By Bob Pitcher, State Laws Newsletter
The Unified Carrier Registration Agreement is established by law so that the program produces only a certain amount of revenue in motor carrier fees for the participating states. If the fees in effect produce more revenue than that limit, the law says the fees are to be reduced accordingly. For some years following its institution a decade or so ago, UCR did not bring in even as much as needed to reach the revenue limit, which is approximately $112 million a year.
In 2016, for the first time, the program has produced a surplus. In view of this, the UCR Board, meeting by teleconference on December 15, 2016, adopted a motion to recommend to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation that the level of the UCR fees be reduced by 4 percent across the board for the 2018 UCR registration year. As UCR fees are graduated by fleet size, this means a savings of some $3,000 per fleet for very large carriers, and some $3 for fleets of only one or two trucks. It remains to be seen if the Department of Transportation will be able to accommodate the Board’s request in a manner timely enough for the fee reduction to go into effect for 2018.