For the third straight year, the registration period for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) has been delayed. Registration for the coming year usually opens Oct. 1. Once again, that opening has been pushed back, and for the same reason.

The UCR program is governed by a board at the national level. The board is charged with reviewing the financials and accounts to ensure they do not exceed statutory maximums that the program is allowed to collect. The UCR board then recommends changes to the FMCSA for official publishing of the fees.

This year, the board again recommended all 2020 fees be reduced. The start of the registration period has been delayed indefinitely with no timeline for publishing the new fees.

The 2018 fees were delayed until January 2018, and the 2019 fees were published in late December of 2018. Following the publishing of the fees, carriers were given a 90-day period to pay the fees.

Once published, states are allowed to open registration. The UCR board recommended a 90-day period for registration to be completed once again.

You’ll remember that there is NO farmer exemption from the registration. If you operate a commercial vehicle (as defined in the Federal Rules) in interstate commerce, you are required to have a U.S. Department of Transportation number and a UCR registration.

Stay tuned for a news release announcing the publishing of the rules. It could be weeks, it could be months, but look for announcements and be prepared to have 90 days to get those fees paid.

Kirby Wagner serves as assistant director of transportation and infrastructure for Illinois Farm Bureau.