FMCSA Registration Modernization Coming

June 14, 2024

FMCSA Registration Modernization Coming

After a decade in the making, the FMCSA’s planned registration changes may come suddenly.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has taken steps to enhance its registration system. The goal is to improve the transparency and efficiency of registration procedures and implement statutory requirements related to the registration program. The changes impact carriers, brokers, freight forwarders and others.

Stakeholder meetings

The FMCSA held a “Registration Modernization Stakeholder Day” in Washington, January 2024. In attendance were FMCSA officials, carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, insurance companies, financial institutions, process agents, third-party service providers, other stakeholders.

In March, at the Mid-America Trucking Show, the FMCSA rolled out some of the enhancements already made to the system, dropping “Unified Registration System” and replacing it with the working title of “New Modernized Registration System” and further expanded on the vision by adding “and Fraud Prevention.”

At the end of May, the FMCSA held a follow-up meeting for stakeholders.  J. J. Keller & Associates is an attending stakeholder at the meetings and is following the resulting developments closely.

Five modernization goals

The agency has outlined five areas to enhance when building a new modernized registration system:

  • Improved fraud resistant security features;
  • Real-time data validation, smart logic, and edit checks to reduce errors;
  • Streamlined CMV reporting registration process;
  • Consolidation of forms into one online application, which will also allow FMCSA to retire older legacy IT systems; and
  • Improved user experience and data collection.

The FMCSA is not waiting

While the agency now hopes to roll out the full implementation of the new system in 2025, they are not waiting. Already completed or in the works include the enhanced fraud prevention measures of:

  • Suspending online PIN requests;
  • Requiring multi-factor authentication (;
  • Driver's license checks for paper application submissions;
  • Preventing Principal Place of Business (PPOB) that do not meet regulatory requirements; and
  • Creating a registration fraud team.

The changes have significantly impacted the timeliness in processing manual or paper submissions of MCS-150 biennial and intermittent submissions in addition to requests for authority. These delays are compounded by entities no longer being able to request a new or change a PIN online.

Future changes under consideration

The FMCSA is considering additional measures that will require rulemaking, including:

  • The USDOT number as the sole identifier (no more MC, MX, or FF numbers);
  • Requiring “Safety Registration” for all carriers;
  • Mandate process agents be in place for private and exempt for-hire carriers;
  • Possible annual rather than biennial registration updates;
  • Eliminate all paper updates; and
  • Require user identity authentication.

Help is available

These changes may come as a surprise to those who are familiar with the current processes. Many carriers may seek help in completing required updates or a request for additional authority. The FMCSA is building into their system the ability for registrants to designate a third-party assistant. J. J. Keller & Associates have a healthy working relationship with the FMCSA and will be among the first available to assist entities through the changes, updates, and required filings.