July 14, 2015
Understanding the UCR Process and Fees
Important Notice: Get the latest news about the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) on the official site at https://plan.ucr.gov/. If you have any questions about the UCR, call Motor Carrier HQ. We’re always ready to answer any questions you have and make sure your trucking company is up-to-date.
Last Updated: November 11, 2019
The UCR is a necessary part of your trucking company, and not filing the fee when you’re required to could have drastic consequences. This resource covers:
- What the UCR is
- Who is required to register
- How to determine your fee
- When you should register
- What happens if you don’t pay
What Is the UCR?
Under the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan and Agreement program, states collect fees from motor carriers, private motor carriers, freight forwarders, brokers and leasing companies, based on the number of qualifying commercial motor vehicles in their fleets.
The fees acquired by UCR are used by the states to support its safety programs and USDOT officer training. This program was created in 2007 and replaced the old Single-State Registration System (SSRS), which in turn replaced the Bingo-Stamp Program.
Who Is Required to Register Under the UCR?
Trucking companies that participate in interstate commerce will most likely have to register under the UCR based on the number of trucks in their fleet.
Each company is required to pay the UCR fee with a base state. If your base state doesn’t participate in the program, you are required to pay your UCR fee through a neighboring participating state if you’re planning on going across state lines.
If you’re planning on only doing intrastate commerce, there are a few states that do not participate in the UCR. Currently, these states are:
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)
How to Determine Your UCR Fee
Your fleet size is determined by the number of commercial motor vehicles you own or operate in interstate commerce. Brokers and leasing companies are required to pay the 0-2 fee tier and trailers are not included in fleet size.
If your trucking company has some trucks that do not travel across state lines and are based in a state that does not participate in the UCR, you are not required to count those trucks as part of your fleet.
While the fees have been changing, you can rely on Motor Carrier HQ to take care of the necessary registration for you. Just pick the number of trucks in your fleet, and we’ll take it from there.
When Should You Register for the UCR?
Registration for the UCR often starts on October 1st and the fee is due before January 1st of the intended year. However, do not get tricked by malicious companies who are trying to get you to file for the UCR when you don’t need to.
Listen to the first part of episode 23 of Haulin Assets for some information about how to spot predator companies who are trying to get you to use their services to file your UCR for high prices.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your UCR Fee?
Failure to pay UCR fees will hurt your business in the long run. If you cross into UCR participating states without having paid your UCR fee, the state and its USDOT officers will pull your trucks off the road immediately and they will not release your trucks until the UCR fees are paid. Not only will you be pulled off the road for not paying your fees, but you’ll also be subject to additional fines and penalties.
Rather than wondering if you need to file your UCR or how to go about it, Motor Carrier HQ can help you. We specialize in filing UCR registrations so you don’t have to. Don’t get stopped at a port and placed out of service or fined because you are not current with you UCR filings. Leave it to us.