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FMCSA Again Delays Rollout of Online DOT Registration System

December 15, 2016

By David Cullen

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Image: U.S. Department of Transportation
Image: U.S. Department of Transportation

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has again delayed implementation of the final stage of its Unified Registration System for new motor carriers. 

Completion of the URS rollout had last been scheduled for January 14, 2017, a date announced back in July. Prior to that, the implementation date had been set for Sept. 30, 2016. 

Now, the agency has instead announced it will publish a notice in the Federal Register early next month that will state the newly revised URS compliance date. 

By way of explanation, FMCSA said it recently completed a “complex migration” of its IT systems to a cloud environment. “This mitigation effort was a necessary step in order to provide a foundation to successfully implement URS.” 

However, the agency said the new implementation delay is necessary “because 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-agency partners. 

“By moving the implementation date, FMCSA is providing its State partners more time to develop, update, and verify data connectivity and system reliability,” the agency said.  “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.” 

URS is a simplified online registration process. It combines multiple legacy reporting forms into a single, online “smart form” that is designed to streamline the registration and renewal process.

When fully implemented, URS will allow FMCSA to identify unfit carriers and detect unsafe truck and bus companies that are trying to evade enforcement actions. Offending companies often attempt to regain U.S. DOT registration by registering as a different or unrelated business entity.

Since the December 2015 launch of the initial phase of URS, FMCSA estimates that the industry has saved more than $3 million in registration expenses. What's more, the agency said that using URS, it has so far issued over 100,000 new USDOT numbers; removed more than 360,000 dormant USDOT numbers from its databases; and achieved “a 100 percent screening of operating authority applications for disqualified carriers attempting to fraudulently ‘reincarnate’ as new operators.”

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