UCR fees shouldn’t be used as ‘slush fund,’ OOIDA says

June 16, 2022

Mark Schremmer

|

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association wants its members to remind regulators that Unified Carrier Registration fees aren’t to be used as a “slush fund.”

OOIDA reached out to its more than 150,000 members on Wednesday, June 15, encouraging them to comment on proposed fees for the 2023 UCR Plan. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced earlier this week that it was reopening the public comment period for 14 days.

“Tell FMCSA to set the UCR fees to only the amount allowed by law,” OOIDA wrote. “UCR fees should not be used as a slush fund to finance meetings in fancy resort locations, splurging on lunch for state troopers at CVSA meetings, or subsidizing rainy-day spending accounts.”

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%.

OOIDA says that the proposal doesn’t account for the $42 million in excess revenue that UCR has accumulated over the years.

“Small-business truckers are already excessively taxed, tolled, and are now facing historically high diesel prices,” OOIDA wrote. “FMCSA must keep UCR fees as low as the law requires.”

In February, OOIDA filed formal comments in opposition of the UCR fee proposal. The Association said it violated UCR statute and the Administrative Procedures Act.

OOIDA’s comments prompted FMCSA to reopen the public comment period for 14 days.

“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.

The public has through June 28 to comment on the UCR proposal. OOIDA encourages its members not to hesitate.

Comments can be made here or by going to the Regulations.gov website and entering Docket No. FMCSA-2022-0001. LL

TravelCenters

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.