[Federal Register: May 12, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 92)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[Docket No. FMCSA-2006-24555]
Establishment of the Uniform Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
SUMMARY: FMCSA announces establishment of a Board of Directors for the
Unified Carrier Registration Plan mandated under the Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. The
Board will be responsible for issuing rules and regulations to govern
the Uniform Carrier Registration Agreement (UCR Agreement). The UCR
Agreement is the replacement system for the Single State Registration
System (SSRS) due to expire on January 1, 2007. The UCR Agreement will
govern the collection and distribution of registration and financial
responsibility information provided and fees paid by for-hire and
private motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing
companies. The Secretary of Transportation establishes the initial 15-
member Board of Directors by direct appointment due to the imminent
sunsetting of SSRS and the potential for significant loss of revenue to
the 39 participating States if work is not completed prior to January
1, 2007. FMCSA plans to solicit in the Federal Register nominations for
successor membership prior to expiration of terms of membership.
DATES: Initial appointments to the Board of Directors are effective
beginning on June 1, 2006.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by DOT DMS Docket Number
FMCSA-2006-24555, by any of the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
- Agency Web Site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
- Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
- Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401,
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
- Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name
and docket number for this notice. All comments received will be posted
without change to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal
information provided. For detailed instructions on submitting comments
and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the "Public
Participation" heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of
this document. For a summary of DOT's Privacy Act Statement or
information on how to obtain a complete copy of DOT's Privacy Act
Statement please see the "Privacy Act" heading.
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or to Room PL-
401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW.,
Washington, DC, between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, except
Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. William Quade, (202) 366-2172,
Director, Office of Safety Programs, Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, (MC-ES), 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-
0001. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through
Friday except Federal holidays.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation: Section 4305 of
SAFETEA-LU created a new 49 U.S.C. 14504a. Section 14504a(d)(9) exempts
the Unified Carrier Registration Plan, the Board and its committees
from the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Nonetheless, the Board of
Directors plans to periodically publish information concerning its
proceedings and decisions in the public docket. FMCSA welcomes comments
on the appointment of members to the Board and other issues related to
the UCR Agreement. DMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each
year. You can get electronic submission and retrieval help and
guidelines under the "help" section of the DMS web site. If you want
us to notify you of receiving your comments, please include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement
page that appears after submitting comments on-line.
Section 4305 of SAFETEA-LU [Pub. L. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, August
10, 2005] created, under Title 49 U.S. Code, a new section 14504a
titled "Unified Carrier Registration System plan and agreement."
Under the UCR Agreement, motor carriers, motor private carriers,
brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies provide registration
and financial responsibility information and pay certain fees. The
Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors must issue rules
and regulations to govern the UCR Agreement. Under the UCR Agreement,
the USDOT Number will be the sole Federal identification number for all
motor carriers. The UCR Agreement will replace the current SSRS, which
will expire on January 1, 2007 in accordance with section 4305(a) of
SSRS is a State-administered registration program covering for-hire
interstate motor carriers. SSRS ensures that all interstate for-hire
motor carriers maintain public liability insurance at the appropriate
levels and are properly authorized under 49 U.S.C. 13902 to operate. A
motor carrier must choose a single participating State in which to file
its SSRS application. Usually a carrier is able to select the State in
which it maintains its principal place of business. However, if that
State is not a participating SSRS State, the carrier must select an
SSRS-participant State in which it will operate the largest number of
commercial motor vehicles in its fleet during the next registration
year. Regardless of how the motor carrier makes the selection, the
selected State is known as the "base" State and collects fees on
behalf of all the participating States in which the motor carrier
operates. A Canada- or Mexico-domiciled motor carrier also must select
the State in the United States which it most frequently operates as its
base State for registration purposes.
Currently, 39 States participate in SSRS, and they use this
registration system to generate revenues to supplement State general
fund accounts and to conduct safety-related services. Historically, the
for-hire motor carrier industry has complained about the cost of this
program. Under section 4305 of SAFETEA-LU, Congress brokered a
compromise that lowers the costs of for-hire motor carrier registration
under SSRS while keeping the 39 participating States "whole" in terms
of the amount of revenue they receive under SSRS.
Congress accomplished this by spreading SSRS user fees to include a
broader population of registrants and entities currently not required
to register. By including private motor carriers, brokers, freight
forwarders, leasing companies, and exempt for-hire motor carriers in
the UCR Agreement, Congress lowered the registration costs for for-hire
motor carriers and ensured that the SSRS States do not lose essential
funding for safety services. SAFETEA-LU tasked the Board of Directors
with developing an appropriate registration fee structure as well as a
distribution formula for fees collected.
Title 49 U.S.C. 14504a(a)(9) defines the Unified Carrier
Registration Plan as the organization of State, Federal, and industry
representatives responsible for developing, implementing, and
administering the UCR Agreement. Section 14504a(d)(1)(B) directed the
Secretary to establish a Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of
Directors made up of 15 members representing FMCSA, State government,
and the motor carrier industry. The Board also must recommend initial
annual fees to be assessed against carriers, leasing companies,
brokers, and freight forwarders under the UCR Agreement. The Secretary
must set the initial annual fees for the next agreement year and any
subsequent adjustment of those fees within 90 days of receiving the
Board's recommendation and only after notice and opportunity for public
Section 14504a(d) stipulates that the Unified Carrier Registration
Plan Board of Directors must consist of representatives from the
U.S. Department of Transportation (the Department): One
individual--either the FMCSA Deputy Administrator or such other
Presidential appointee from the Department--must represent the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: One director must be
selected from each of the FMCSA service areas (as defined by FMCSA on
January 1, 2005) from among the chief administrative officers of the
State agencies responsible for administering the UCR Agreement. FMCSA
has designated four Service Center areas throughout the Nation. The
Eastern Service Center includes: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New
York, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the
District of Columbia. The Southern Service Center includes: North
Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky. The
Midwestern Service Center includes: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas,
Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The
Western Service Center includes: American Samoa, Alaska, Arizona,
California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada,
North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah,
Washington, and Wyoming.
State Agencies: The five directors selected to represent State
agencies must be from among the professional staffs of State agencies
responsible for overseeing the administration of the UCR Agreement and
must be nominated by the National Conference of State Transportation
Specialists (NCSTS), a non-profit organization founded in 1959 and
consisting of State agencies involved in transportation safety,
insurance and consumer protection.
Motor Carrier Industry: Five directors must represent the motor
carrier industry. At least one of the five motor carrier industry
representatives must be from "a national trade association
representing the general motor carrier of property industry" and one
of them must be from "a motor carrier that falls within the smallest
fleet fee bracket." The agency recognizes the American Trucking
Associations, Inc. (ATA) as the national trade association representing
the general motor carrier of property industry. ATA is a national
affiliation of State trucking organizations representing the national,
State and local interests of the 50 affiliated State trucking
associations; and the interests of specialized areas of the trucking
industry through conferences and councils. The agency has selected the
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) as the
organization from which to appoint an individual to represent motor
carriers comprising the smallest fleet fee bracket. OOIDA is a national
trade association representing the interests of small trucking
companies and drivers. The Secretary has discretion to appoint the
remaining three industry representatives. In order to ensure
participation on the Board by segments of the industry newly subject to
the SSRS replacement system, the Secretary appoints three members as
follows: (1) One member from the Transportation Intermediaries
Association (TIA), (2) one member from the National Private Truck
Council (NPTC), and (3) one member from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-
Mart). TIA represents transportation intermediaries such as brokers,
freight forwarders, and shippers doing business in domestic and
international commerce. NPTC is a national trade association
representing private motor carrier fleets. With nearly 7,000 tractors,
over 40,000 trailers, and annual sales over $285 billion, Wal-Mart is
the nation's largest private motor carrier.
Section 14504a(d)(1)(C) requires the Secretary to appoint a
Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Board; these appointments will
be made at a later date.
Board of Directors
Today's action provides public notice of appointment of the Unified
Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors. In the event any of the
positions become vacant prior to the term expiration, new appointments
would be made in accordance with section 14504a(d)(1). Initial
appointments are as listed below:
U.S. Department of Transportation. The Deputy Administrator of
FMCSA will represent the Department. In the absence of a Deputy
Administrator, the Secretary would appoint another such Presidential
appointee from the Department to represent the agency.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Mr. Anthony D.
Portanova, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Motor
Vehicles (CTDMV) is being appointed to represent the FMCSA Eastern
Service Center. Mr. Portanova has overseen the Commercial Vehicle
Safety Division and the Dealers and Repairers Division since July 1999.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Portanova owned
and operated Portanova, Inc., an intrastate and interstate
transportation and warehousing company for 34 years. He retired in 1998
and became Deputy Commissioner in July 1999. In addition to
responsibilities as Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Portanova serves as
Project Sponsor to the Commercial Vehicle Information System Network
Project, the Chairman of a Subcommittee under the Connecticut
Transportation Strategy Board, and was formerly Director, Motor
Transport Association of Connecticut.
Ms. Angel O. Oliver, Supervisor, Credentialing Unit, Motor Carrier
Division, Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is being appointed
to represent the FMCSA Southern Service Center. The Motor Carrier
Division is responsible for administering SSRS in Texas and providing
credentials to intrastate and interstate for-hire motor carriers. Ms.
Oliver has been with TXDOT for 18 years.
Ms. Ruth Sluzacek, Director of Motor Carrier Services, Iowa Motor
Vehicle Division, Iowa Department of [[Page 27779]]
Transportation, is being appointed to represent the FMCSA Midwestern
Service Center. Ms. Sluzacek has been the Director of Motor Carrier
Services since 1989, and her office is responsible for issuing size and
weight permits and administering the International Registration Plan
(IRP), the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) licensing and
quarterly fuel tax processing, and SSRS.
Mr. Frank Laqua, Administrator of Motor Carrier Services, North
Dakota Department of Transportation is being appointed to represent the
Western Service Center. Mr. Laqua has been with the North Dakota
Department of Transportation for 19 years, serving 11 of those years as
Administrator of Motor Carrier Services. As Administrator, Mr. Laqua is
responsible for IFTA licensing and administering both IRP and SSRS. He
currently represents North Dakota as the IRP and IFTA Commissioner.
State Agencies. NCSTS has nominated, and the Secretary has
appointed, the following individuals to represent State agencies on the
(1) Mr. Avelino A. Gutierrez, Staff Counsel, New Mexico Public
Regulation Commission (NMPRC). Mr. Gutierrez has been with the NMPRC
for over 15 years, and his main area of expertise has been in the
transportation field. He served as NCSTS president from June 2003 to
(2) Ms. Barbara Hague, Special Projects Coordinator, Missouri
Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Services (MODOT). Ms. Hague
has 35 years of experience in State transportation regulation,
supervising the operating authority application, licensing, insurance,
and tariff requirements for intrastate and interstate carriers. She
implemented a paperless office system for operating authority
transactions with MODOT.
(3) Mr. Dave Lazarides, Director of Processing and Information,
Illinois Commerce Commission, Transportation Bureau; Program Manager,
Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Network for the State of
Illinois. Mr. Lazarides played a major role in the design of the SSRS
software which has been adopted by 25 other States. He also serves as a
consultant to States regarding electronic commerce initiatives and acts
as chairman of the Electronic Commerce Committee for NCSTS.
(4) Mr. William Leonard, Director of the Freight Compliance and
Safety Bureau, New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT). Mr.
Leonard's office is responsible for both the Motor Carrier Safety
Assistance Program and SSRS for the State of New York. NYDOT is also
responsible for the issuance of operating authority to for-hire
intrastate motor carriers in the State of New York.
(5) Mr. Terry Willert, Chief, Transportation Section, Colorado
Public Utility Commission (COPUC). Mr. Willert currently serves as
NCSTS Treasurer and its Strategic Planning Committee Chairman. He has
been with the COPUC Transportation Section for 22 years, serving as an
investigator and now as Chief. COPUC is responsible for administering
SSRS, permitting, and monitoring insurance and safety of for-hire motor
carriers in Colorado.
Motor Carrier Industry
(1) ATA representative. Mr. Robert C. Pitcher, ATA Vice President,
State Laws Division, is being appointed to represent the national trade
association representing the general motor carrier of property
industry. Mr. Pitcher has been involved in many aspects of motor
carrier operations, regulation, registration, and taxation. He worked
first at the Federation of Tax Administrators--an association of State
revenue agencies--where he worked with programs of tax training and
research concentrating on fuel taxes. He has been with ATA's State Laws
Division for 14 years.
(2) OOIDA representative. Mr. Rick Craig, Owner Operator and
Independent Driver Association, Treasurer and Director of Regulatory
Affairs and the Executive Director of the OOIDA Foundation is being
appointed to represent small motor carriers that fall within the
smallest fleet fee bracket. Mr. Craig has more than 30 years experience
in the trucking industry.
(3) Other motor carrier industry representatives. Robert A.
Voltmann, Transportation Intermediaries Association, President and
Chief Executive Officer, is being appointed as the third motor carrier
industry representative. Mr. Voltmann has been in his current position
with TIA for nine years.
Richard P. Schweitzer, National Private Truck Council, General
Counsel, is being appointed as the fourth motor carrier industry
representative. Mr. Schweitzer has a private practice in Washington,
DC. In his capacity as General Counsel to NPTC, he represented private
motor carriers in discussions leading to enactment of The Unified
Carrier Registration Act of 2005, Subtitle C of Title IV of SAFETEA-LU.
Mr. Craig Sharkey, Wal-Mart, Associate General Counsel for the
Logistics Division, is being appointed as the fifth motor carrier
industry representative. Mr. Sharkey has served as Associate General
Counsel since 2002. The Logistics Division supports the distribution,
warehousing, transportation, import, global procurement, and aviation
segments of Wal-Mart's business.
Board Member Term Limits
Appointees to the initial Board of Directors identified in today's
notice will serve staggered term limits. Title 49 U.S.C.
14504a(d)(1)(D) granted the Secretary discretion to assign five
directors to 3-year terms, five directors to 2-year terms, and five
directors to 1-year terms. All successor appointees, except the FMCSA
Deputy Administrator, will serve a uniform 3-year term. The FMCSA
Deputy Administrator, or other individual designated by the Secretary
to represent the Department, will serve at the discretion of the
The initial term limits are designated as follows:
Three-year term. Each of the five Directors representing the motor
carrier industry will serve an initial term of 3 years. FMCSA believes
it is important to designate the maximum term limit for the motor
carrier industry representatives because they are the group most
affected by creation of the UCR Agreement and Plan. A 3-year term would
ensure consistent representation on the Board by this group and provide
adequate time to solicit successor nominations in the Federal Register
prior to expiration of their term limits.
Two-year term. Each of the four Directors representing the FMCSA
Service Center areas will serve an initial term of 2 years. A 2-year
term will ensure adequate time to solicit successor nominations in the
Federal Register prior to expiration of their term limits.
One-year term. Each of the five Directors representing State
agencies will serve an initial term of 1 year. A 1-year term limit will
allow NCSTS greater flexibility in determining who represents them,
especially for the initial Board.
Issued on May 5, 2006.
Warren E. Hoemann,
[FR Doc. E6-7236 Filed 5-11-06; 8:45 am]
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