The STB accepts and encourages electronic filing (e-filing) of nearly all documents. Information on how to e-file is available at E-Filing.
This page contains generally applicable filing information, paper filing procedures, and information related to the filing of evidence or workpapers. Information regarding fees that are required for certain filings and how to make payment of fees is also provided. For more detailed information on “How to File” please see 49 C.F.R. Part 1104. For any questions regarding STB filings, please call 202-245-0350.
If you want to be a “party of record” (that is, a full participant) in a case before the Board, you should follow these guidelines and check the rules and statutes that are referenced.
Include a Docket Number: Filings should include the title and docket number for the case. It is recommended that anyone planning to file a new case reserve a docket number prior to filing. This can be done by contacting the Office of Proceedings (OP) at (202) 245-0350. OP will assign a docket number to a new case that does not have a reserved docket number.
Service on Other Parties: In most cases, each filing should be served on all other parties in the case. See 49 C.F.R. § 1104.12. The STB makes available the dockets and service lists for all cases before it. Each filing must have a separately signed paragraph indicating that the document has been served on the other parties of record. An example follows:
I certify that I have this day served copies of this document upon all parties of record in this proceeding, [by method of service consistent with 49 C.F.R. § 1104.12(a)].
However, you need not serve all other parties in the case if you are filing letters relating to oral argument under 49 C.F.R. Part 1116, subpoenas under 49 C.F.R. § 1113.2, or comments in rulemaking proceedings, unless specifically directed by the STB.
Document Format: All documents should be on electronic version of a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper (i.e. letter size) with white background and text should be double-spaced. Please use 12-point type.
Filing Fees: Information about payment of any fees associated with your filing is available below.
Service of Board Decisions: E-filers will receive e-service of Board decisions if they include email contact information on their filing and do not opt out of e-service via written notification. E-filers who wish to receive e-service should add the email addresses “firstname.lastname@example.org” to the email contact information for any email address at which they expect to receive e-service of Board decisions. This will help prevent emails from those addresses being sent to junk mail folders. Those who wish to opt out of e-service may send written notification to the Board by mail or email at MILSS@stb.gov. Those who opt out will receive service of Board decisions by first-class mail. 49 C.F.R. § 1104.12(d).
Due Date of Filings: For information on when a filing is considered timely, see 49 C.F.R. § 1104.6.
The following information explains the process for submitting a paper filing. Unless noted, the general filing requirements explained above also apply to paper filings.
To file by paper in an STB docket, you will need to send an original of your document to:
Chief, Section of Administration
Surface Transportation Board
395 E Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20423-0001
Number of Copies: Unless otherwise specified in the Board’s regulations (see, e.g., 49 C.F.R. § 1180.4) or ordered by the Board in a specific proceeding, you need only submit the original and need not submit copies. The docket number should appear on the first page of the filing, as should the name and address of the person submitting the filing.
Paper filings that are 20 or more pages in length must be accompanied by an electronic version. 49 C.F.R. § 1104.3. Electronic versions may be submitted on USB flash drive or compact disk, or emailed to MILSS@stb.gov.
Document Format: All documents should be on white 8.5″ x 11″ paper (i.e., letter size) and text should be double-spaced. Please use 12-point type. The original must be printed on only one side of the paper, although copies (if required) may be two-sided.
Service of Board Decisions: Paper filers will receive e-service of Board decisions if they include email contact information on their filing and do not opt out of e-service via written notification. Those filers who will receive e-service should add the email addresses “email@example.com” to the email contact information for any email address at which they expect to receive e-service of Board decisions. This will help prevent emails from those addresses being sent to junk mail folders. Those who wish to opt out of e-service may send written notification to the Board by mail or email at MILSS@stb.gov. Those who opt out, or paper filers who do not include email addresses on their filings, will receive service of Board decisions by first-class mail. 49 C.F.R. § 1104.12(d).
Evidence or workpapers consisting of mathematical calculations must be submitted in Microsoft Office file format or in usable native format. Evidence under 100 megabytes may be e-filed or evidence may be submitted in compressed format, potentially allowing large files to be e-filed or emailed if it can be compressed to under 100 megabytes. Evidence, including evidence over 100 megabytes, may also be submitted on compact disc, USB flash drive, or hard drive; a single copy is required for these formats. Individual files should not be password protected, but a hard drive may be encrypted or the files may be transmitted in compressed format.
Certain filings (e.g., complaints) require a filing fee under the STB’s regulations. A list of the current filings fees is available here. See 49 C.F.R. Part 1002 for more detailed information about fees.
Fees may be paid on the Board’s electronic payment system, Pay.gov, a website operated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Pay.gov allows payment through bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa logo, and digital wallet. Once you make a payment, you will be emailed a confirmation number. Please keep that confirmation number; you will be asked to provide it to show payment of fees.
E-filers must pay filing fees through Pay.gov. Paper filers are encouraged to use Pay.gov and provide the confirmation number with their filing, but may also pay by check or money order. 49 C.F.R. § 1002.2(a)(2). If you request a fee waiver, please be advised that if no payment is received, the filing will not be processed until after a determination on the fee waiver has been made. If you request a fee waiver and submit the appropriate fee, the filing is accepted and the Board refunds the fee or a portion thereof if the fee waiver is ultimately granted. See 49 C.F.R. § 1002.2(b), (e).
For assistance in determining a particular fee, call 202-245-0350, or contact the Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance at 202-245-0238.