What Is a UCR Registration

white truck on the road

Understanding the UCR Registration Filing

Are you wondering what a UCR registration is? If so, you're not alone. Many motor carrier professionals experience difficulty understanding the basics of UCR. But do not despair. Our organization is here to help you with all your registration needs. Are you ready to learn about UCR so that you can maintain compliance with the government? Let’s get started.

What Is UCR Registration?

UCR refers to the US government’s Unified Carrier Registration program. The Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005 created UCR Numbers. The act replaced the Single State Registration System (SSRS). The UCR gets mandated so operators of commercial vehicles registered in a database. UCR registration applies to companies and people involved in interstate travel. UCR registration must take place on an annual basis. The deadline to register is December 31 of every year. The date to begin registering for UCR starts on October 1 every year.

Learn What is a URC

Who Needs a UCR Registration?

So, who does UCR registration apply toward? It affects all motor carrier number holders that use commercial vehicles. These are vehicles that transport cargo across state lines. (And also international lines.)  Are you an individual (or work for a company) that arranges the shipments of goods? If so, you are subject to the standard UCR fee. There are three classifications of people subject to a UCR fee. The fee applies to many freight forwarders, leasing companies, and brokers.

There is no specific cost for UCR fees that apply to motor carriers. The exact cost gets calculated based on the number of vehicles within each fleet. Leasing companies and brokers get to pay the lowest UCR registration fee. All types of carriers must register for the UCR program. The program applies to private carriers, exempt carriers, and for-hire carriers.

When It Comes to UCR Registration, What’s Considered a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

The UCR Program has a specific definition of what a commercial motor vehicle is. It is a towed/self-propelled vehicle that functions on highways for interstate travel. One of these three factors applies to vehicles that have to do UCR registration.

1. The vehicle has a gross weight of at least 10,001 pounds.
2. The vehicle can transport at least eleven passengers, including the driver.
3. The vehicle's required by USDOT number law to feature hazardous waste placarding.

What Happens if You Don’t Participate in UCR Registration?

Let’s say that a commercial vehicle operator refuses to pay for UCR registration. And the driver gets caught transporting goods across state lines. This means that law enforcement officials can detain the vehicle. They could also detain the rest of the vehicles in the fleet. But that’s not all. The commercial carrier could have to pay extra penalties and fines. The pricing structure of fines and penalties varies based on the state of the carrier. First-time offenses carry a fine that ranges from $100 to $5,000. Participating UCR states enforce registration compliance by way of roadside enforcement checks. Fines and citations take place after the enforcement checks. Business audits are another catalyst for UCR registration fines and penalties. This is one reason why carriers cannot lie about the size of their interstate fleets.

How Many States Participate in the UCR Program?

As of now, 41 states must take part in UCR registration as part of the federal UCR program. Here are the nine states that do not use the UCR program.

1. Hawaii.
2. Florida.
3. Arizona.
4. Wyoming.
5. Maryland.  
6. Vermont.
7. Nevada.
8. Oregon.
9. New Jersey.

The District of Columbia also does not take part in the UCR program.

Do I Not Need UCR Registration if My State Doesn’t Participate in the UCR Program?

You are not off the hook for UCR registration if your state doesn’t take part in the federal UCR program. All motor carriers that travel across state lines have to complete UCR registration. (This applies to all interstate businesses.) Say that you live in a state that doesn’t use the UCR program. This means you're required to buy UCR registration in the closest UCR-participating state. Keep in mind that other states might join the UCR program in the coming years.

Is UCR Registration Required for Intrastate Travel?

No, vehicles that only take part in intrastate commerce do not need UCR registration. But businesses have to maintain a registered exempt vehicle form through the UCR.

What Is a UCR Fee?

The UCR registration fee refers to the federal UCR Agreement. It requires companies/individuals to register their businesses with the closest participating state. These are businesses that operate commercial motor vehicles for interstate commerce. The companies and individuals have to pay a UCR annual fee. A UCR fee gets based on the number of vehicles in each fleet.

Do Drivers Need To Carry Proof of UCR Registration in Their Trucks?

No, drivers are not required by law to carry proof of UCR compliance in their vehicles. It is optional to carry a receipt of payment for UCR fees and registration.

Do Companies & Drivers Receive a Certificate That Proves Registration With UCR?

No, there's no certificate/official document that proves someone has registered for UCR. Instead, proof of registration exists within the national database. Law enforcement personnel can access the database during routine roadside checks.

In 1976, the number one hit on the Billboard chart was "Convoy," a novelty song by C.W. McCall about a convoy of truck drivers evading speed traps and toll booths across America. The song inspired the 1978 action film Convoy directed by Sam Peckinpah. After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike and participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis (although similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis).

In the United States, shipments larger than about 7,000 kg (15,432 lb) are classified as truckload freight (TL). It is more efficient and affordable for a large shipment to have exclusive use of one larger trailer. This is opposed to having to share space on a smaller Less than Truckload freight carrier.

With the partial deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 by the Motor Carrier Act, trucking companies increased. The workforce was drastically de-unionized. As a result, drivers received a lower pay overall. Losing its spotlight in the popular culture, trucking had become less intimate as some unspoken competition broke out. However, the deregulation only increased the competition and productivity with the trucking industry as a whole. This was beneficial to the America consumer by reducing costs. In 1982 the Surface Transportation Assistance Act established a federal minimum truck weight limits. Thus, trucks were finally standardized truck size and weight limits across the country. This was also put in to place so that across country traffic on the Interstate Highways resolved the issue of the 'barrier states'.

“The association of truckers with cowboys and related myths was perhaps most obvious during the urban-cowboy craze of the late 1970s, a period that saw middle-class urbanites wearing cowboy clothing and patronizing simulated cowboy nightclubs. During this time, at least four truck driver movies appeared, CB radio became popular, and truck drivers were prominently featured in all forms of popular media.” — Lawrence J. Ouellet

In the 20th century, the 1940 film "They Drive by Night" co-starred Humphrey Bogart. He plays an independent driver struggling to become financially stable and economically independent. This is all set during the times of the Great Depression. Yet another film was released in 1941, called "The Gang's All Here". It is a story of a trucking company that's been targeted by saboteurs.

In the United States, a commercial driver's license is required to drive any type of commercial vehicle weighing 26,001 lb (11,794 kg) or more. In 2006 the US trucking industry employed 1.8 million drivers of heavy trucks.

A semi-trailer is almost exactly what it sounds like, it is a trailer without a front axle. Proportionally, its weight is supported by two factors. The weight falls upon a road tractor or by a detachable front axle assembly, known as a dolly. Generally, a semi-trailer is equipped with legs, known in the industry as "landing gear". This means it can be lowered to support it when it is uncoupled. In the United States, a trailer may not exceed a length of 57 ft (17.37 m) on interstate highways. However, it is possible to link two smaller trailers together to reach a length of 63 ft (19.20 m).

In some states, a business route is designated by adding the letter "B" after the number instead of placing a "Business" sign above it. For example, Arkansas signs US business route 71 as "US 71B". On some route shields and road signs, the word "business" is shortened to just "BUS". This abbreviation is rare and usually avoided to prevent confusion with bus routes.

Public transportation is vital to a large part of society and is in dire need of work and attention. In 2010, the DOT awarded $742.5 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 11 transit projects. The awardees specifically focused light rail projects. One includes both a commuter rail extension and a subway project in New York City. The public transportation New York City has to offer is in need of some TLC. Another is working on a rapid bus transit system in Springfield, Oregon. The funds also subsidize a heavy rail project in northern Virginia. This finally completes the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metro Silver Line, connecting to Washington, D.C., and the Washington Dulles International Airport. This is important because the DOT has previously agreed to subsidize the Silver Line construction to Reston, Virginia.

Advocation for better transportation began historically in the late 1870s of the United States. This is when the Good Roads Movement first occurred, lasting all the way throughout the 1920s. Bicyclist leaders advocated for improved roads. Their acts led to the turning of local agitation into the national political movement it became.

Business routes generally follow the original routing of the numbered route through a city or town. Beginning in the 1930s and lasting thru the 1970s was an era marking a peak in large-scale highway construction in the United States. U.S. Highways and Interstates were typically built in particular phases. Their first phase of development began with the numbered route carrying traffic through the center of a city or town. The second phase involved the construction of bypasses around the central business districts of the towns they began. As bypass construction continued, original parts of routes that had once passed straight thru a city would often become a "business route".

In 1984 the animated TV series The Transformers told the story of a group of extraterrestrial humanoid robots. However, it just so happens that they disguise themselves as automobiles. Their leader of the Autobots clan, Optimus Prime, is depicted as an awesome semi-truck.

The year of 1977 marked the release of the infamous Smokey and the Bandit. It went on to be the third highest grossing film that year, following tough competitors like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Burt Reynolds plays the protagonist, or "The Bandit", who escorts "The Snowman" in order to deliver bootleg beer. Reynolds once stated he envisioned trucking as a "hedonistic joyride entirely devoid from economic reality"   Another action film in 1977 also focused on truck drivers, as was the trend it seems. Breaker! Breaker! starring infamous Chuck Norris also focused on truck drivers. They were also displaying movie posters with the catch phrase "... he's got a CB radio and a hundred friends who just might get mad!"

The decade of the 70's in the United States was a memorable one, especially for the notion of truck driving. This seemed to dramatically increase popularity among trucker culture. Throughout this era, and even in today's society, truck drivers are romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws. These stereotypes were due to their use of Citizens Band (CB) radios to swap information with other drivers. Information regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. The general public took an interest in the truckers 'way of life' as well. Both drivers and the public took interest in plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and CB slang.

The Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974 established a federal maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg). It also introduced a sliding scale of truck weight-to-length ratios based on the bridge formula. Although, they did not establish a federal minimum weight limit. By failing to establish a federal regulation, six contiguous in the Mississippi Valley rebelled. Becoming known as the "barrier state", they refused to increase their Interstate weight limits to 80,000 pounds. Due to this, the trucking industry faced a barrier to efficient cross-country interstate commerce.

1941 was a tough era to live through. Yet, President Roosevelt appointed a special committee to explore the idea of a "national inter-regional highway" system. Unfortunately, the committee's progress came to a halt with the rise of the World War II. After the war was over, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 authorized the designation of what are not termed 'Interstate Highways'. However, he did not include any funding program to build such highways. With limited resources came limited progress until President Dwight D. Eisenhower came along in 1954. He renewed interest in the 1954 plan. Although, this began and long and bitter debate between various interests. Generally, the opposing sides were considering where such funding would come from such as rail, truck, tire, oil, and farm groups. All who would overpay for the new highways and how.

Words have always had a different meaning or have been used interchangeably with others across all cultures. In the United States, Canada, and the Philippines the word "truck" is mostly reserved for larger vehicles. Although in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the word "truck" is generally reserved for large vehicles. In Australia and New Zealand, a pickup truck is usually called a ute, short for "utility". While over in South Africa it is called a bakkie (Afrikaans: "small open container"). The United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, and Hong Kong use the "lorry" instead of truck, but only for medium and heavy types.

Heavy trucks. A cement mixer is an example of Class 8 heavy trucks. Heavy trucks are the largest on-road trucks, Class 8. These include vocational applications such as heavy dump trucks, concrete pump trucks, and refuse hauling, as well as ubiquitous long-haul 6×4 and 4x2 tractor units. Road damage and wear increase very rapidly with the axle weight. The axle weight is the truck weight divided by the number of axles, but the actual axle weight depends on the position of the load over the axles. The number of steering axles and the suspension type also influence the amount of the road wear. In many countries with good roads, a six-axle truck may have a maximum weight over 50 tons (49 long tons; 55 short tons).

Many people are familiar with this type of moving, using truck rental services, or borrowing similar hardware, is known as DIY moving. Whoever is renting a truck or trailer large enough to carry their household goods may obtain moving equipment if necessary. Equipment may be items such as dollies, furniture pads, and cargo belts to protect furniture and to ease the moving process.