UCR comment period to reopen for 14 days

June 13, 2022

Mark Schremmer

|

Responding to a request from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the FMCSA is reopening the comment period regarding fees for the 2023 Unified Carrier Registration Plan.

In a notice scheduled to publish in the Federal Register on Tuesday, June 14, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced it was reopening the public comment period for 14 days.

FMCSA said it was reopening comments to provide interested parties an opportunity to review OOIDA’s comments included with the Association’s request to reopen the comment period. It also provides an opportunity to comment on the response from UCR that was filed in May.

The UCR is an annual permit that most motor carriers must pay if they have an active U.S. DOT number regardless whether they are using that DOT number or not and it is marked interstate.

In January, FMCSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would reduce UCR fees from 2022 by about 27%.

On Feb. 23, OOIDA filed formal comments in opposition of the proposed fees.

“OOIDA hereby requests that FMCSA reject the 2023 fee structure recommended by the UCR Board and suspend the current, continued 2022 application of the 2020 fee structure as contrary to the UCR statute and the Administrative Procedures Act,” the Association wrote.

In its February comments, OOIDA said the proposed fee violates the UCR statute, because it does not apply the full $42 million in excess fee revenue the board has accumulated over the past several years. In addition, OOIDA said the proposal also violates the statute, because it recommends applying the surplus revenue from 2021 to the 2023 fees instead of to 2022.

OOIDA also requested that FMCSA reopen the comment period for no less than 60 days. Instead, the agency said it will reopen comments for two weeks.

“The agency is limiting the reopening to 14 days so that it can quickly finalize a rule adjusting UCR Plan and Agreement fees prior to the opening of the registration period on Oct. 1, 2022, for the next registration year beginning on Jan. 1, 2023,” FMCSA wrote in the notice.

Once the notice is published in the Federal Register, the public will have through June 28 to comment. Comments will be able to be made by going to the Regulations.gov website and entering Docket No. FMCSA-2022-0001. LL

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.