The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) operates dozens of programs that it typically refers to only by their abbreviations. The United Registration System (URS) and is no exception. Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) is a state-operated program. Due to the closeness of the abbreviations and the fact that both involve some type of registration, it can be easy to get URS and UCR confused. The most important thing to remember about them is that they are not the same thing.
Unified Registration System (URS)
The URS combines a variety of registration forms and information technology systems into one single streamlined electronic form. URS operates as a clearinghouse and information depository for all agencies the FMCSA currently regulates. These include:
- Cargo tank manufacturing and repair facilities
- Freight forwarders
- Hazardous material safety permit (HMSP) applicants and holders
- Intermodal equipment providers (IEP)
- Motor carriers
All interstate motor carriers, including for-hire and private companies transporting passengers or goods, must comply with URS requirements.
Benefits of using URS
Because URS combines several required forms that individuals or agency representatives entered separately, it will save online users significant time. The FMCSA also predicts that URS will save the government transportation industry approximately $9 million dollars during its first 10 years of operation. Additionally, the FMCSA states that URS will make it easier for the agency to locate and track exempt for-hire motor carriers and small to medium-sized private carriers to initiate enforcement actions. This will make the roads safer for everyone.
Unified Carrier Registration (UCR)
The UCR is not affiliated with the FMCSA. The term UCR refers to an agreement between the states established by Congress that oversees the collection of registration data as well as its lawful distribution. UCR also governs the fees collected by states from brokers, freight forwarders, leasing companies, motor carriers, and private motor carriers. Under the provisions of 49 USC, Section 14504a, fees collected by states must support and promote motor carrier safety within that state.
Currently, the FMCSA has delayed the 2020 registration process for UCR while it completes its process of rulemaking. It will open the registration period after publishing its final rule regarding UCR. The Board of Directors for UCR will recommend delaying registration enforcement for 90 days after the FMCSA publishes its final ruling at its next meeting on January 28, 2020.
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