FMCSA rolls out phase one of new registration system

By Sandi Soendker, Land Line editor-in-chief | 12/22/2015

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been working on a new online registration system that modernizes the old one. It’s been a challenge, as the new Unified Registration System combines 20 distinct registration systems that must be updated or retired in the process. But phase one has now gone live.

The new URS was mandated by Congress. Its purpose is to streamline the messy process and to serve as a clearinghouse and depository of information on, and identification of, motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers and cargo tank facilities.

On Dec. 12, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched phase one of the URS, which will affect new applicants. The agency’s website says for new applicants, the issuance of a DOT number will be immediate with no delay based on FMCSA’s systems.

Those reporting forms are being combined into a single, online “smart form” that streamlines the registration and renewal process in plan the agency hopes will improve efficiency and reduce errors.

The next phase, which is planned for Sept. 30, 2016, will affect those already registered. Beginning on that date, applicants will receive an inactive U.S. DOT number upon submission of an application for registration. Operations are prohibited, however, until the applicant receives an active U.S. DOT number and active registration. Registration will not be granted and the U.S. DOT number will not be active until FMCSA determines that the applicant meets all statutory and regulatory requirements for registration, including requirements for making administrative filings.

According to the Dec. 17 announcement from FMCSA, URS when fully implemented will enable FMCSA to more readily identify unfit carriers. FMCSAs will also be able to detect unsafe truck and bus companies seeking to evade agency enforcement actions, including civil penalties, by attempting to regain U.S. DOT registration by registering as a purported different, unrelated business entity.  

FMCSA estimates URS will ultimately reduce costs to industry by approximately $9 million in time saved and fees incurred over a 10-year period. 

OOIDA’s Permits and Licensing Department can help if you have questions about the new streamlined process or if you are a new applicant and need to file via the new system. Call 816-229-5791.

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