Legislation could keep SSRS going until new program is up and running

| 4/10/2007

The Single-State Registration System truckers dealt with every year officially ended the first of 2007, thanks to the current highway funding legislation passed by Congress in 2005.

The only problem with ending the SSRS program this January was that the replacement program wasn’t ready to go.

The Single State Registration System was repealed by Congress effective Jan. 1, 2007, with the hopes that at some point during 2007, it would be replaced by a new program. However, that program, called the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement, is still being developed.

There are a couple of bills floating around Congress that, if passed, will give the UCR board some breathing room to develop the new program.

One proposed extension of the SSRS program is included in the technical corrections bill for the current highway funding legislation. That legislation proposes to extend the SSRS program until Jan. 1, 2008.

The corrections bill – HR1995 – has passed the House and been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Another bill in the Senate containing an extension for SSRS is the Improving America’s Security Act of 2007 –more commonly called the “9/11 Bill.” That proposed extension is much more generous. SSRS will stay in place until the UCR program is up and running with fees approved by the secretary of transportation.

The bill – S4 – has been passed by the Senate and is waiting to be reconciled with a House version of the bill – HR1 – in conference committee.

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 applicants’ principle place of business was or where they operated 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 – based on carrier size – 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.