BLOG October 25th, 2019

Carrier Registration – Quick guide

carrier registration

Carrier registration is something all future small business owners need to complete if they want to start a trucking company, and before becoming a carrier.

We will get to the bottom of what, where, how and who has to complete the registration in this brief guide for all of you trucking professionals who want to build their own carrier company!

What is carrier registration?

Carrier registration (unified carrier registration or UCR in short) is a successor to the Single State Registration System, created by federal legislation.

How is it different compared to the former program?

The main difference between SSRS and carrier registration program (UCR) is that SSRS was applicable only to for-hire motor carriers. UCR applies to everyone who operates commercial vehicles.

That includes the carriers who carry their own products and goods across the state lines.

It also includes all CMV carriers who carry interstate goods even if their vehicle doesn’t leave the state at all.

What is considered a commercial motor vehicle under the UCR program?

A CMV is a vehicle that is towed or self-moving and is used on highways engaged in interstate travel, but also weighs 10,0001 pounds (or more, gross), it’s designed to transport eleven or more passengers (driver included) or it’s required to have hazardous waste placarding.

How can you sign up and what businesses must file it?

Businesses located in the USA and Canadian carriers which operate in the USA who are one of the following:

  • Private motor carriers
  • Leasing companies
  • For-hire motor carriers
  • Freight forwarders
  • Brokers

All of these companies that operate in interstate business must file a UCR.

Some businesses that operate in interstate commerce don’t have to comply with the IRP or IFTA but have to file UCR.

Some may be exempt from carrier registration if they are operating a bus across the state lines but for religious or school purposes.

You can sign up by following this link and follow step by step guide, where you also can find important information regarding carrier registration.

What are the penalties for not registering?

All companies that are eligible for carrier registration but didn’t complete it, can pay the fine depending on their fleet size.

Each state that participates in the UCR can enforce roadside checks and business audits.

How big are the fees?

The fees depend on the state where you’re “caught”, so to say, and the companies’ fleet size. They can go from $40 all the way up to $30,000 and more.

Registration completion

Once you’ve completed the registration, you will not receive any certificate that you are registered, and it’s not necessary either, because it’s being kept in the national database.

Anyone who needs to check your registration will be able to do so, without you providing them with a piece of paper that’s saying you’re registered.

From that moment on, carrier registration should be renewed annually.

Final words

As a trucking business professional that wants to build a carrier company, UCR should be at the top of your checklist.

This is not a problem if you sign up for our back-office services, because UCR filing is a part of it, and we handle it completely.


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