FMCSA Delays Registration System

Kevin Anderson Regulations, Transportation

Last month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that the agency is delaying the implementation of its Unified Registration System, which is designed to streamline the registration process and more closely monitor certain “reincarnated” carriers. The phrase “reincarnated” carrier refers to unsafe operators who attempt to form a new company by using a different company name or owner.  The implementation of the Unified Registration System is now scheduled for January 14, 2017 with a full compliance date of April 14, 2017. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration attributes these complexities to technical difficulties presented by converting millions of records to cloud-based systems.

Earlier Phases of the Unified Registration System

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently in the final stages of launching the Unified Registration System. The Unified Registration System was initially launched in December 2015. Initially, the Unified Registration System combined multiple reporting forms into a single online form which substantially helped streamline the registration and renewal process, improved efficiency, reduce reporting errors, and strengthen safety.

At this point in time, the Unified Registration System has only been used for the initial registration by new applicants. Meanwhile, existing carriers still use the current methods for biannual reporting and registration. Starting on September 30, 2016, however, existing carriers will begin using the new Unified Registration System.

So far, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that the initial phase of the Unified Registration System has saved the industry $1.6 million in processing time during the first six months of the program.

The Requirements of The Unified Registration System

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration intends for the streamline to improve the registration process for cargo tank facilities, carriers, freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers, and property brokers. The Unified Registration System requires different criteria for new carriers, existing carriers, and takes action against “reincarnated” carriers.

  • New Carriers. The Unified Registration System requires new carriers to provide census and data information prior to gaining operating authority.
  • Existing Carriers. The Unified Registration System also requires existing carriers to update this information every two years. Lastly, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has already taken substantial efforts to counter “reincarnated” carriers.
  • “Reincarnated” Carriers. Reports suggests that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued 62,000 USDOT numbers, removed 340,000 dormant USDOT numbers from agency databases and screened 100% of operating authority applications for reincarnated carriers.

Benefits of the Unified Registration System

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that there are three anticipated advantages of implementing the Unified Registration System.

  • One Form. The Unified Registration System will combine several forms into one unified online registration process, which will save a substantial amount of time and money for both the transportation industry and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • The Unified Registration System will increase the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ability to locate small and medium sized carriers for enforcement action because documents will be easier to locate.

At Anderson and Yamada, P.C., our team has many years of experience helping trucking companies with issues involving Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation. Contact us today so we can help your company.