WASHINGTON – The annual Unified Carrier Registration fees for commercial motor carriers have been indefinitely delayed, according to a notice posted to the UCR board of director’s website.
The board recommended that all states delay the enforcement period of 2018 registration compliance until 90 days after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration publishes a final rule setting the registration period and an updated fee structure.
Registration is supposed to begin each year on October 1, but a Federal Register notice issued by FMCSA in September announced that the annual registration period had been delayed until November 1.
FMCSA also said it planned to reduce UCR fees by 9.1 percent in 2018.
However, FMCSA’s failure to complete the formal rulemaking process regarding 2018 registration and fees has prompted a further delay in the registration period.
“We regret this inconvenience and appreciate your patience,” the UCR board said in its website posting.
The board also sent a letter to state administrators telling them not to accept any carrier fees for 2018 until further notice. “If received prior to the final rulemaking, please return to the entity that paid the fee.”
A lawsuit filed in late September claimed the UCR board violated federal open meetings acts by failing to notify the public of a September 14 meeting in which it determined the 2018 fee structure and the delayed registration start period.
A court agreed with the plaintiffs in the case and required the board to post the minutes from its September meeting on its website. However, the court said it lacked the authority to rescind the decisions made by the board at the meeting.
UCR is a federally mandated, state-administered program for registering and collecting fees from operators of commercial vehicles engaged in interstate travel. It requires motor carriers, motor private carriers, freight forwarders, leasing companies and brokers based in the United States, Canada and Mexico to pay fees through their base states on behalf of all participating states.
Federal regulations require FMCSA to reduce the fees for all motor carriers if the total fees in the previous year exceed the amount necessary to satisfy the revenue entitlements of the participating states and the UCR plan’s administrative costs.
The UCR board recommended the reduction to the Department of Transportation in March after total revenues collected in 2016 exceeded the entitlements of $107.78 million distributed to the 41 participating states, plus $5 million established for administrative costs to operate the plan.
The reductions would range from $7 to $6,749 below the current fees per operator next year and from $3 to $3,375 in 2019, based on the number of vehicles in an operator’s fleet.