UCR fees not finalized; enforcement delay encouraged

| 12/17/2009

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, truckers wanting to clear out their fee obligations are left without a clear answer on what they owe in Unified Carrier Registration fees.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration posted a notice to the Federal Register in September outlining new proposed fees. The extended comment period closed in late September.

FMCSA officials reported during the rulemaking process that states have been unable to effectively collect the UCR revenue they are entitled to by law during the 2007-2009 registration years. They believe the proposed new fee levels will both encourage states to aggressively enforce the UCR fees rule and generate the necessary revenue to execute state motor carrier safety programs.

The fee structure proposed in the rulemaking for 2010 is:

  • trucks – $83
  • 2-5 trucks – $166
  • 6-20 trucks – $497
  • 21-100 trucks – $1,741
  • 101-1,000 trucks – $8,373
  • 1,001 or more trucks – $82,983

Brokers and leasing companies will still be subject to the same fee paid by truckers in the 0-1 truck category.

However, as of mid-December, the agency still had not published a final determination on the fees.

“My advice is to hold tight,” Joe Rajkovacz, director of regulatory affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, told Land Line Now.

“There is going to be an enforcement memo going out telling roadside law enforcement after the first of the year to not write tickets for not having your credentials in place in the cab because there simply isn’t going to be anything in place yet,” Rajkovacz said.

Through the end of 2009, Rajkovacz said truckers really need to make sure they have their proof of payment on 2009 UCR fees.

“Some jurisdictions are writing $1,000 tickets,” he said.

Rajkovacz said he expects the 2010 UCR fees to be settled sometime in the first quarter of 2010.

– By Jami Jones, senior editor

Land Line Now Anchor Reed Black contributed to this article.