For years transportation professionals have relied on docket numbers — primarily MC numbers — to identify companies in our industry. MC numbers were a handy way to search for trucking companies on public and proprietary web sites, including load boards and government web sites. These numbers have provided clues to the age of a company and access to records of its legal authority to conduct business.
The disappearance of docket numbers is a feature of a new Unified Registration System (URS) for all companies regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) passed a final rule in August 2013 to establish the URS. Its purpose was to reduce paperwork and create a single clearinghouse for information on motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders. That rule states that “FMCSA will use the USDOT Number as its sole unique identifier for motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders subject to its regulations” and “…discontinue issuance of MC, MX, and FF Numbers to those entities who register with FMCSA”.
The docket numbers were scheduled to go away by October 23, 2015. However, two days before the scheduled start date of the new Unified Registration System (URS), the FMCSA announced that it will delay implementation of key elements of the program by nearly a year. Originally set to take effect October 23, 2015, FMCSA has pushed ahead most of the effective dates to September 30, 2016.
Once in place, the URS will do away with MC, FF and MX numbers, and will use only the USDOT number to identify carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders. All entities regulated by FMCSA will be required to update their information in the URS system every two years.
Here are some common FAQ’s Shippers will need to know.