June 25, 2024

Trucking Things to Know Now, Part 13: Federal Regulatory Updates

Whatever the political headlines of the day, federal agencies continue to add new trucking regulations, adopt new forms, and extend or discontinue previous waivers and exemptions. In this series, “Trucking Things to Know Now,” PrePass Safety Alliance provides quick updates on regulatory developments, often with links to more information.

DOT takes corrective steps on oral fluids testing.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has published three Federal Register notices as corrective steps in authorizing employers to use oral fluid drug testing as an alternative testing methodology to urine drug testing (https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/frpubs). DOT approved oral fluids testing in May 2023 but made technical errors. The three notices contain

  • technical amendments to prior oral fluids rulemakings;
  • a Direct Final Rule (DFR) on the conduct of that testing;
  • a new notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit any adverse comments on the DFR.

Comments are due by July 22, 2024. As PrePass reported previously (https://prepass.com/blog/feds-ok-rules-for-oral-fluids-drug-testing-of-truck-drivers/), an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sets drug testing rules and scientific standards for use by federal regulatory agencies, but the USDOT must adopt them. HHS has not issued a final rule on hair testing (https://prepass.com/blog/trucking-group-seeks-exemption-in-hair-testing-for-drug-use/).

UCR fees going up in 2025.  Reversing a multi-year trend, fees paid by motor carriers and brokers to the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement (UCR) are increasing by 25% in 2025. Carriers must pay UCR fees by Dec. 31 for the following year. See the UCR website (https://plan.ucr.gov/) for payment instructions. UCR fees are based fees on the number of trucks in a fleet, with the revenue going to support commercial vehicle law enforcement in participating states. Forty-one states participate in the UCR system. Motor carriers based in the nine states that do not participate in UCR must still pay the fees if their trucks travel in interstate or international commerce.

FMCSA updating its registration system.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in the process of replacing its Unified Registration System with a new online version simply named “FMCSA Registration.” The update will apply to carriers applying for authority, making name and address changes, designating agents, providing proof of financial responsibility, and many other purposes. Be alert for new features and directions when accessing the FMCSA portal.

Read previous installments of “Trucking Things to Know Now: Federal Regulatory Updates.”