UCR vs. URS: Understanding Their Purpose
Posted by Cliff J. on May 17, 2018 in Trucker Focus

There is often confusion about the Unified Registration System (URS) and the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR). 


Unified Registration System (URS) is a new online registration system from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that will streamline and simplify the FMCSA registration process and serve as a clearinghouse and depository of information on all entities regulated by the administration. These entities include motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) applicants/holders, and cargo tank manufacturing and repair facilities. The FMCSA has extended the implementation date for URS beyond its original 2017 timeline. 


Primarily, the URS will combine multiple registration processes and unify registration data housed in multiple FMCSA systems into one authoritative database, thus reducing the possibility for conflicting registration data between FMCSA systems. The URS will streamline manual processes and combine several forms into one unified online registration form. This will save time and administrative costs for motor carriers, the industry, and FMCSA.  


In addition, the URS will improve FMCSA's ability to locate small- and medium-sized private and exempt for-hire motor carriers when further contact is necessary. New carriers must complete process agent filings, Form BOC-3, before safety registration and an active USDOT number will be granted.


If you are a new motor carrier applying for your own authority, there was previously no fee to get a USDOT number; however, the application to get a MC number was $300. Now that the URS is combining the two forms, and because MC numbers will eventually be eliminated, a $300 fee will be charged to file the new MCSA-1 to obtain your authority. 


Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) replaced the Single State Registration System (SSRS), and revenues generated are used for the funding of motor carrier enforcement safety programs. It applies to all operators of commercial motor vehicles crossing state lines. This includes freight forwarders, brokers, and both for-hire and private motor carriers carrying their own goods and products across state lines. Of note, it also includes carriers transporting interstate goods, even if vehicles do not leave the state but the product does. For example, if you haul product into a concentration yard and the product is eventually transferred to another truck or placed on rail that delivers it across state lines, the system applies to you.


State enforcement of the UCR registration requirements commonly began January 1. Since the 2018 registration was delayed several months, the UCR Board requested states not to enforce requirements until 90 days after the fees went into effect—that is, until April 5. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the association of motor carrier enforcement agencies, also adopted this position.


UCR renewal rates depend on your business classification. Brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies pay the lowest registration fee tier. If you’re a carrier, your renewal fee is based off how many trucks you have listed on your USDOT, starting around $69 for 2018.


You can process and pay for your annual UCR filing by going online to www.ucr.in.gov. For more information, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/unified-registration-system.

Cliff J. is our Trucking guru
I bring over 30 years of trucking industry experience to Acuity. I worked my way up from driving to managing the safety operations of a transportation company, culminating in owning and managing my own regional trucking company. My main goal at Acuity is to help you, the motor carrier, the owner/operator and the driver better understand the insurance industry and help shape Acuity’s products and services to better meet your needs. I regularly provide ongoing trucking training to Acuity employees to help them understand the unique needs of those in the trucking/transportation industry. With over 30 years in the transportation sector, as both a company driver and as owner and manager of a trucking company, I have first-hand experience that helps me understand the challenges truckers’ face, and detailed knowledge of transportation regulations. My experience coupled with a background in insurance loss control can help answer and provide solutions to any issues that may arise.

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