FMCSA announces three-month extension on final stage of URS implementation

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line associate editor | 7/20/2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is delaying implementation of the final stage of its new online registration system until early next year.

FMCSA’s Unified Registration System, or URS, has been delayed until Jan. 14, 2017, with a new full compliance date of April 14, 2017. The system is designed to simplify the process of registering, to reduce paperwork and errors, and to make it possible to electronically screen all applications to identify high-risk carriers, including potential reincarnated carriers.

In a conference call on Wednesday, the agency said more time was needed to move records from the old system to the new one.

“The agency is currently updating its information technology systems and undertaking a complex migration of millions of records to remote storage servers,” Kelly Regal, FMCSA associate administrator for research and information technology said during the conference call.

URS will be the means of getting a U.S. DOT number and registering your operating authority, as well as adding or updating registrations. The new system is expected to do away with a lot of paperwork by requiring regulated trucking businesses to register online, and eliminating the old MC number, FF, or MX number.

Scott Grenerth, OOIDA’s regulatory affairs director, said the Association is pleased with the decision to delay the launch if it means the rollout will go more smoothly in January.

“We’re glad to see the agency is being cautious in their approach and making sure the system will be ready when it is launched,” he said. “We’re glad they’re not waiting until the last moment to make that decision.”

FMCSA estimates the initial phase of URS, launched in December 2015, has saved the industry approximately $1.6 million in processing time during the first six months. To date, the agency has issued 62,000 USDOT numbers, removed 340,000 dormant USDOT numbers from agency databases, and screened 100 percent of operating authority applications for reincarnated carriers, according to a news release issued Wednesday.

The URS rule applies to all interstate motor carriers (including private and for-hire passenger and property motor carriers), freight forwarders, brokers, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) applicants/holders, and cargo tank manufacturing and repair facilities under FMCSA’s jurisdiction. Mexican-domiciled carriers conducting long-haul operations are exempt.

The URS will require online registration for all filers, will use only the U.S. DOT number as a sole identifier, will impose a new fee schedule, and will keep a record on financial responsibility and your BOC-3. It replaces multiple forms and the registration functions of several systems such as the Licensing and Insurance System and the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).

For more information on the URS or assistance, contact OOIDA’s Business Services – Permits and Licensing Department at 800-444-5791.

Editor-in-Chief Sandi Soendker contributed to this report.

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