FMCSA Claims It Is “Streamlining” Requests for Authority

New Registration System Will Be “One-Stop Shop” for Truckers

ICSA is closely following the development of a new federal process for truckers to apply for and obtain operating authorities. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has told truckers that its new system for carriers to register their businesses will simplify the processes that now require several separate actions on the carrier’s part. Among the changes FMCSA has announced are some that will be done fairly soon without the agency conducting a formal rulemaking, including:

  • Establishing a new dedicated team to identify and root out registration fraud within the agency’s system
  • Ending the use of MC/docket numbers and making the USDOT number the only identification number for all carriers
  • Requiring every carrier operating in interstate commerce to complete a new "safety registration"
  • Improving how FMCSA verifies that a carrier’s Principal Place of Business is legitimate and meets regulatory requirements   

Other changes expected to take place as part of a formal rulemaking process starting later this year include some that will affect ICSA members:

  • Complete elimination of paper applications 
  • Possible fee changes (read that “fee increases”) from the current $300 fee required with any application for authority
  • Require carriers to annually update their information on file with FMCSA (such as the MCS-150 form) rather than every two years as required currently

FMCSA believes that interaction with the agency should be much simpler for carriers even though in the short term there may be obstacles. One such issue is the agency’s proposal to identify carriers by cross-checking states’ databases of registered carriers. However, many states do not require sole proprietorships to register unless they are creating an LLC or filing as an S-Corp. FMCSA is asking for more information on how individual states regulate business entities, including trucking.

In just our preliminary review of how FMCSA proposes to register and regulate carriers in interstate commerce we see that this issue has many layers and complexities. ICSA will carefully monitor (and in some cases comment on) the upcoming changes and will keep its members informed. 

Supreme Court Overturns “Chevron Doctrine”

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Anyone who has been in business for any length of time can cite a number of times that federal regulatory agencies have had a free hand in regulating businesses such as trucking. That is why carriers and other industries that want a fair fight to challenge regulations in the future may have been given a gift from the U.S. Supreme Court June 28.

Miss the Deadline to Challenge a Regulation?

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This session, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Chevron doctrine, a longstanding policy under which lower courts almost always sided with regulatory agency decisions where the intent of Congress was not clear. Overturning Chevron opened the door, many legal experts believe, to allowing challenges against many existing regulations.