What You Need to Know About the URS

The businesses and people that work in the trucking and transport industry are subject to a number of different regulations. As these regulations and processes change, it is important to stay current, and to make sure that you are compliant. One of the big changes that has happened recently is the introduction of the URS. With this new system coming into full implementation next year, here are the things that you need to know.

What is the URS?

The URS is the Unified Registration System. This is a new system for the registration of freight carriers. With this new system, the FMCSA is bringing its registration process to a more up to date model. Instead of the paper forms and faxes that were used in the past, this is an electronic system that will combine a number of registration and updating processes.

With the new electronic forms that come with the URS, the system will change in a number of ways. First, it will combine multiple registration process into one new process. In addition to that, it will consolidate a number of information processes into one platform, and it will act as repository and a centralized hub for information on all of the different businesses that are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

What’s the Purpose?

As mentioned above, part of the reason behind this change by the FMCSA is to modernize many of the processes that are already in place. With the use of electronic records, it is believed that many of these processes can be streamlined, and that the records and information will be more useful.

The idea behind the URS is to provide a more simplified process for registration and to reduce the amount of time that goes into doing paperwork. Additionally, it is designed to assist with the implementation of legislation that governs the industry.

As another point, it is designed to increase the accuracy of records that are kept by the FMCSA. With the new centralized system, the FMCSA should be able to improve on the accuracy of records, and it will make records more accessible when they are needed.

Does the URS Matter to You?

With the URS, there are a number of individuals and businesses that will be affected. The system is rolling out over time, so it will not have an impact on everyone right away. However, any business that is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will eventually need to adjust to this new system. If you are a freight carrier, freight forwarder, intermodal equipment provider, broker, cargo tank facility operator or the holder of a hazardous material safety permit, then it will affect you.

The first stage in implementation began in December of 2015. At this stage, all new applicants were required to use the URS in requesting registration and a USDOT number. In January of 2017, it will be required that all new and existing entities to use the system for all updates to existing records and new applications.

What are the Benefits of the URS?

With this updating of the system, there are a number of expected benefits. Just in the partial implementation that has already occurred, the FMCSA has reported a number of improvements to the system and its processes.

For applicants, the new streamlined system has saved time and money. The average time per application has been reduced by one hour, and the industry has saved $1.6 million in the first six months of the new system being in action.

The URS will also assist in improvements toward safety and industry standards. With the electronic system, the FMCSA can more effectively screen carriers as they apply, and this can be vital for combating issues with reincarnated carriers. The FMCSA has already caught a number of suspect applicants through the use of this new system.

What’s Changing?

With the implementation of the URS, there will be some changes that people will need to get used to. Most of these changes are in relation to data exchange. The URS is going to eliminate the use of docket numbers, there will be changes to USDOT status, new safety status and a different set of operating authorities.

In the USDOT status, you will find new categories. These include active, active-intrastate only and inactive. The safety status values will include active, revoked, suspended, active-NNA and active-MX commercial zone.

The URS is going to make for some changes for everybody in the industry, but it should be for the better when all is said and done. Some businesses may have an easier time adjusting than others, but it is important to understand how the new system works, and to follow all of the new guidelines.