Title VI Complaint Process

The California Department of Transportation, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ensures “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Related federal statutes and state law further those protections to include sex, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and age.

Any person who believes they has been discriminated against based on race, color, or national origin by Caltrans or a sub-recipient may file a Title VI complaint by completing and submitting the agency’s Title VI Complaint Form. OBEO processes complaints received no more than 180 days after the alleged incident. OBEO will only process complaints that are complete.

Once the complaint is received, OBEO will forward the complaint to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Complainant will receive an acknowledgement letter informing them that the complaint has been received and forwarded.

Complaints Filed Against Caltrans

Written complaints filed with Caltrans in which Caltrans is named as the Respondent will be forwarded to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Division Office, or Federal Transit Agency (FTA), depending on who is the oversight agency, for investigation. The FHWA/FTA will then forward that complaint to the Headquarters Office of Civil Rights (HCR). All complaints filed under Title VI against State DOT’s are investigated by HCR.

Complaints Filed Against a Sub-recipient

Per the FHWA Guidance Memorandum, Processing of Title VI Complaints, dated June 13, 2018, all Title VI complaints received by a sub-recipient are to be forwarded to Caltrans to be submitted to FHWA Division Office. Similarly, if a complaint is received by an FTA sub-recipient, those are to be forwarded to FTA for investigation or review. Complaints should be sent within one business day of receipt via email to Title.VI@dot.ca.gov. If HCR determines a Title VI complaint against a sub-recipient can be investigated by a Caltrans, HCR may delegate the task of investigating the complaint to Caltrans. If OBEO is delegated the responsibility of performing an investigation, OBEO has 90 days to investigate the complaint. If additional time is needed, OBEO will call the Complainant and inform them.

If more information is needed to resolve the case, the OBEO investigator may contact the Complainant. The Complainant has ten business days from the date of the letter to send the requested information to the investigator assigned to the case.

If the investigator is not contacted by the Complainant or does not receive the additional information within ten business days, OBEO with consult with HCR regarding the disposition of the complaint. Disposition of Title VI complaint will be undertaken by HCR, through either (1) informal resolution or (2) issuance of a Letter of Finding of compliance or noncompliance with Title VI. A copy of the Letter of Finding will be sent to all parties via the Division Office.

FTA – Filing a Local Complaint

FTA recommends, but does not require, that individuals first file a complaint directly with their transit provider to give it an opportunity to resolve the situation. FTA grantees are required under the ADA, Title VI, and EEO to have local complaint procedures.



Federal Transit Administration
Civil Rights Division
Attention: Complaint Team
East Building, 5th Floor – TCR
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Civil Rights
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
8th Floor E81-105
Washington, DC 20590