Today’s [Jan. 5, 2018] edition of the Federal Register includes the publication of the long-awaited rulemaking by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration setting fees for the Unified Carrier Registration program for 2018. The rule is effective upon publication, so UCR registration for 2018 is finally open! The Indiana Department of Revenue, which operates the national UCR on-line registration system on behalf of the UCR board of directors, expects to be ready to handle registrations a little later today. The Indiana site, which carriers based in any state may use to register, is here: www.ucr.in.gov. Several other states maintain their own UCR systems; at least some of these may require a few days before they accept 2018 registrations.
The new UCR fees for 2018 represent about a 9 percent decrease in the level of fees that have been in place from 2010 through 2017. In the lowest fee bracket, for brokers and leasing companies, and for motor carriers and freight forwarders that operate fewer than three trucks, the fees for 2018 drop from $76 to $69; at the highest level, for motor carriers and freight forwarders that operate more than 1,000 trucks, the fees drop from $73,346 to $66,597. (The fee brackets themselves have not been changed.) The rulemaking also sets the fees for 2019. However, those 2019 fees must be regarded as tentative, since the UCR board has already requested FMCSA to reduce the fees for 2019 and 2020 somewhat further still.
State enforcement of the UCR registration requirements commonly begins January 1. Since the 2018 registration has had to be delayed several months, however, the UCR board has requested states not to enforce until 90 days after the fees go into effect; that is, not until April 5, 2018. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the association of motor carrier enforcement agencies, has adopted this position. This gives motor carriers and others subject to UCR three months to complete their 2018 UCR registrations.