Uniform Carrier Registration PlanIf your business involves crossing state or federal borders with your commercial motor vehicle, you must comply with the Uniform Carrier Registration Plan in order to meet transportation regulations. Also known as the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement (UCRA) for interstate carriers, this plan replaces the Single State Registration System (SSRS) created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
About the Uniform Carrier Registration Plan
The Uniform Carrier Registration Plan requires commercial vehicles to be registered with a base state. The selection of a base state is done using a checklist of criteria on the registration application.
Fees that are due under the Uniform Carrier Registration Plan are based on the number of commercial vehicles. Fees are set on a yearly basis. Power units and trailers are counted separately for the purpose of determining fleet size. Just like a commercial auto insurance policy, registrations must be renewed on an annual basis.
The registration fees collected from the Unified Carrier Registration Plan provide funds for states to enforce motor carrier safety laws. Funds are also used for services such as safety consulting and the hosting of DOT compliance seminars for commercial drivers.
Enforcement of the Uniform Carrier Registration Plan is done through an electronic federal database. No paper credentials are issued when fees are paid. Unregistered vehicles can be subjected to fines in each state they travel through.
Who Needs to Register?
The Uniform Carrier Registration Plan applies to:
- All motor carriers required to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), including private, for-hire, and exempt carriers.
- Freight forwarders.
- Leasing companies.
The most notable difference between the Uniform Carrier Registration Plan and the Single State Registration System is that the law applies to all operators of commercial motor vehicles instead of only for-hire motor carriers.
Vehicles that are used exclusively for intrastate travel do not have to register under the Uniform Carrier Registration Plan unless they are carrying interstate goods. For example, a vehicle owned by a beer distributor in Rhode Island would need to register because the goods it carries originated in a different state.
If a commercial vehicle is not registered under the Uniform Carrier Registration Plan, it is not legally allowed to cross state lines. Therefore, you must register your fleet even if you have only an occasional need for interstate travel.