Counsel at

There is no charge or cost for this service.

Additional resources

NHTSA Contacts

General Information to Assist New Manufacturers

Questions about Importing Motor Vehicles and Equipment

Questions about how to Designate a U.S. Resident as an Agent for Service of Process

Questions about Defects and Recalls

Questions about Early Warning Reporting (EWR)

Requests for Interpretation of NHTSA Statutes and Regulations

Information about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

NHTSA General Contact Information