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Frequent information updates for agricultural audiences

Universal Carrier Registration Act (UCR) May Affect Farmers

Posted by John Fulton -

Effective last fall, the State of Illinois requires many motor carriers to comply with the Unified Carrier Registration Act. The program replaced the State Registration System in Illinois, and requires all farmers and for-hire motor carriers to register. There is an annual registration fee for this program, and it is based on the number of carriers in your fleet.

Many farmers are caught in the requirements of the program because of the interstate commerce aspect of grain sales. Even delivered to a local elevator, grain then moved to a river terminal for export or shipped to another state for livestock feeding makes the grain sale an interstate commerce transaction.

There are two criteria that define whether the vehicle needs to be registered. One is bashed on weight. If the vehicle combination is over 10,000 pounds it is considered a commercial vehicle, regardless of whether it is for-hire. The second test is the interstate commerce part which we have already covered. This program works in concert with USDOT number registration, and the USDOT number is required before application.

Illinois Farm Bureau has put together a good question and answer document on the program, from which I will try to quote with some accuracy. There is no farm exemption from this program. The program is basically aimed at safety, and fees are used to help pay for policing the program. Payment of USDOT and UCR fees may be a part of the vehicle safety inspection.

The class of license plate on a vehicle doesn't have anything to do with the definition of commercial. If the GVWR, or combination vehicle in the case of a truck and trailer, is over 10,000 pounds it is considered a commercial vehicle. The USDOT number does not cost anything, but the UCR number does. The UCR fees are $39 for 0-2 vehicles, $116 for 3-5 vehicles, $231 for 6-20 vehicles, and $806 for 21-100 vehicles.

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