UCR stands for Unified Carrier Registration. Along with other licensing requirements for commercial vehicles operating in the USA, UCR is a registration system that has been given a mandate at the US federal level. FMCSA UCR can be of great help if you know further about this registration and whether you need it or not.
What is UCR?
Under the Unified Carrier Registration plan, states are authorized to collect fees from commercial carriers. It applies to all commercial vehicles that take part in interstate travel. The term commercial vehicles include all motor vehicles, private motor carriers, and freight forwarders. Also, brokers and all the relevant leasing companies are required to pay this fee.
What are commercial motor vehicles?
Before moving ahead, you must understand what commercial vehicles are and if your vehicle falls under this category.
As per UCR definition, a commercial motor vehicle is a trailer or self-propelled highway vehicle involved in interstate travel. To qualify as a commercial motor vehicle, its gross weight must exceed 10,001 pounds, or it can be used to transport more than eleven passengers. Also, all the interstate moving vehicles with the hazardous waste display are considered commercial vehicles.
Use of UCR fees
Before the launch of this program is 2007, the Single State Registration Program was used. There are two uses of the fees collected by the states under UCR. These are used to train the USDOT officers and secondly to support the safety programs.
Who must register under the UCR?
All the trucking companies that are involved in interstate traveling are required to register under the UCR. The fee depends on the number of commercial vehicles in the fleet. As compared to the trucking companies, the brokers and leasing companies are required to pay lower UCR registration fees.
The UCR registration also applied to the people and businesses that arrange the shipment of goods. It covers all the brokers, leasing companies, and freight forwarders. FMCSA UCR explains in detail who needs the UCR registration.
The non-participating UCR states
While registering for UCR, you need to pay UCR fees as per your base state. However, a few states, including Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Hawaii, Wyoming, Vermont, Oregon, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, do not participate in the UCR.
If you are based in any of the above states, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to register for the UCR. If you are moving the cargo in any UCR participating states, you have to register for the UCR. In such cases, you need to pay the UCR fees through a neighboring participating state.
Calculating the UCR fees
There are multiple factors that you need to consider while calculating the UCR fees. It depends on the size of your fleet that includes all the commercial motor vehicles that participate in interstate cargo transportation; however, it doesn’t include the number of trailers.
Those trucks will not be included while determining the fleet size that is only used within the state. Also, if you are based in a non-participating UCR state, you do not have to include those trucks in your fleet size that move within that state or do not travel across the UCR participating states.
When can you register for UCR?
You may find different companies reaching you throughout the year and offer you the services to register your fleet for UCR. You must be careful as many of those can be scams. The registration for the UCR normally starts from the 1st day of October every year. You will be required to pay the fee before the start of the coming year.
Consequences of not paying the UCR fees
The consequences of not paying the UCR fees can be drastic and affects your business. If a truck is found without the UCR registration in UCR participating state, it will be pulled over immediately from the road. It will not be released unless you pay the registration fee along with any additional fines and penalties.