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FMCSA Lowers Registration Fees

In a move that made truckers across the nation happy, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on February 13th, 2020 that it would be lowering registration fees for motor carriers starting with registration year 2020 and continuing for the foreseeable future.

UCR Plan

The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan is no stranger to truckers and other actors in the trucking industry. A group of states agreed to collect registration fees from relevant parties located in their state and then distribute them proportionally based on vehicle use in each of the states. This method makes paying registration much more straightforward for truckers.

The FMCSA recently announced that the amount each trucker would have to pay is going down, effective immediately.

“For the 2020 registration year, the fees will be reduced by 14.45% below the 2018 registration fee level to ensure that fee revenues collected do not exceed the statutory maximum, and to account for the excess funds held in the depository,” according to the announcement. “The fees will remain at the same level for 2021 and subsequent years unless revised in the future.”

The total amount of money saved varies from party to party based on how much they paid before. Companies and people at the higher end could find themselves saving almost $3000 per year. Because the depository has excess funds, this reduction in registration costs is expected to last for the foreseeable future. People can petition for the FMCSA to reconsider this final rule before March 16, 2020, but considering how it saves people money on registration fees, this is highly unlikely.

The fee structure, for the time being, will look like this:

  • Bracket 1: 0-2 commercial motor vehicles, $59
  • Bracket 2: 3-5 commercial motor vehicles, $176
  • Bracket 3: 6-20 commercial motor vehicles, $351
  • Bracket 4: 21-100 commercial motor vehicles, $1,224
  • Bracket 5: 101-1,000 commercial motor vehicles, $5,835
  • Bracket 6: 1,001+ commercial motor vehicles, $56,977

If you want to read the Final Rule regarding this decision, you can see the change in regulation on the FMCSA website.

The Effect on Trucking

The trucking industry has an alleged trucker shortage, and different parts of the US Government are working to resolve it. Whether it is lowering age restrictions or fees to the FMCSA, the federal government is working hard to reduce bureaucracy and add more truckers onto the road.

Between the reductions in regulations and fees as well as the decreasing costs of used vehicles due to an influx, 2020 seems to be a golden year for the trucking industry at large. Electric commercial vehicles and ones that run on other sources of fuel are becoming more prevalent and viable, reducing the costs of hauling.

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