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Unified Registration System: What We Need to Understand

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) has recently announced a final ruling, implementing a new structure of inputting information for brokers, carriers, and freight forwarders. This new framework is called, Unified Registration System (URS).

As what the name suggests, the purpose is to unify all the data forms used by the said professionals into one electronic “smart form.” Yes, it’s a new online registration to replace other systems. It is expected to expedite registration and updating processes, and to promote more accurate record keeping.

How does it help?

By streamlining registration processes, the shipping and transportation industry can save heaps of time and minimize the possibility of typographical errors. Aside from boosting speed, it also augments the accuracy of inputting information. There’s more. It’s not just time and accuracy, but also money. Yes, money is the real deal. According to FCMSA, it will save the industry an estimated $9 million from time and fees over a ten-year duration.

When will it start?

The Congress mandated the forming of the URS in the ICC Termination Act of 1995. However, the first phase wasn’t launched until December 12, 2015.

Changes include:

  • Each entity managed by FMCSA, except Mexico-domiciled carriers, are required to register using the new online registration system.
  • Paper filing via fax or mail is no longer accepted. FMCSA will replace the old form, MCS-150. All applicants must use the new Form MCSA-1.
  • An INACTIVE US DOT number will first be issued to the applicants. It will only be activated once the FMCSA determined that the applicant can comply all the requirements.
  • There will be no MC, MX, and FF numbers. The regulated entities will be using their US DOT number as the sole identifier on their carriers.
  • Entities handled by FMCSA should update their registration information every 24 months. Otherwise, their US DOT number will be deactivated.

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