UCR Fees to Decline by 9% in 2024, FMCSA Says
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Fees for Unified Carrier Registration Plan participants in 2024 will be reduced by approximately 9% compared with 2023 fees, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced March 16.
FMCSA proposed that the fees for property motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies be reduced by between $4 and $3,453 per entity, depending on the number of vehicles owned and/or operated by the affected entities.
The 2024 Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) fees will be reduced for companies with up to two power units to $37. For companies with 1,001 or more power units, fees will drop to $35,836.
The 41 states participating in the UCR agreement collect fees from participants. The UCR Plan and agreement is administered by a 15-member UCR board of directors — 14 appointed from the participating states and the industry, plus the deputy administrator of FMCSA.
Revenue collected is allocated to the participating states and the UCR Plan.
The UCR board provides fee adjustment recommendations to the Transportation Secretary when revenue collections result in a shortfall or surplus from the amount authorized by statute. If there are excess funds after payments to the states and for administrative costs, they are retained in the UCR Plan’s depository, and fees in subsequent fee years must be reduced as required by regulation.
Created by Congress in 2005, the UCR Plan and the 41 states participating in the UCR agreement establish and collect the fees and then dish out the more than $100 million in safety enforcement programs annually to the participating states.
UCR Plan participating states (ucr.gov)
The fee adjustments are authorized by federal regulation because the total revenue collected for previous registration years has exceeded the maximum annual revenue entitlements of $107.78 million distributed to the 41 participating states, plus the amount established for administrative costs associated with the UCR Plan and agreement.
The board must also obtain DOT approval to revise the total revenue to be collected. Its recommendation now uses an average of the historical monthly collections over the prior three-year period to determine projected collections, which will yield a more accurate result.
The UCR board did not make a fee recommendation for the 2025 registration year, but the recommendation for the 2024 registration year anticipates an increase in fees for 2025, following the large fee decreases in previous years.
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Because the state UCR revenue entitlements would remain unchanged, the participating states would not be impacted by this rule.
As of the summer of 2021, there were up to 44,000 motor carriers that had not registered with the plan, failed to pay their fees or had been issued penalties for past violations. Since then, the UCR board approved an aggressive three-pronged strategy to identify and contact unregistered motor carriers, authorizing three pilot projects that called for hiring a private contractor to contact, attempt to register and collect fees mostly from errant carriers from the nine nonparticipating UCR states to raise funds for the plan.