FMCSA Stops Issuing Docket Numbers

Following our earlier post (read it here) about the FMCSA’s hosted conference call of July 23, 2015, which addressed questions and concerns regarding replacement of all docket numbers with one, unique number for each entity, we’ve learned that most of the concerns addressed by the industry leaders on that call have been ironed out, and that the FMCSA’s new Unified Registration System (URS) will go into effect on October 23, 2015 as planned.

It’s important to note that once the URS website is launched, all entities that register with FMCSA will be issued a USDOT number only. As with the launch of any new program, this depends on the timely launch of the website, and its capacity to handle new registrations.

The Unified Registration System (URS) is a new electronic on-line registration system that will streamline and simplify the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) registration process and serve as a clearinghouse and depository of information on all entities regulated by the Agency, including motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) applicants/holders, and cargo tank manufacturing and repair facilities. The URS will combine multiple registration processes, information technology systems and forms into a single, electronic online registration process.

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Carrier Risk Management

URS Compliant Industry Database

The most critical change is that a DOT number will now reflect all authorities that an entity has, which is a stark departure from years past. Why is this so important? Because just about everyone you depend upon to run your business has built their infrastructure around docket numbers. This could include your TMS provider, carrier research/monitoring vendor, insurance reporting service, and more. All of these dependencies must be updated to work with the new system, but we’ve found that many people are either unaware of the coming changes, or fail to appreciate their significance.

This also means that when you use government or other URS compliant industry databases, such as SaferWatch, to identify companies in the transportation industry, you will need to search entities using URS numbers instead of MC numbers.

Changes in effect

  • The URS is a separate entity from UCR (Universal Carrier Registration) and has its own set of requirements
  • The biennial MCS-150 update changes for all Carriers went into effect November 1st, 2013
  • URS will be retiring all docket (MC, MX, and FF) numbers
  • URS is eliminating the MCS-150 (also the OP-1 to obtain authority) and replacing it with the MCSA-1 on October 23rd, 2015. The new MCSA-1 report can only be filed electronically and is going to follow the same biennial requirements as the MCS-150; e.g. if you file a MCS-150 this month you will not need to file a MCSA-1 until August 2017 (see video below):

All you need to know about MCSA-1

September 16, 2015 – Status Update

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Acting Administrator Scott Darling shed some light on the rumors that have been circulating for some time about whether or not the Agency would be able to meet the October 23 deadline.

Acting Administrator Darling notes that, “It is important that we (FMCSA) get this right. As such, we will move forward with a new phased implementation that will ensure a successful launch. A Federal Register Notice will be published in October that will provide details on the updated implementation timeline.”
Specifically of interest to brokers, in order to file the biennial update requirement for brokers, licensed brokers will need to obtain a USDOT pin number, but as of last week FMCSA officials confirmed to TIA staff that the module has not been completed and a time-frame to complete the module is unavailable at the moment.

TIA staff will continue to work with the FMCSA on the URS, and provide useful industry feedback when necessary. TIA continues to work with all of our associate members who are TMS, load boards, carrier monitoring, etc. companies to ensure that they have the latest technical information to ensure that even though the MC, FF, and MX numbers are being hidden from public view and not used anymore, that the data feed to members continues to provide you all with the most accurate and updated information. To this end, TIA along with associate members have met with FMCSA about the URS and continue to provide technical feedback to improve their roll-out.

 

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