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  • Henry Seaton

FMCSA again delays full URS implementation

Phase 2 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rollout of new requirements for new and existing private and exempt motor carriers – as well as a new $300 registration fee applying to all new FMCSA-regulated carriers – has been pushed back another three-and-a-half months due to continued technical challenges, the agency announced July 20.

Under the prior plan, the second phase of the Unified Registration System was to take effect on Sept. 30, 2016, with full compliance on all requirements by Dec. 31, 2016. The new effective date is Jan. 17, 2017, with full compliance on April 14, 2017.

In a draft Federal Register notice, FMCSA said that “the additional time is needed due to added complexities encountered when the Agency converted to cloud-based systems and also due to the logistics of transferring millions of records.”

Under the new schedule, existing interstate private and exempt carriers will have until April 17, 2017, to designate agents for service of process. In addition, existing interstate exempt carriers and private carriers hauling hazardous materials will have until that date to file evidence of financial responsibility (insurance)

In addition, beginning Jan. 17, 2017:

  • All new private and exempt carriers must designate agents for service of process before starting interstate operations

  • All new exempt carriers and private carriers hauling hazmat must file evidence of financial responsibility before starting interstate operations

  • All new registrants that would be subject to FMCSA safety regulation must pay a $300 safety registration fee in addition to any other applicable fees. This means, for example, that new private and exempt carriers will have a fee for the first time, while new for-hire carriers will have to pay $600 instead of $300 today

  • FMCSA will discontinue issuing docket numbers – i.e., MC or FF numbers – and would begin using the USDOT number as the sole identifier

  • All entities must begin the online interface for all purposes, including filing of biennial updates or new applications for authority

Initially scheduled for an Oct. 23, 2015, implementation, FMCSA in October 2015 announced a new implementation schedule, citing technical challenges. The first phase began Dec. 12, 2015, when anyone registering with FMCSA that did not already have a USDOT number had to use the new URS interface. For existing carriers, however, nothing changed. In essence, the first phase involved little more than migrating to a new web-based platform that tracks the new MCSA-1 form to replace the prior OP-1, which previously could have been filed either on paper, by fax or online through outdated “legacy” systems.

For more on URS, visit FMCSA's website.

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