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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Intermodal Equipment Providers

Get Registered

Each intermodal equipment provider (IEP) that offers intermodal equipment for transportation in interstate commerce must register as an IEP via the Unified Registration System (URS). By completing this online application, the IEP is taking the first step toward complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). For more information about URS, or to register for the first time, click here.

After FMCSA receives the application, the IEP will be assigned a USDOT Number. The USDOT Number serves as a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a company's safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections. As an intermodal equipment provider, your company's safety information will be acquired through roadability reviews, crash investigations, and inspections.

IEPs who need to update their information with FMCSA can use the MCS-150C form; however, after December 12, 2015, this form cannot be used for initial registrations.


Pursuant to 49 CFR section 390.40 of Subpart C, an IEP must:

  • Identify its operations to the FMCSA by registering via the Unified Registration System (URS).
  • Mark its intermodal equipment (IME) with the USDOT number assigned by FMCSA before tendering the equipment to a motor carrier.
  • Systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all IME intended for interchange with a motor carrier.
  • Ensure that IME intended for interchange with motor carriers is in safe and proper operating condition.
  • Maintain a system of driver vehicle inspection reports submitted to the IEP.
  • Maintain a system of inspection, repair, and maintenance records for equipment intended for interchange with a motor carrier.
  • Periodically inspect equipment intended for interchange.
  • At facilities at which the IEP makes IME available for interchange, have procedures in place, and provide sufficient space, for drivers to perform a pre-trip inspection of tendered IME.
  • At facilities at which the IEP makes IME available for interchange, develop and implement procedures to repair any equipment damage, defects, or deficiencies identified as part of a pre-trip inspection, or replace the equipment, prior to the driver's departure. The repairs or replacement must be made after being notified by a driver of such damage, defects, or deficiencies.
  • Refrain from placing IME in service on the public highways if that equipment has been determined to pose an imminent hazard.

Improved maintenance is expected to result in fewer chassis being placed out of service and fewer breakdowns involving intermodal chassis, thus improving the nation's intermodal transportation system. Because inadequately maintained intermodal chassis create risks for crashes and implementation of this rule will help to ensure that commercial motor vehicle operations are safer.


On December 21, 2006, FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to implement section 4118 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Section 4118 required FMCSA to issue regulations to "ensure that intermodal equipment used to transport intermodal containers is safe and systematically maintained."

Final Rule

On December 17, 2008, FMCSA published its Requirements for Intermodal Equipment Providers Final Rule (FR). The regulations, for the first time, make intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) subject to the FMCSR, and call for shared responsibility among IEPs, motor carriers, and drivers.