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Unified Registration System


URS Implementation Dates Extended Beyond January 14, 2017

FMCSA is extending the implementation date of the final stage of the Unified Registration System (URS) beyond January 14, 2017 because additional time is needed to securely migrate data from multiple legacy platforms into a new central database and to conduct further compatibility testing with its State partners.

By moving the implementation date, FMCSA is providing its State partners more time to develop, update, and verify data connectivity and system reliability.  The additional time will also enable the Agency to conduct more thorough training and to implement broader outreach and education activities that will provide for a seamless transition.  On January 17, 2017, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice with more details on the suspension of the URS effectiveness date.

How does this affect you?

  • New Applicants: URS Phase One impacts only new registration applicants, who will be required to use the URS online registration application as of December 12, 2015. Only the initial registration by new applicants will be done using the URS online registration application until a later date. To get started with URS, click here.
  • Already registered with FMCSA: All other aspects of the URS regulation, including the new fee structure, will roll out during a later phase. All existing entities with a USDOT, MC, or FF number, or combinations of them will continue to use existing agency forms and processes to conduct updates, seek additional registration authorities, make administrative filings, and other registration related transactions. The requirement for all existing private hazmat and exempt for-hire carriers to have proof of financial responsibility in place will take effect at a later date, as will the requirement for all existing and new private and exempt carriers to have BOC-3 filings in place. On January 17, 2017, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice with more details on the suspension of the URS effectiveness date.

For more information, please see:


To view earlier webinars or access online training, click on the link below:

URS Overview

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) has published a final rule that will combine various forms that carriers, freight forwarders and brokers currently use to register and update their information with the agency into a single, electronic “smart form.” The new Unified Registration System will increase efficiency by streamlining the registration process for industry and enabling FMCSA to maintain more accurate information on the entities it regulates.

When URS implementation is complete, all new applications and updates to existing records will be handled through the new system.

What is the URS?

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.

Who is required to comply with the URS rule?

This rule applies to all interstate motor carriers (private and for-hire motor carriers of passengers and freight), freight forwarders, brokers, IEPs, HMSP applicants/holders, and cargo tank manufacturing and repair facilities under FMCSA jurisdiction.

Effective Dates

There are multiple effective dates for this rule:

  • Beginning December 12, 2015, new applicants are required to use the new online application when requesting registration and a USDOT number.
  • When URS is fully implemented:
    • All new and existing entities must process new applications and updates to existing records using the new online system. FMCSA will not accept paper forms or faxes.
    • The requirement for all private and exempt carriers to have insurance and BOC-3 filings in place will take effect. New applicants will also begin providing this information.

FMCSA set November 1, 2013 as the compliance date for the biennial update requirements because motor carriers are already required to update their registration information biennially under 49 CFR 390.19 and the information is very valuable to the Agency in carrying out its safety mission.

FMCSA has extended the next URS compliance date, when all Agency-regulated entities—motor carriers, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), brokers, freight forwarders, and cargo tank repair and manufacturing facilities—are required to start using a new web-based online registration “smart form” to apply for new registrations, update records, and/or record transfers of operating authority registration.   The Agency will need more time to launch the new URS website.  Moreover, changing the real-time data exchange systems between FMCSA and its industry and State agency partners will require additional time for collaborative planning and testing to ensure a successful implementation of the URS.

Benefits of the new URS rule

The new rule will streamline manual processes and combine several forms regulated entities are required to submit into one unified online registration process, thereby saving time and money for the industry and FMCSA. The Agency estimates that industry will see total savings of almost $9 million from time and fees over a ten year period.

This rule will also improve the ability for FMCSA to locate small and medium-sized private and exempt for-hire motor carriers for enforcement action, because investigators will be able to work with designated process agents to locate and/or serve documents on hard-to-find motor carriers.

The Agency estimated in its Regulatory Impact Analysis that 16 percent of new registrations are submitted through paper applications. These entities without access to the internet may use third party processing agents, internet access at public libraries, and kiosks at trucks stops and travel centers, among other options.

About the Rulemaking

FMCSA undertook the URS rulemaking to simplify and reduce the amount of time entities must spend filling out paperwork as part of the registration process as well as enable the Agency to maintain more accurate information on the entities subject to FMCSA’s jurisdiction.

Portions of this rule are also required by the ICC Termination Act of 1995 and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) included several provisions relevant to the new URS, but these provisions will be addressed in a separate rulemaking.

On January 17, 2017, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice with more details on the suspension of the URS effectiveness date.

Unified Registration System