Imagine this: You operate a 175-size fleet trucking company. You assign a time-sensitive, urgent load to one of your trucks. You promise your customer it will be delivered on time. However during transit the truck carrying this load is pulled over by a state DOT officer. The officer informs your driver that your company has not paid its 2007 UCR fees. They immediately demand $3,480.00 in UCR Fees, and they sit your truck. Your driver doesn’t have the money, and now the load can’t get to your customer. Furthermore, you never received a UCR fee notice. Now you are looking at an angry customer and a possible late-delivery claim, not to mention additional state fines.
Can this happen to you? Absolutely!
The states just recently implemented its 2007 UCR (Unified Carrier Registration) program on September 10, 2007. This program replaced the Single State Registration System (SSRS), and it impacts all motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies. You will soon receive a bill requiring you to pay a UCR fee. However, your state may not send you a UCR bill notice. This may be the only notice you’ll ever receive about your pending UCR fees! Failure to comply with the UCR program and its fees may force your company trucks off the road, or even worse—out of business.
You must act soon! The “anticipated” deadline to pay your 2007 UCR fees is November 15, 2007. After this date, the states and USDOT will begin its enforcement. However, a number of states will begin its enforcement prior to November 15, 2007. It’s imperative that you pay your UCR fees soon. Otherwise, the states may strand your trucks on the road.
Logistec/TTS Resident Agent Service, Inc. is here to help. We are a full service, FMCSA registered Process Service Agency. We are keeping a close eye on the new UCR program. We will help make sure your trucks stay on the road, so you can stay in business. Please review our enclosed materials to get more detailed information on the NEW UCR program. Please visit us online at www.OperatingAuthority.com for more information.
What is the UCR?
The UCR (Unified Carrier Registration) is a program that replaced the (SSRS) Single State Registration System. The UCR Program requires individuals and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce to register their business with a participating state and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet. This includes ALL carriers and truck owners – private, exempt, or for hire. Brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies are also required to register and pay a fee unless they also operate as a motor carrier. Like SSRS, fees collected from the UCR system will be used by the states to support its safety programs and USDOT officer training. Unlike SSRS, the UCR system increases the number of fee-eligible transportation companies and its owned equipment, but lowers the fee per company.
What is the UCR process and fee structure?
The process is very simple. Each company is required to pay its UCR fee with a base state (the state in which you reside primarily). If your base state does not participate in the program you are required to pay your UCR fee from a neighboring, participating state. You are also now required to have a Process Service Company designate an agent in each state to accept legal papers on your behalf. Thus, all transportation companies are now required to have a BOC-3 (designation of process service). The UCR fee structure is listed below:
1-2 Trucks/Equipment: $39.00*
3-5 Trucks/Equipment: $116.00
6-20 Trucks/Equipment: $231.00
21-100 Trucks/Equipment: $806.00
101-1000 Trucks/Equipment: $3,480.00
1001 or More Trucks/Equipment: $37,500.00
UCR Fee is based on number of trucks and company owned equipment (i.e. trailers)
*Brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies must pay a $39 fee unless they operate as motor carriers
States Currently Not Participating: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Wyoming, Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri.
When will the UCR take place?
The states implemented the UCR program on September 10, 2007. If you have not already received a UCR bill from your state, you will receive one soon. However, states do not have to send you a UCR bill. In fact, you may never even receive a UCR notice. The UCR Board recommended for states to begin its UCR enforcement on November 15, 2007. However, this is not a “firm” enforcement date. States, at their own discretion, can begin enforcing its UCR prior to November 15, 2007, which some states are now doing. As a result, it is extremely important for your company to pay its UCR fees as soon as possible.
What if I don’t pay the UCR fee?
Failure to pay your UCR fee will hurt your business. If you cross into a UCR participating state without having paid your UCR fee, the state and its USDOT officers will pull your trucks immediately off the road. They will not release your trucks until your UCR fees are paid. You will also be subject to additional fines and penalties. The damage and cost to your business will be detrimental. Why risk hurting a customer relationship or subject your business to an unnecessary claim by not paying your UCR? Complying with the UCR legal requirement will help you avoid serious harm to your business and your customers.
When will I get my UCR fee notice?
You may or may not get a notice! Your UCR participating state may elect not to remit any notices, or you may reside in a non-participating state. However, from the states’ perspective, ignorance of the law is not excuse. You are still expected to pay your UCR fee, regardless if you ever received a UCR notice. For the most part states are relying on you and Process Service Agencies (since you now required to get a BOC-3 Process Service) to inform you of your pending UCR fees. As such, this may be on the only notice you’ll ever receive about your UCR dues!
What is a BOC-3? A BOC-3 is a filing requirement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the states that designates agents of process.
What is a Process Agent and Process Service Agency?
A process agent is a representative upon whom court papers may be served in any proceeding brought against a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder. A process agent will accept legal papers on your behalf and get them to you in a timely manner, before a judgment can be levied against you. A Process Service Agency manages your designated process agents (i.e. your BOC-3).
Does the new UCR program require me to have a BOC-3?
Yes, the new UCR program requires all transportation companies to have a BOC-3 filing.
What if I don’t get a BOC-3?
You will not be allowed to pay your UCR fees next year without a BOC-3 filing. Thus, you will not be considered a legal transportation company nor will you be allowed to legally move freight for your customers.