Fees collected from motor carriers that are typically used to pay for state highway safety programs may be cut by 27% under a proposal recommended by the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan.
In a notice scheduled to be filed in the Federal Register on Monday, the FMCSA is asking for comments on a recommendation by the UCR to reduce its fees by $16 to as high as $15,350 per year starting in 2023, depending on fleet size (see table). Annual fees for truck brokers and leasing companies would be reduced from $59 to $43.
The UCR and the 41 states that participate in the agreement establish and collect fees that can be used at the discretion of the individual states, but typically are used for truck safety, enforcement, and administering the UCR.
However, if annual revenue collections exceed what is allowed by federal statute, the UCR must request fee adjustments — basically a refund — that FMCSA must approve.
No fee changes were recommended by the UCR Plan’s board of directors from 2010 to 2017, according to the group. Fee changes were approved from 2018 to 2021, with the last change cutting fees by 14.45%.
The fee reduction for 2023 is based on roughly $24 million in excess collections over the past three years, plus what is estimated to be in excess for 2022.
The total state funding entitlement under the UCR program has been set at roughly $108 million, which has not changed since 2010. The program collects this amount in the form of UCR fees from transportation businesses and then distributes to each participating state its specific entitlement. Those entitlements range from $7.5 million for Michigan to $372,007 for North Carolina, according to UCR Plan documents.