Laws & Regulations

Compliance Assistance Program (CAP)

About the program

Introduction / Mission Statement

For more than four decades, NHTSA has served as a trusted resource for helping people drive, ride, and walk safely. Today, NHTSA launches its Compliance Assistance Program, a new resource intended to make compliance with federal laws and regulations easier. Read the news release

 

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: NHTSAComplianceAssistance@dot.gov. 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 at https://vpic.nhtsa.dot.gov/Manufacturer_Handbook_20161019_Edited.pdf. Additional information can also be found at https://www.nhtsa.gov/laws-regulations.

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. To assert a claim for confidential treatment of any information submitted, you must submit a request in writing to NHTSA’s Office of Chief Counsel pursuant to 49 CFR Part 512.

You may send your request for confidential treatment to:

Office of Chief Counsel
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
West Building, W41-227
Washington, D.C. 20590

You may submit your request by regular mail. However, the use of regular mail may result in a delay of the receipt of your request for confidential treatment due to the Department of Transportation’s security procedure for screening incoming mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Because of the potential for a delay in the receipt of requests for confidential treatment, we recommend that you submit a request for confidential treatment by an overnight courier.

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

  • Office of Chief Counsel  Send your request in hard copy to:

Chief Counsel
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, W41-326
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

  • You may also submit your request by fax at (202) 366-3820.
  • To speak to someone at NHTSA about what a request for interpretation should include, you can call the Office of the Chief Counsel at (202) 366-2992.

Information about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Click Here To E-mail NHTSA

NHTSA Headquarters
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
West Building
Washington, DC 20590

Toll-Free: 888-327-4236 / Hearing Impaired (TTY): 800-424-9153 / Media Inquiries: 202-366-9550

USDOT General Information Main Switchboard (including personnel locator): 202-366-4000 / Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Eastern, excluding Federal Holidays.

VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE Please use the toll-free number above to report suspected safety defects in your vehicle, vehicle equipment, tires, and child safety seats. You can also obtain information about air bags, highway safety, and the proper use of child safety seats. Remember to always buckle up, never drive when impaired, and ensure that child safety seats are installed and used properly.