A new final rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Feb. 13 lowers the annual registration fees that motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies pay to the 41 states that take part in the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement.
The rule changes apply to the registration years beginning with this year. For the 2020 registration year, the fees will be reduced by 14.45% below the 2018 registration fee level. The agency said that reduction ensures that fee revenues collected do not exceed the statutory maximum, and to account for the excess funds held in the depository. The fees will remain at the same level for 2021 and for subsequent years-- unless revised in the future.
FMCSA said the reduction of the current 2019 registration year fees range from approximately $3 to $2,712 per motor carrier or other entity, depending on the number of vehicles owned or operated by the affected entities.
The agency pointed out in its notice, published in the Federal Register for Feb. 13, that The UCR Plan and the participating states collect registration fees for each registration year, which is the same period as the calendar year. Usually, collection begins on October 1 of the previous year, and continues until December 31 of the year following the registration year. All of the revenues collected are distributed to the participating states or to the UCR Plan for administration of the UCR Agreement; no funds are distributed to the federal government.
“While each motor carrier will realize a reduced burden, fees are considered by the Office of Management and Budget Circular A–4, Regulatory Analysis as transfer payments, not costs,” FMCSA stated.
“Transfer payments are payments from one group to another that do not affect total resources available to society,” the agency explained. “Therefore, transfers are not considered in the monetization of societal costs and benefits of rulemakings.”