It’s UCR renewal season for truckers operating into the U.S.

It’s hard to believe, but 2022 is just around the corner. That means it’s renewal season for some of your operating credentials.

If you’re operating into the United States, one operating credential you’ll want to address relatively soon is the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) filing and fee payment. UCR filing for 2022 opens Oct. 1, 2021, and is due on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

Canada-based carriers are subject to the UCR filings. Because you’re not based in a state that is a member of the UCR, you must choose a UCR filing base state. For example, if you’re based in Alberta and that is your only business location, you can choose Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, or Washington as your UCR filing base state.

Ambassador Bridge
(Photo: istock)

The fees are based on the total number of commercial vehicles you operate into the United States. Typically, carriers use the number of commercial vehicles (not including trailers) as reported on the MCS-150 that is on file with the FMCSA as the vehicle count for UCR purposes.

The fees per entity for 2022 are as follows:

  • 0-2 vehicles — $59
  • 3-5 vehicles — $176
  • 6-20 vehicles — $351
  • 21-100 vehicles – $1,224
  • 101-1,000 vehicles — $5,835
  • 1,001+ vehicles — $56,977

The UCR filing site is https://plan.ucr.gov, which is the official UCR site.

But you may use third-party services to file the UCR on your behalf. If you choose to use a service, be sure the service is reputable and that you understand its terms.

Wondering where the funds go and what they’re used for is common among carriers. The UCR fees are simply fees carriers pay to allow them to operate in U.S. interstate commerce.

It may appear you don’t get much for your money — not even a piece of paper, since there’s no receipt or credential. On-road enforcement is checked electronically by using your USDOT number.  But there is a “big picture” benefit to paying UCR. The fees collected under the UCR are used to fund motor carrier safety initiatives and enforcement programs in the U.S., as well as to fund the UCR program.

If you haven’t yet started operating into the United States, but you’re planning to start within these last few months of 2021, then you have an extra step. You’ll first need to file your UCR for this year, and then you also need to file for 2022.

Unfortunately, there’s no prorating of fees even if you start operating into the United States later in the year. You’ll have to pay the full fees for your 2021 filing.

If you don’t file your UCR, states can issue monetary penalties for failing to file and pay.

Be sure to get your filing completed before operating into the United States, and before the Dec. 31, 2021, due date if you’re renewing for 2022, to avoid any penalties.

Heather Ness is the editor of transport operations at J.J.Keller and Associates. Contact her at transporteditors@jjkeller.com.

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