NPTC backs Unified Registration System, says hazmat insurance proof unnecessary

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While generally supporting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s efforts to make the Unified Registration System more efficient, the National Private Truck Council says the agency’s proposal to require private fleets to demonstrate hazardous materials insurance coverage is redundant and unnecessary.

The comments were filed last week in response to FMCSA’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Unified Registration System. The FMCSA proposal is intended to streamline the existing registration process so that the agency can more efficiently track motor carriers, freight forwarders, brokers, intermodal equipment providers and cargo tank facilities.

NPTC says it frequently has advised FMCSA officials that the agency’s primary registration system, the Motor Carrier Management Information System, is out of date and contains far too many entities that have long since ceased operating.

For example, when FMCSA began implementing the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement, more than half of the entities contained in MCMIS either were entered inappropriately initially or likely had ceased all operations. “The URS is a new opportunity to ensure that the FMCSA captures all of the existing carriers and intermediaries in a useable database and also purges those entries that are no longer relevant,” NPTC said in its comments.

NPTC supported inclusion of both private and for-hire motor carriers in the new URS database. “Both private and for-hire carriers are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to the same extent ,and there is no policy reason for separating entries for private truck fleets,” NPTC said. “Moreover, many private fleets also have for-hire operating authority to supplement their private carrier operations, which further blurs the regulatory distinction between private and for-hire carriers for safety purposes.”