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Lawsuit filed over change to UCR open date

Group representing small transportation business interests takes aim at “11th hour” meeting that delays “open date” for UCR registration.

The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) has filed a federal lawsuit against the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) board of directors and the Indiana Department of Revenue for delaying to delay the UCR “open date” from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 this year, thus shortening the compliance period from the usual 90 days to 60 days.

SBTC has filed for an emergency temporary restraining order and has proposed an order to the Court that would enjoin the defendants from unlawfully delaying the UCR program to November 1st.

In a statement, James Lamb, president of the SBTC, noted that “renewal period” within the UCR Agreement document means, with respect to a registration year, a period that runs from October 1 through December 31 of the immediately preceding year. He said that means the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA} has “violated federal law,” as it is required to act within 90 days from receiving recommended fee brackets from the UCR Board.

Lamb noted a similar problem occurred when the agency changed the UCR fee structure back in 2010, which meant that motor carriers were then required to make two UCR payments that year: one in the second quarter of 2010 for UCR year 2010 and a second payment in the fourth quarter to get the program back on track for 2011.

He pointed out that states participating in the UCR program use UCR fees to fund motor carrier safety enforcement efforts.

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