FMCSA Announces Plans to Revamp Its Registration System

registration system

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced plans to revamp its registration system to improve security, combat fraud, and streamline customer experience for motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders.

“Obviously, we’ve had our registration system in its current form for many years,” said Tom Keane, associate administrator of the Office of Research & Registration at FMCSA. “It was robust when it was originally designed, but it’s become very dated over the years, and we need to modernize.”

With the FMCSA revamp, several changes will be implemented, including replacing MC numbers with USDOT numbers as the single identifier for carriers, brokers, forwarders, and others. In addition, before registering, registrants will be required to register their business with the IRS or state. 

The FMCSA also plans to make security improvements. The agency will no longer send PIN codes via electronic communication and will employ multifactor authentication. 

Other plans include recruiting industry-leading organizations to provide verification services to reduce fraud. ​The FMCSA will also conduct checks on all existing registrants in their database, which contains more than 800,000 organizations. Those who refuse or fail the verification process will be subject to revocation procedures. 

Motor carriers that use a registered agent as their primary place of business (PPOB) will have their addresses verified in real-time. If the address is wrong or suspicious, the application may be refused or marked for revision. ​

Other Registration Modifications

  • Streamlining the registration process: The FMCSA’s goal is to modernize the registration system with carrier-specific questions, leading registrants to the correct form, with the information checked in real-time. 
  • Eliminating arbitrary wait times: The system will automatically process paperwork on weekends and holidays to remove arbitrary wait periods. ​
  • Active monitoring of contact information: Carriers will be required to actively monitor their contact information, which includes phone numbers and emails. This will enable proper communication of changes and updates. 
  • Improving communication and outreach: FMCSA will contact current entities to advise them of the changes. To prevent agency impersonation schemes, carriers should verify conversations with an FMCSA field office. ​

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