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Agency Information Collection Activities; Renewal of a Currently-Approved Information Collection: 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. FMCSA requests approval to Start Printed Page 86642renew the ICR titled “Licensing Applications for Motor Carrier Operating Authority,” OMB Control No. 2126-0016. This ICR applies to: (1) Existing registrants (i.e., entities that already have a USDOT number and/or operating authority) that are subject to FMCSA's licensing, registration, and certification regulations that wish to apply for additional authorities; and (2) Mexico-domiciled carriers that wish to operate beyond the U.S. municipalities on the U.S.-Mexico border and their commercial zones. Existing registrants seeking additional authorities must use forms OP-1, OP-1(P), OP-1(FF), and OP-1(NNA), to apply for such authority. Mexico-domiciled carriers seeking the authority described above must apply for such authority using Form OP-1(MX).


Please send your comments by January 29, 2021. OMB must receive your comments by this date in order to act quickly on the ICR.


Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to​public/​do/​PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting “Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments” or by using the search function.

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Mr. Jeff Secrist, Office of Registration and Safety Information, Chief, East and South Division, Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, West Building 6th Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Telephone: 202-385-2367; Email Address: 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: 81,209.

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: March 31, 2021.

Frequency of Response: Other (as needed).

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 162,476 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 electronic application (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 new and existing Mexico-domiciled motor carriers that wish to operate beyond the U.S. municipalities on the U.S.-Mexico border and their commercial zones. Information collected through the URS system, utilizing the MCSA-1, does not accept registration form OP-1(MX) and continue to remains a paper form outside the URS.

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 147,124 annual burden hours, with 73,538 total annual respondents. For this renewal, the estimated average annual burden is 162,476, with 81,209 total average annual respondents. The annual burden hourly increase of 15,352 is due to the increase in average annual respondents. This increase is in line with a growing U.S. economy and U.S. population for calendar years 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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) Start Printed Page 86643Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the FMCSA to perform its 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.

Thomas P. Keane,

Associate Administrator, Office of Research and Registration.

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[FR Doc. 2020-28815 Filed 12-29-20; 8:45 am]