SSRS not extended into 2007; UCR coming

| Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Single State Registration System officially ends this year because Congress did not extend the program - even though the replacement program isn't up and running.

The SSRS was eliminated by language in the current highway funding legislation passed in 2005 - commonly referred to as SAFETEA-LU. SSRS is being replaced by the Unified Carrier Registration plan. However, to complicate matters, UCR won't be up and running by the end of 2006.

The SSRS was a federal registration program for interstate motor carriers authorized to transport property or passengers. Its objective was to ensure that all interstate motor carriers maintain public liability insurance at appropriate levels. Fees were collected on a per truck basis by the state where the applicant's principle place of business is located or operates the largest number of trucks.

The replacement program, UCR, is a program that will have a fee structure that goes from the per-truck basis to a per-carrier basis and will be the same for all the member states. Truckers will no longer have to pick and choose states - as they did with the SSRS system. One fee will cover all states.

The fact that UCR will not be functioning by the end of 2006 prompted a couple of attempts in Congress to extend SSRS into 2007. However, those extension attempts were not considered and SSRS will end as directed.

With Congress not extending SSRS into 2007, that answers the question that a lot of truckers have right how - whether to pay SSRS renewal notices sent out by some states.

Because the program will not exist in 2007, OOIDA's Director of Regulatory Affairs and UCR Board Member Rick Craig said states should not be sending out SSRS bills. In fact, 12 states that participated in SSRS will not be participating in UCR for 2007. So, truckers who are based in one of those 12 states will have to find a new UCR state to register with.

If by chance some truckers have already paid SSRS fees for 2007, Craig said the states will have to refund that money.

But, before anyone gets excited about thinking they are off the hook for that type of fee in 2007, the UCR plan could be up and running by mid 2007.

If that is the case, truckers will then pay the 2007 fees and within a few short months, be billed for the 2008 fees.

When the UCR program is actually up and running depends on several things - like approval of a proposed fee structure, establishment of a depository and a computer system to handle the collection of fees and renewals.

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