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Agency Information Collection Activities; Renewal of a Currently-Approved Information Collection Request: Licensing Applications for Motor Carrier Operating Authority

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.


Notice and request for comments.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval and invites public comment. The information collected will be used to help ensure that motor carriers of passengers and property maintain appropriate levels of financial responsibility to continue their operating authority.


We must receive your comments on or before January 3, 2020.


All comments should reference Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket Number FMCSA-2019-0201. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and sent via electronic mail to, or faxed to (202) 395-6974, or mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. In the 60-day Federal Register notice (84 FR 48000) published on September 11, 2019 FMCSA received 0 comments.

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Mr. Jeff Secrist, Office of Registration and Safety Information, Chief, Registration, Licensing and Insurance Division, Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Start Printed Page 66453West Building 6th Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: 202-385-2367; email: Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

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Title: Licensing Applications for Motor Carrier Operating Authority.

OMB Control Number: 2126-0016.

Type of Request: Renewal of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Carrier compliance officer or equivalent from motor carriers, motor passenger carriers, freight forwarders, brokers, and certain Mexico-domiciled motor carriers subject to FMCSA's licensing, registration and certification regulations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 73,538.

Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours for forms OP-1, OP-1(P), and OP-1(FF); 4 hours for forms OP-1(MX) and OP-1(NNA).

Expiration Date: January 31, 2020.

Frequency of Response: Other (as needed).

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 147,124 hours.


FMCSA registers for-hire motor carriers of regulated commodities and of passengers, under 49 U.S.C. 13902(a); surface freight forwarders, under 49 U.S.C. 13903; property brokers, under 49 U.S.C. 13904; and certain Mexico-domiciled motor carriers, under 49 U.S.C. 13902(c). These motor carriers may conduct transportation services in the United States only if they are registered with FMCSA. Each registration is effective from the date specified and remains in effect for such period as the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) determines by regulations.

Prior to 2015, all entities seeking authority (both first-time applicants and registered entities seeking additional authorities) were required to apply for such authority using the OP-1 series of forms, including OP-1, OP-1(P), OP-1(FF), OP-1(NNA), and OP-1(MX) (for Mexico-domiciled carriers only).

The Final Rule titled “Unified Registration System,” (78 FR 52608) dated August 23, 2013, implemented statutory provisions for an online registration system for entities that are subject to FMCSA's licensing, registration, and certification regulations. The Unified Registration System (URS) streamlines the registration process and serves as a clearinghouse and repository of information on motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers, hazardous materials safety permit applicants, and cargo tank facilities required to register with FMCSA. When developing URS, FMCSA planned that the OP-1 series of forms—except for OP-1(MX)—would ultimately be folded into one overarching form (MCSA-1), which would be used by all motor carriers seeking authority.

FMCSA began a phased rollout of URS in 2015. The first phase, which went into effect on December 12, 2015, impacts only first-time applicants seeking an FMCSA-issued registration. FMCSA had planned subsequent rollout phases for existing registrants; however, there have been substantial delays, and subsequent phases have not been rolled out to date.

On January 17, 2017, FMCSA issued a Final Rule titled “Unified Registration System; Suspension of Effectiveness,” which indefinitely suspended URS effectiveness dates for existing registrants only (82 FR 5292). Pursuant to this Final Rule, FMCSA is still accepting forms OP-1, OP-1(P), OP-1(FF), and OP-1(NNA) for existing registrants wishing to apply for additional authorities. Separately, FMCSA requires Form OP-1(MX) for Mexico-domiciled carriers that wish to operate beyond the U.S. municipalities on the U.S.-Mexico border and their commercial zones.

Forms in the OP-1 series request information to identify the applicant, the nature and scope of its proposed operations, a narrative description of the applicant's safety policies and procedures, and information regarding the drivers and vehicles it plans to use in U.S. operations. The OP-1 series also requests information on the applicant's familiarity with relevant safety requirements, the applicant's willingness to comply with those requirements during its operations, and the applicant's willingness to meet any specific statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to its proposed operations. Information collected through these forms aids FMCSA in determining the type of operation a company may run, the cargo it may carry, and the resulting level of insurance coverage the applicant will be required to obtain and maintain to continue its operating authority.

Changes From Previous Estimates

The previously approved version of this ICR estimated the average annual burden to be 24,853 hours, with 37,240 total annual respondents. The current ICR estimates 147,124 annual burden hours, with 73,538 total annual respondents. The program change increase of 122,271 estimated annual burden hours and 36,298 respondents is due to a change in assumptions and circumstances.

In the previously approved ICR, FMCSA calculated the burden estimate for forms OP-1, OP-1(P), OP-1(FF), and OP-1(NNA) for only 1 year, because the Agency expected that all motor carriers would begin using Form MCSA-1 via URS beginning in 2017. However, as discussed above, FMCSA has experienced delays in rolling out Phase II of URS (which applies to existing registrants) and has indefinitely suspended the effective date of URS requirements for such entities. Until further notice, existing registrants must still use the OP-1 series of forms to apply for additional authorities. FMCSA is assuming that this will be the case for the 3-year period covered by this ICR. This has resulted in an increase in the number of annual responses and burden hours.

As described above, only first-time applicants seeking an FMCSA-issued registration must apply via URS. Under URS, all forms in the OP-1 series, except OP-1(MX), are folded into Form MCSA-1. Information collection activities associated with MCSA-1 are covered under a different ICR, titled “FMCSA Registration/Updates,” OMB Control Number 2126-0051.

Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the FMCSA to perform it's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for the FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information.

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Issued under the authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: November 27, 2019.

Kelly Regal,

Associate Administrator for Office of Research and Information Technology.

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[FR Doc. 2019-26193 Filed 12-3-19; 8:45 am]