According to the FMCSA website, the implementation date of the final stage of the Unified Registration System (URS) will be extended beyond the original January 14, 2017 deadline that was announced last fall. An announcement on the FMCSA website states: “The additional time is needed to securely migrate data from multiple legacy platforms into a new central database and to conduct further compatibility testing with its State partners.”
The announcement goes on to say:
“By moving the implementation date, FMCSA is providing its State partners more time to develop, update, and verify data connectivity and system reliability. The additional time will also enable the Agency to conduct more thorough training and to implement broader outreach and education activities that will provide for a seamless transition. FMCSA will publish a Federal Register Notice in early January 2017 with more details.”
When complete, the URS will provide a simplified and unified registration process for nearly every facet of the trucking and transportation industry. Freight forwarders, brokers, truck and bus companies, intermodal equipment providers, as well as inspection and repair facilities will be able to use the system to maintain transportation records. The URS will streamline multiple information technology systems, registration processes, and forms into a single, simplified, electronic online registration process. Once implemented, the FMCSA will no longer be using MC, MX, and FF numbers and will rely exclusively on USDOT numbersinstead.
The first phase of the project rolled out in December 2015 for new applicants applying for their first USDOT number. The second and final implementation stage, now delayed, will allow existing carriers to begin using the system to process name changes, bi-annual updates, and transfers of authority.
The following are the key dates and changes to keep in mind:
- New entities: Effective December 12, 2015, new applicants pursuing their first USDOT number are required to use the URS when requesting registration. According to the FMCSA, new entities will be required to submit proof of the following:
- Private hazardous materials and exempt for-hire carrier applicants must submit evidence of financial responsibility.
- Private and exempt for-hire carrier applicants must ensure a process agent designation is on file.
- Existing entities: URS will be available to existing entities to process name changes, bi-annual updates, and transfers of authority. Beginning in 2017 the URS system will accept filings from existing private hazardous materials carriers and exempt for-hire carriers. At that time, it will accept the following:
- Evidence of financial responsibility from existing private hazardous materials carriers and exempt for-hire carriers.
- Filings for designation of process agent from private and exempt for-hire carriers.
The agency estimates it has saved the transportation industry approximately $1.6 million in processing time since its initial launch in December. In the first six months of the program, it has issued 62,000 new USDOT numbers and purged 340,000 inactive registries from its databases.