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How To Get DOT Authority

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Feb. 8, 2024, 10:55 p.m.


How To Get DOT Trucking Authority Learn Step by Step

Here is how to get DOT authority:

  • Check if your business requires a DOT number. The Department of Transportation assigns specific types of companies with an individualized DOT number to identify them for interstate commerce.
  • Gather the necessary paperwork, such as proof of incorporation and other documents that prove your legal status. Also, visit the Operating Authority.
  • Apply for a USDOT Number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can do this online or by mail.
  • Obtain a Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS 150 form). This must be completed and submitted before you can get your authority.
  • Provide proof of insurance coverage to obtain cargo and liability insurance, acceptable by the FMCSA. Make sure you meet all the minimum requirements set out in federal regulations. Must visit Brokers That Work With New Authority.

What’s Trucking Authority?

In the world of trucking, the term "motor carrier operating authority" is often used alongside other phrases such as "trucking authority," "MC authority," "DOT authority," "MC Number," and "USDOT Number." These terms are typically used interchangeably and refer to the same concept of having authority from the DOT and FMCSA. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

What’s Operating Authority?

You'll need to obtain operating authority if you're operating a trucking business in interstate commerce. The FMCSA regulates the industry and grants active authorization by issuing a Motor Carrier (MC) Number and USDOT Number. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

These numbers act as identifiers for your company, enabling the FMCSA to conduct inspections, monitor safety scores, and keep up with compliance reviews. Getting your MC and USDOT Numbers is essential in ensuring your trucking business remains compliant with federal regulations. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

What Types of Operating Authority Exist?

When you register for your MC and DOT Numbers through the Unified Registration System, choosing the right operating authority is essential. Unfortunately, mistakes in this regard cannot be refunded, so it's essential to make sure you select the correct one. There are three primary types of operating authority:

  • motor carrier authority
  • broker authority
  • freight forwarder authority

Depending on your operation and the cargo carried, you may need multiple types of operating authority. Ensure you understand which style suits your business best before submitting your application! What is Unified Carrier Registration?

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and become an owner-operator. Congrats – now it’s time to get the ball rolling with your application for operating authority from the FMCSA. Most applicants will register with the Unified Registration System (URS) online, but this process is not always straightforward. That's why our Startup Program is here to help. It is the apex of the US trucking industry. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Our team wants to ensure that you understand all the requirements and that your application gets processed quickly and efficiently! With our program, we can guide you through every step of the registration process and ensure you get up and running as soon as possible. So don't hesitate. Let us help you launch your new business venture today! Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers.

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DOT Authority Step #1: Create Your Trucking Company

Before you begin the process of filing for official authority, it is essential first to form your company and take care of the other initial business necessities. Depending on your location, you may have different requirements that need to be met to set up a successful business. Ensure these steps are taken before starting any paperwork related to getting authority. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

DOT Authority Step #2: Secure Authority Through the FMCSA

Registering a business can be complex, so it's essential to have all the necessary information ready before you begin. You'll use the Unified Registration System (URS) to complete your registration - this replaces several older forms and makes registering online much more accessible. Don't forget to check if you need intrastate authority in your home state as well! Ensuring you've got everything in order will make the process smoother, so get started today. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

DOT Authority Step #3: Register Insurance

Obtaining the necessary insurance can be a challenge if you're starting a trucking business. You won't get your active authority until you present proof of insurance, so take the time to research and apply for coverage. Rates may be steep, but by providing detailed information on your company and plans for the future, you could find an insurer that offers more favorable rates. Don't hesitate to contact various companies and compare their offerings – it's worth the effort!

DOT Authority Step #4: Complete UCR Registration

The Unified Carrier Registration system requires motor carriers to register their fleet size and pay associated fees annually. These funds are allocated to states to enforce motor carrier safety laws and regulations. UCR registration must be renewed each year to remain compliant. Failure to do so could result in large fines or other penalties, so you must stay up-to-date on the program's requirements. IFTA Sticker Registration steps.

DOT Authority Step #5: Sign Up for IRP

The International Registration Plan (IRP) is an agreement among the United States, Washington D.C., and Canadian Provinces that allows for interstate carriers to pay fees based on their annual mileage in participating jurisdictions. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointed Violations?

This registration reciprocity maximizes efficiency by providing a streamlined process for companies operating across multiple locations. With IRP, carriers no longer have to register individually in each jurisdiction; they can now quickly and easily complete registration with one central source of information. As such, it saves time and money while increasing compliance with regulations in every region involved. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointed Violations?

DOT Authority Step #6: Take Care of IFTA Registration

Interstate motor carriers must file their International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) taxes every quarter with the taxing authority in their base state. These requirements relate to fuel purchases made by the carrier. Keeping up to date with your IFTA obligations is essential for your business's compliant and successful operation. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

DOT Authority Step #7: Register for the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT)

If you own a vehicle with a gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more, filing your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax return (or Form 2290) with the IRS every year is essential. In addition, four states have additional distance taxes if you plan to haul in them: Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon. Register for those as well, so you can keep moving without any hiccups! You will need driver qualification files.

Getting your business up and running can be overwhelming. But the Startup Program of is here to help! We've already assisted thousands of carriers, helping them form their companies, obtain active authority, and get on the road with freight.

Our customized packages make it easy. We’ll take care of everything you need for successful filings and registrations. Our extra resources and knowledge will give you all the information you need to get off on the right foot (or wheel!). Let us help you launch your business today! Filed out by all employees who drive for you to work. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

Authority to Operate Comes From an MC Number

Businesses carrying passengers for a fee or moving commodities owned by others across state lines must obtain an Operating Authority (MC number) and a DOT number. This is due to interstate commerce regulations that apply to the transportation of people and goods. How Much Does a Dot Number Cost?

Companies must secure these credentials, as failing to do so could result in serious legal consequences. To ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, companies should contact their local Department of Transportation office to ascertain the requirements for obtaining an MC and DOT number. Visit Broker Authority Package

Getting the right operating authority for your business is essential. FMCSA operating authority is identified as an "MC," "FF," or "MX" number, depending on the type of authority granted. This can be quite different from the application process for a USDOT Number. Depending on what you plan to do and what cargo you need to carry, it may be necessary to obtain multiple operating authorities. Ensure you get the right authorization to make your operations compliant and successful! Learn About FMCSA Registration

Who Does Not Need to Have Authority Through the FMCSA?

Private carriers that exclusively transport their own cargo are not mandated to have operating authority. The same goes for "for-hire" carriers that haul commodities exempt from federal regulation, as well as those that stay within an exempt commercial zone. For instance, a commercial zone could span across multiple states near a significant city like Virginia/Maryland. These conditions factor into the level of insurance and financial obligations businesses must adhere to. They are starting a Trucking Company Package.

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    Summary: How Do I Get DOT Authority?

    • Gather the necessary documents to apply for DOT authority. This includes a Motor Carrier Identification Report (Form MCS-150) and evidence that you are financially responsible, such as proof of insurance.
    • Ensure your business is set up correctly by registering with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
    • Obtain a USDOT number: This is the first step in obtaining DOT authority. You can apply for your number online at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website or by mail. What is MC Number?
    • Get an MC Number and BOC-3 filing: After you have received your USDOT number, you must also obtain an MC number from the FMCSA. This will allow you to operate as a motor carrier across state lines legally. Additionally, you must file a BOC-3 form with the FMCSA listing all agents of service within each state in which your business operates in—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.
    • Get insurance coverage: Before operating commercially, getting insurance coverage that meets all federal safety regulations is essential.
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