FMCSA proposes simpler registration system

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed a revised registration system that would require every motor carrier, freight forwarder and broker to register with the agency.

The proposal dates to the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995, which requires the transportation secretary to propose regulations to replace the four current identification and registration systems with a single online federal system.

The plan is designed to simplify registration and increase public access to data about interstate motor carriers, property brokers and freight forwarders, according to the notice of proposed rulemaking published recently in the Federal Register.

The new unified registration would not apply to Mexican motor carriers registering to operate beyond the U.S. border zone. The proposal includes a request for comment on whether these carriers should be included.

The proposal also does not include hazmat permits and cargo tank registrations because the ICC Termination Act does not specify them for inclusion and because those final rules were published too late to be included, in 2004 and 2003 respectively, the notice said.

Currently, nonexempt for-hire motor carriers, freight forwarders and brokers who seek initial operating authority pay a $300 filing fee. Private carriers and exempt for-hire carriers, however, pay no filing fee when requesting a USDOT number.

The latest proposal would require all entities under FMCSA jurisdiction to pay a $200 registration fee.

The agency has changed the fee scale in an effort to make it more equitable. For example, carriers subject to Chapter 139 registration requirements now pay $14 for each name change request, whereas private and exempt for-hire carriers pay nothing. The new proposal would eliminate the fee for all registrants.

To access the full text of the proposal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and request DOT DMS Docket No FMCSA-97-2349. Those wishing to comment on the plan must do so by Aug. 17.