The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing a rule change so carriers can sign and maintain important documents electronically.

The proposal, part of an effort to cut paperwork, would codify a 2011 guidance in which the agency gave carriers the option of using electronic signatures and storing documents electronically.

The agency said this move came in response to many requests to allow electronic methods for generating, signing and storing documents.

The electronic option would apply to records that carriers and drivers must keep, not to those that they must submit to the agency.

“FMCSA expects this proposed rule to provide regulatory relief to the industry,” the agency said.

“Under this proposed rule, regulated entities would have the flexibility to conduct business using either electronic or traditional paper-based methods. The Agency also expects regulated entities to choose technologies that would maximize benefits in accordance with their individual needs and circumstances.”

The proposal is scheduled for publication in Monday’s Federal Register. Comments are due at the end of June.