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UCR Frequently Asked Questions

What is the law that governs the UCR Agreement?
The UCR Agreement is established by federal law in the UCR Act, which is part of the federal highway reauthorization bill known as the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act, A Legacy for Users ("SAFETEA-LU"), Public Law 109-59, enacted August 10, 2005. The UCR Act is sections 4301 through 4308 of SAFETEA-LU. In particular, the structure of the UCR Agreement is set forth in section 4305 of the UCR Act, which enacts §14504a as a new section in 49 United States Code ("USC").
What is the relationship between the Unified Carrier Registration Plan ("UCR Plan") and the UCR Agreement?
The UCR Plan is the organization of State, Federal and industry representatives responsible for developing, implementing and administering the UCR Agreement. The UCR Agreement is the interstate agreement, developed under the UCR Plan, governing the collection and distribution of registration information and fees generated under the UCR Agreement ("UCR fees").
Does the UCR Act prohibit States from regulating motor carriers that operate only in intrastate transportation?
No, the UCR Act does not affect a State's regulation of intrastate only carriers that do not handle interstate freight or provide interstate transportation.
Does the UCR Act allow a State to continue to impose a requirement - and a fee - on an interstate carrier when it first obtains intrastate operating authority?
Yes. A State may still require an interstate carrier initially applying for intrastate authority to prove it has insurance coverage and charge it an initial application fee.
Are a State's other fees and taxes affected by these provisions?
No. A State's other fees and taxes on motor carriers are not affected. In particular, the law contains a provision that specifically states that these federal provisions do not affect the rate of a fuel use tax a State may impose or the rate of its vehicle registration fees.
The UCR Act prohibits States from doing certain things and imposing certain fees on interstate carriers. What are these?
The UCR Act prohibits a State from requiring an interstate carrier, for-hire or private to register with it the carrier's interstate operations, to file information concerning the carrier's federally required insurance, to file the name of the carrier's federally required agent for service of process.
Will there be a credential for UCR registrants under the UCR Agreement?
No. There is no UCR Agreement credential requirement. Section 4306 of the UCR Act includes a general prohibition against State requirements on interstate motor carriers, motor private carriers, freight forwarders, or leasing companies to display any credentials in or on a commercial motor vehicle.
Who is subject to the UCR fees?
The UCR Agreement requires all motor carriers and motor private carriers required to register with the United States Department of Transportation ("USDOT") as well as brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies to pay UCR fees.
What is a UCR registrant's Base State under the UCR Agreement?
The UCR Agreement is a base-state system, under which a UCR registrant pays UCR fees through its Base State on behalf of all the participating States. A UCR registrant shall select its Base State using the following hierarchy:
  1. If your principal place of business state as completed in Section 1 of the form is AL, AR, CO, CT, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MI, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NM, NY, OH, OK, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, or WV, you must use that state as your base state.
  2. If your principal place of business state is not one of those listed above but you have an office or operating facility located in one of those states, you must use that state as your base state.
  3. If you cannot select a base state using (I) or (II) above, you must select your base state from (I) above that is nearest your principal place of business or select your base state as follows:
    1. If your principal place of business state is DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, or VT or the Canadian Province of ON, NB, NL, NS, PE, or QC, you may select one of the following states: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VA, or WV.
    2. If your principal place of business state is FL or NC, or a state of Mexico, you may select one of the following states: AL, AR, GA, KY, LA, MS, OK, SC, TN, or TX.
    3. If your principal place of business state is MO or MN, or the Canadian Providence of ON or MB, you may select one of the following states: IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, NE, OH, or WI.
    4. If your principal place of business state is AK, AZ, CA, NV, OR or WY, or the Canadian Province of AB, MB, SK, or BC or a state of Mexico, you may select one of the following states: CO, ID, MT, ND, NM, OR, SD, UT, or WA.
What are the UCR fees based on?
For motor carriers and motor private carriers, the UCR fees are based only on the total number of commercial motor vehicles operated. The UCR fees for brokers, freight forwarders (that is, that do not operate as motor carriers), and leasing companies are levied at the smallest fee category.
What vehicles are considered commercial motor vehicles for purposes of the UCR fees?
The number of commercial motor vehicles for purposes of determining a carrier's UCR fees is the number of commercial motor vehicles (power units and towed vehicles such as trailers) the carrier reported in the most recent Form MCS-150 it filed with FMCSA or the total number of commercial motor vehicles it owned or operated under long-term lease for the twelve-month period ending on June 30 immediately prior to the beginning of the UCR Agreement registration year for which the fees are being determined. A commercial motor vehicle is one that is operated in commerce and has a GVW or GVWR of at least 10,001 pounds or, in the case of a passenger vehicle, is one built to carry more than 10 persons, including the driver. It also includes a vehicle that transports hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placarding. It does not include, for this purpose, a vehicle that operates wholly in intrastate commerce.
Will a motor carrier or motor private carrier subject to the UCR fees be required to file a supplemental report and fees if the size of its fleet increases or decreases during the year?
No. UCR fees will be set through a graduated structure of rates according to the number of commercial motor vehicles operated by a motor carrier or motor private carrier during the preceding year. Changes during the UCR Agreement registration year in the number of vehicles operated will not be reflected until the following year and the carrier will not need to report them currently.