The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ruled that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey can continue to ask motor carriers to put stickers on trucks entering its facilities indicating that they are in the Drayage Truck Registry.

Late last year, the New Jersey Motor Truck Association filed a petition asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to rule that a requirement imposed by the Authority on motor carriers entering its facilities was preempted under federal law.

The American Trucking Associations, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, United Parcel Service and others supported NJMTA's position in a separate filing.

The authority recently established a requirement that vehicles coming into its areas be registered with it, and issues decals to the operators of registered vehicles showing that they've complied.

But the trucking industry groups argued that the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) prohibits state and local governments from requiring interstate motor carriers to bear any indicia in or on their vehicles (with certain exceptions not relevant here).

The authority argued that carriers weren't in fact required to bear the stickers, just that they would have to wait while their registration was verified. NJMTA and ATA argued that given the nature of motor carrier, and especially drayage, operations, the need to avoid delays meant in reality the stickers were mandatory.

FMCSA disagreed. The port authority issued the stickers only to help carriers, it said. There was no actual requirement to display them.

More details may be found at, under docket no. FMCSA-2010-0387.