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What is the Unified Registration System?

The Unified Registration System (URS) was created to simplify and streamline the registration process required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This online process is designed to integrate several different registration procedures to make registering a commercial vehicle more efficient. The URS works as a portal for registration and a database on all regulated organizations and entities, including fleets, motor carriers, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), and related businesses.

While the URS is designed to offer a fully integrated platform that replaces the current individual platforms and systems used by states, it is not yet fully available. Challenges with integrating diverse groups of platforms and architecture and creating a single, secure point of access have led to delays in full implementation. As of January 2017, there is no final date or deadline for implementation. Because of the wide scope of the Unified Registration System rule, your organization should be aware of and ready to comply with URS rules when they come online and are required by the FMCSA. Currently, only new registrants are required to use the URS; rollout for existing registrants and entities will begin when the system is fully ready.

For new registrants, the URS uses a single “smart form” online, allowing registrants to use an easy, streamlined online system to submit and update information and register fleets and vehicles. The URS will use this information to maintain an up to date and accurate database of the vehicles that are legally registered for interstate transportation and that fit into the designated categories.

Who does the URS rule apply to?

URS registration is required for interstate motor carriers or passengers or freight, brokers, IEPs, HMSP holders, cargo tank repair and manufacturing businesses, and more. Currently, only new registrations are covered by the URS; organizations or vehicles that are already registered do not need to act until the full rollout at a later, undetermined date.

Effective dates for the Unified Registration System.

The URS rollout spans several years and has already begun; some of the important dates and requirements are detailed below:

December 12, 2015: From this date forward, new applicants must use the online process when registering a vehicle or requesting a USDOT number.

January 17, 2017: The implementation was postponed until a later, undefined date for the final stage of the Unified Registration System platform. The delay is because of the time needed to migrate several existing, legacy platforms into a single, secure URS database. The official FMCSA Federal Register notice details the extension and provides extra information for organizations.

After January 17, 2017: Because of the change in status, the FMCSA is allowing more time for states to join the integrated platform and ensure that their systems are up to date and secure. This extra time is also designed to support a smooth, seamless transition to the final system and compliance requirements.

How does the URS impact my business?

If you are new or need to create a new registration, then you have to comply with the current URS setup and apply for registration using the secure, universal system. If you already have registration, you should be aware of coming changes to FMCSA and URS policy, but do not need to take additional action.

Learning more about URS current and forthcoming requirements allows you to prepare in advance for the coming changes and to ensure your organization remains in compliance. Our goal is to ensure your business is always up to date on legal requirements and that you have peace of mind that your fleet is always safe on the road.

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