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FMCSA Approves 25% Fee Hike for Carriers and Brokers: What It Means for the Industry

FMCSA Approves 25% Fee Hike for Carriers and Brokers: What It Means for the Industry




Carriers and Brokers

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a significant fee hike for motor carriers, brokers, and leasing companies, marking the first such increase in over a decade. The new fees, which will take effect for the 2025 registration year, are part of the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan, a program that funds state highway safety initiatives.


Details of the Fee Increase


Starting in 2025, motor carriers will see their UCR Plan fees increase by approximately 25%, depending on the size of their fleet. The fee for brokers and leasing companies will rise to $46. Here is a breakdown of the new fees:

Power units

2024 fee

2025 fee

$ change

% change

0-2

$37

$46

$9

+24.3%

3-5

$111

$138

$27

+24.3%

6-20

$221

$276

$55

+24.9%

21-100

$769

$963

$194

+25.2%

101-1,000

$3,670

$4,592

$922

+25.1%

1,001+

$35,836

$44,836

$9,000

+25.1%

The Rationale Behind the Increase


FMCSA justified the fee hike by noting the infrequency of such adjustments. The last increase occurred over a decade ago. Recent years have seen reductions in fees, averaging a 37.3% decrease for the 2023 and 2024 registration years. FMCSA believes this new adjustment is necessary to meet statutory obligations and ensure the program's continued efficacy.

"This adjustment follows two years of fee reductions and unmodified collections from 2010 to 2017," FMCSA stated. "The agency believes this recalibration of fees is reasonable and in accordance with the structure of, and obligations created by, the statute."


Allocation and Use of Funds


The UCR Plan, which involves 41 participating states, allocates the collected fees for truck safety programs, enforcement, and administrative purposes. The total state funding entitlement under the UCR program is set at approximately $108 million for 2025. This amount is collected from transportation businesses and distributed among the participating states. For example, Michigan is entitled to $7.5 million, while North Carolina will receive $372,007.


Industry Reaction


The proposal, initially presented in January, received 66 comments from the industry. Many respondents argued that the fee increases were unwarranted and suggested that the UCR Plan should adjust its own budget and spending instead.


"In recent years, the UCR Plan has operated within its approved budget and has steadily decreased registration fees," FMCSA responded. "This is the first upward adjustment since 2010, and the UCR Plan's approved allocation for administration costs has decreased from $5 million per year to $4.25 million."


Conclusion


While the fee increase represents a significant change for carriers, brokers, and leasing companies, FMCSA maintains that it is a necessary step to ensure the continued funding of critical state highway safety programs. As the first upward adjustment in over a decade, the new fees are expected to support the growing demands of the industry while maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the UCR Plan.


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