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All About the BMC-84 Surety Bond

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 3:36 p.m.


So, you may have heard about a BMC-84 surety bond, but what is it exactly? At its core, a BMC-84 surety bond guarantees payment if something goes wrong. Trucking companies and freight brokers are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to post this type of bond as part of their registration process. What is Unified Carrier Registration?

It's basically the government saying, "Hey, if you're gonna be transporting goods for us, then we need some financial security just in case things don't go as planned.” The bond itself guarantees payment of up to $75,000 if there is an issue with services provided by the company or broker. It would be best if you found a better insurance or freightbroker.

How Can I Apply for the BMC-84 Surety Bond?

Here's how to apply for a BMC-84 surety bond:

  • Contact an approved surety insurance provider.
  • Provide the surety bond form to your carrier and any other required documents and information.
  • Complete the application process.
  • Submit a nonrefundable fee for processing.
  • Note that you may be required to pay an additional premium if your business falls within certain categories.
  • Wait for approval of your BMC-84 Surety Bond before beginning operations as a motor carrier.
  • The bond must be renewed every year.

Additionally, motor carriers should familiarize themselves with their state's regulations regarding bonding requirements and make sure they are compliant. Motor carriers should also have the proper liability coverage in place, as this will protect them in case of accidents or legal action against them. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

How Quickly Can I Secure a Freight Broker Bond?

If you want to get into the freight broker business, you need to know how quickly you can secure a freight broker bond. Well, good news: it doesn't take long at all! Typically, it takes two to four business days for processing and underwriting. And most applicants don’t even have to put down any money upfront. Instead, just fill out an application and submit your financial records. That's it! It really is that easy. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

Even better, there are now insurance companies specializing in quick turnaround times, so if you're ever in a rush, they'll be able to help speed things up even more. If you play your cards right, you could be well on your way to launching your own freight brokerage empire! Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes.

What's the Purpose of Freight Broker Surety Bonds?

Freight broker surety bonds are an essential part of the freight industry. They're designed to protect shippers, carriers, and customers from financial loss if something goes wrong with a shipment. That's why it's essential for any company involved in the transportation of goods to make sure they have these bonds in place. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes.

A freight broker bond helps protect against fraud and other unethical business practices by requiring the bonded company to meet certain obligations and follow specific rules of conduct. So, if you're a freight broker, having this type of bond can be essential for your business – not only for peace of mind but also because many states require them as part of their licensing process! Investing in your business now can help save you money later. Must visit the link.

How Are Freight Brokers Regulated?

Freight brokers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The FMCSA requires freight brokers to obtain a USDOT number and register with them to operate legally. Additionally, all registered freight brokers must maintain surety bonds or trust funds to guarantee payment for services and ensure customers receive transportation services. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

Finally, freight brokers must comply with regulations governing motor carrier safety, financial responsibility, drug and alcohol testing, hazardous material transportation, and more. Freight brokers have a great obligation to ensure that cargo is delivered according to government regulations and customer expectations; therefore, they must remain up-to-date on registration with the FMCSA. Must visit How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

What's the Required Freight Broker Bond Amount?

On October 1st, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration increased the BMC 84 surety bond amount from $10,000 to $75,000 for freight brokers and freight forwarders who are looking to receive their operating authority. Before doing so, these individuals must file a bond amount of up to $75,000 to be approved. Must read about DOT Compliant Drug and Alcohol Program.

This requirement helps ensure that brokers and forwarders can uphold their financial obligations and protect shippers if any problems arise during transportation services. Therefore, all parties involved must understand this vital requirement before moving forward with operations. How To Request the DOT PIN Number ?

Which Criteria Does a Freight Broker Bond Cover?

Here is what your average freight broker bond covers:

  • A freight broker bond covers any dispute between a freight broker and the carrier transporting goods for them.
  • It also covers unpaid taxes, fees, or other liabilities due to shippers or carriers.
  • The bond assures those involved in shipping that the transaction will be treated fairly and the proper payment will be made on time.
  • If carriers cannot receive their payments due to any breach of contract by the freight broker, they can claim the freight broker bond.
  • The surety company that issued the bond would then investigate the claim and may even provide financial compensation if appropriate.
  • The purpose of these bonds is to create an environment of trust in which both parties feel secure. Check out our Drug and Alcohol Program because it's essential.

How Can I File a Freight Broker's Bond?

Filing a freight broker's bond is essential if you want to become a freight broker. It's your proof that you can pay off any debts incurred while managing someone else's cargo. First, you must contact an insurance company and apply for the bond. Depending on the coverage, they may require a deposit to be made to guarantee payment of any potential claims. Once everything is in place, you'll receive your surety bond and be able to continue working as a freight broker! So get out there and get filing! You got this! Give us a call to know more.

How Can I Update or Change a Freight Broker Bond with the FMCSA?

Follow these three steps to make freight broker bond updates or changes through the FMCSA:

  • Step 1: Submit a form to the FMCSA. This form will include your updated freight broker bond information, such as the surety company that is providing the bond and the amount of coverage required.
  • Step 2: Once you have submitted the form, you can access the FMCSA’s website to confirm that your new bond information has been received.
  • Step 3: Upon successful submission of your bond information, it may take several days for it to be processed by the FMCSA. Check back with them regularly until you receive confirmation that your new bond is active and in place. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

How Should I Renew a Freight Broker Bond?

Here's how to do it:

  • Contact the surety company that issued your bond. They will provide you with instructions and forms to renew your freight broker bond.
  • Fill out all necessary paperwork as accurately and thoroughly as possible, as this information will impact the rate you are charged for renewing your bond.
  • Pay the premium for the renewed bond by following payment instructions provided by the surety company.
  • Sign and submit a new power of attorney form to re-authorize any agents previously authorized to sign documents for your business.
  • Receive your renewed certificate by the terms specified in your agreement with the surety company. This typically takes up to two weeks after submitting all required documents—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

How Do I Get Freight Broker Authority Through the FMCSA?

Getting freight broker authority through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is relatively straightforward, but a few steps are involved. First, you must register with the U.S. Department of Transportation and obtain your USDOT number. You must also submit proof of financial responsibility, including surety bonds or trust funds. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

Next, you can fill out the FMCSA's online application for motor carrier operating authority and wait for it to be processed. Typically, this takes 2-3 weeks. Once your application has been approved, you'll have your freight broker authority and can start working as a broker! It's really that simple. Just remember to always stay on top of any changes in regulations or procedures from the FMCSA. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

What Is a BMC 85 Trust Fund Agreement?

Instead of a bond, brokers, forwarders, and carriers may opt for the BMC-85 trust fund option, which requires total collateral upfront. This is usually not a feasible choice for new companies or individuals with bad credit because it needs $75,000 to be immediately placed into the trust fund. A surety bond is more often chosen by these entities as it only requires an annual premium payment instead of the hefty upfront cost. Only large freight brokerages with strong personal credit and financial stability can use this alternative security option. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointed Violations?

Summary: What Is the BMC-84 Surety Bond?

Here's essential information to keep in mind about the BMC-84 surety bond. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact our organization. We are standing by to assist you and help your freight brokerage become a national success. Also, visit the Website link.

  • The BMC-84 Surety Bond is a financial guarantee that protects the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and its customers against any loss or damage resulting from an interstate motor carrier's failure to comply with its operating authority regulations, as required by 49 CFR Part 387.
  • The bond guarantees payment for lost or damaged cargo up to the amount specified in the bond certificate issued by the surety company.
  • This type of bond is legally binding and has been required since 1985, when Congress mandated it to ensure safety on roads and highways across America.
  • All interstate motor carriers must have a current BMC-84 Surety Bond on file with the FMCSA for operation within the United States. If you want to know more, Please Visit the BOC-3 filing.
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