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 provides quick updates on regulatory developments, often with links to more information.
2024 is here and with it come regulatory changes that impact motor carriers and truck drivers.
Access to FMCSA websites. At the beginning of 2024, the federal government moved to multifactor identification to access official accounts and databases. As reported by PrePass in an earlier blog, that includes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Portal motor carriers use to report drug and alcohol test results. Carriers also use the portal to review information in the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse when hiring new truck drivers. All access is now through Login.gov. The FMCSA website has directions on converting to the new access system.
Did you pay your 2024 UCR fees? The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan requires carriers to pay fees in advance for the upcoming year, making 2024 UCR fees due by Dec. 31, 2023. UCR requires annual fees from interstate and international motor carriers, private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing companies. Timely payment is important, as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has already alerted state agencies responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement to check trucks for evidence of UCR fee payment. Motor carriers who still need to act should visit the UCR website for payment instructions.
Random drug and alcohol test rates unchanged. The FMCSA 2024 random drug and alcohol testing rates remain unchanged from last year – a minimum of 50% of truck drivers must submit to a drug test and at least 10% must test for prohibited alcohol use over the course of 2024. What may have changed for individual motor carriers in 2024 are the number of drivers they must test and the cost a drug and alcohol testing provider to administer them.
Staying safe and compliant saves even more money. Each year federal agencies adjust civil penalties for inflation. For 2024, the civil penalties levied in FMCSA enforcement cases will cost 3.26% more than the same penalties in 2023. The true cost of unsafe practices and noncompliance goes well beyond the check a carrier writes to Uncle Sam. Once an enforcement case settles, it becomes a matter of public record. The public has access to the details on FMCSA’s website — including the violations and fines paid by a motor carrier. Customers, insurers, drivers, and other employees can see the violations and resulting penalties.
Tolls, tolls, tolls. The start of 2024 also brings higher toll rates in at least three states. Routes managed by the Ohio Turnpike Commission, the New York State Thruway Authority, and the North Carolina Turnpike Authority implemented increases effective the first of 2024. Motor carriers who use PrePass Tolls, however, always receive all available discounts and the advantage of one invoice for all toll transactions, and robust toll management services.
Read previous installments of “Trucking Things to Know Now: Federal Regulatory Updates.”
The PrePass blog and podcasts are published as a public service of PrePass®, the most reliable and technologically advanced weigh station bypass and integrated electronic trucking toll payment platform in North America. PrePass also includes INFORM™ Safety and INFORM™ Tolling software for improving truck safety scores and lowering toll costs.