MAP-21 establishes a multi-step application process for TIFIA credit assistance. This process begins with the submission of a Letter of Interest and determination of eligibility. Only after a project sponsor has submitted a Letter of Interest and met all statutory eligibility requirements will the project sponsor be invited to submit an application. The Letter of Interest must (i) describe the project and the location, purpose, and cost of the project, (ii) outline the proposed financial plan, including the requested credit assistance and the proposed obligor, (iii) provide a status of environmental review, and (iv) provide information regarding satisfaction of other eligibility requirements of the TIFIA credit program. Letters of Interest must be submitted using the required form on the TIFIA website. After concluding its review of each Letter of Interest and related information submitted by the project, along with the independent financial analysis report from DOT's independent financial advisor, DOT will permit sponsors of eligible projects to submit complete applications. DOT will conduct a rolling application process where project sponsors may submit Letters of Interest at any time and DOT will permit project sponsors to apply once a favorable eligibility determination is made.
Each potential applicant must submit a detailed Letter of Interest (DOCX PDF) using the required form. The Letter of Interest must (i) describe the project and the location, purpose, and cost of the project, (ii) outline the proposed financial plan, including the requested credit assistance and the proposed obligor, (iii) provide a status of environmental review, and (iv) provide information regarding satisfaction of other eligibility requirements of the TIFIA credit program. DOT will review each Letter of Interest and may contact project sponsors for clarification of specific information to supplement the Letter of Interest and complete its eligibility determination. This information may include, among other things, more detailed descriptions of the project, applicant and its organizational structure, the project's readiness to proceed, the project's financial plan (including financial model), revenue feasibility studies, and financial commitments to the project from sources other than TIFIA. DOT will also request that the applicant provide a preliminary rating opinion letter at this time and the project sponsor will be required to submit a fee to continue the evaluation process. The project sponsor must pay fees in the amount of $100,000 before DOT hires financial and/or legal advisors as part of the Letter of Interest review process. These fees are due upon request by DOT. Additional fees will be charged after the credit instrument is executed, including additional amounts required to fully cover TIFIA's financial and legal advisory services costs in connection with the evaluation and negotiation of terms of TIFIA credit assistance for the project. Please reference the Notice of Funding Availability published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2012 for guidance. When complete, applicants for TIFIA credit assistance should submit this Letter of Interest form electronically via email at TIFIACredit@dot.gov. Questions can also be submitted using this link.
After concluding its review of each Letter of Interest (including both the initial eligibility determination and an in-depth review of the creditworthiness of the project) and related information submitted by potential applicants, along with the independent financial analysis report from the DOT's independent financial advisor, and after the project sponsor's oral presentation, the DOT will invite sponsors of eligible projects to submit complete applications. Upon receiving an invitation from the DOT, the applicant may submit an application (DOCX PDF).
In accordance with MAP-21, the DOT must inform each applicant whether its application is complete, or if not complete, identify additional materials needed for completion within 30 days of receiving the application. No later than 60 days after issuing such notice, the applicant will be notified whether the application is approved or disapproved.
An invitation to submit an application for credit assistance does not guarantee the DOT's approval, which will remain subject to evaluation, based on all of the TIFIA statutory evaluation criteria, and the successful negotiation of terms and conditions acceptable to the Secretary.