Preparing for a New Entrant Safety Audit – FMCSA Regulation

While the word “audit” sounds alarming to most, it’s fairly commonplace in the transportation industry. In fact, for new trucking companies, passing your NESA (new entrant safety audit) has the potential to lead to new opportunities and clients.

In this article, we’ll outline general steps to take to pass your NESA and subsequent safety audits.

It goes without saying that safety is essential when it comes to operating commercial vehicles. For many, a safety audit can feel intrusive and cause stress, but imagine a world without regulation on the road – it would be a mess. It’s for that reason that compliance officers enforce safety audits.

A NESA is typically performed within the first six to 12 months of operation for new DOT number holders. Do your best to educate yourself on safety compliance early on, this will reduce the amount of research and work you’ll have to do leading up to your scheduled audit.

Company records, safety audits and driving records are public information in trucking, so once a company has passed its NESA, the business is now qualified to work with more freight forwarding companies and clients. Not to mention, compliance officers have the ability to shut down a DOT number due to lack of safety measures in place.

Depending on what state you operate in, your laws may differ. A good place to start researching compliance is on the FMCSA website at There you will find forms, instruction guides and more to get you up to speed.

If you get confused or disorganized, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of a company to get you compliant. There are businesses that specialize in DOT compliance to help you pass a safety audit for a fee. We recommend doing your research and calling around for quotes before engaging in any business with compliance companies. There are plenty of scams out there, so protect your business and personal information.

If you’ve already passed your NESA and are being audited for safety once again, check your company’s safety standing and records here:

Lastly, click here for a form that outlines everything you need to be compliant with the Department of Transportation. It’s lengthy, so if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to someone on our team, we’re happy to be a resource for you and your company as well.