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Operating Status Not Authorized

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 7:36 p.m.


You might wonder why you see “operating status not authorized” on the FMCSA website. Suppose your Operating Authority (MC number/FF#) is showing as “Not Authorized” in the FMCSA systems. In that case, this means that you are not currently permitted to operate in interstate commerce as a for-hire carrier. Once your Operating Authority has been activated, the status will be updated to Authorized.” It's possible that if your MC number was active in the past, but it may have since been revoked. Why Is My DOT Number Not Authorized?

Why Does My Operating Authority Have a “Not Authorized” Designation?

Your operating authority number is an essential part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirements you need to operate your trucking business legally. It's essential to familiarize yourself with this number and keep it easily accessible. If your FMCSA operating authority number is displaying as not authorized, it's probably just a processing issue that needs a bit more time before everything is approved. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

If you've gone through all the steps to apply for operating authority and submitted all necessary paperwork, but haven't yet received confirmation that your application is approved, you are likely just waiting for the issuing agency to finish processing your application. If you're a new applicant who's supplied all the required information, such as proof of insurance, you should expect an update soon. In the meantime, sit tight. Because your authorization is on its way! What is the DOT SAP Program?

Once your application has been submitted, the best thing to do is to check the status daily. Speeding up the processing time is impossible as this depends on the number of applications and internal timing details. Your FMCSA operating authority status will update automatically when it's finished, so keep an eye out! How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

What Is the Difference Between a “Suspended” & “Not Authorized” Status?

If your operating authority shows as "Not Authorized," it may simply mean that your application is still being processed and there are no immediate actions you need to take. However, if the status reads "Suspended," then steps must be taken on your part to have your operating authority reinstated. Whatever message you see, it's essential to understand what it actually means so you can take the correct steps to resolve any issues. You must visit the website link.

Once you've finished all the steps to apply for your operating authority, monitoring your status and ensuring that everything is in good working order is essential. You may receive a message such as "unauthorized" or “suspended.” But depending on the exact wording, this may simply mean that your application is still being processed and no further action needs to be taken. If you get a message telling you that your application is suspended, make sure to take the appropriate steps to reinstate it. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

What Is an Operating Authority?

Those in the business of transporting goods or passengers across the U.S. need to obtain operating authority from the FMCSA. This legal right allows them to:

  • move goods and passengers for a fee or other compensation
  • transport goods within or between states and countries
  • arrange transportation of cargo
  • store goods in interstate commerce

The FMCSA recognizes three types of operating authorities:

  • Common Contract Carrier (MC)
  • Mexican Domiciled Authority (MX)
  • Freight Forwarder Authority (FF)

Depending on their operations, carriers must acquire one or more of these authorities to operate a commercial motor vehicle legally. Visit the DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. How to get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

What Is Revocation of Operating Authority?

Suppose an individual, partnership, or corporation wishes to no longer operate as a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder. In that case, they can choose to revoke their operating authority with the FMCSA voluntarily. This is known as revocation of operating authority. Once it has been revoked, the operator can no longer legally conduct business in that capacity. Also, visit the website link.

How Do I Determine If I Need Operating Authority?

Do you require an operating authority? To answer this question, consider if you are a private carrier and whether or not you haul exempt commodities. Additionally, make sure to check if your business is exclusively in a federally designated zone, which exempts it from interstate regulations. If the answer to these questions is "Yes," then no operating authority is needed. However, if any of them don't apply, then your business needs an operating jurisdiction due to its involvement in interstate commerce—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

What Is an MC (Motor Carrier) Number?

Businesses transporting passengers across state lines for a fee or other form of compensation, either directly or indirectly, require an MC Number to operate. Also, anyone arranging transport of federally-regulated commodities owned by others in interstate commerce must also obtain an MC Number. This is essential for achieving compliance with federal regulations and ensuring smooth operations. What is MC Number?

What Is an MX (Mexican Carrier) Number?

A motor carrier with a "MX" prefix is owned or controlled by a Mexican citizen. This number is also called an operating authority (MC/FF/MX Number) or docket number. According to the FMCSA, Mexico-domiciled carriers that enter the US must have an FMCSA-assigned MX Number, a valid Certificate of Registration issued by the FMCSA for commercial-zone operations, Provisional or Standard Operating Authority Registration, and a U.S. DOT Number regardless of how far they travel into the country. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

What Is an FF (Freight Forwarder) Number?

Freight Forwarders are responsible for ensuring the transportation of goods from one place to another, and, as such, must register with the FMCSA. Freight forwarders issue bills of lading to shippers and must be held liable for any damages or loss occurring during transit. Since they cannot transport freight between states, there is no provision for them to obtain single-state registration; instead, an FF Number is issued by the FMCSA. Carriers and brokers are given an MC Number instead. By registering with the FMCSA, freight forwarders can ensure their shipments reach their destination safely and securely. 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?

What Is Broker Authority?

Property brokers arrange the transportation of items to others by possessing an authorized Motor Carrier (MC) Number. Additionally, household goods brokers specialize in transporting home-related personal items and property using their authorized MC Number. In both cases, this authorization allows these brokers to move belongings from one place to another safely and legally. Thus, obtaining either type of broker authority proves essential for any individual, partnership, or corporation that engages in such services. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Key Points: How To Authorize an FMCSA Operating Status

Here are some tips for making your FMCSA operating status become authorized:

  • Ensure that the company has a valid US DOT and MC number.
  • Secure proof of financial responsibility covering all applicable operations, including interstate commerce.
  • Prepare and submit Form MCS-150 to the FMCSA.
  • Ensure your application is complete and accurate with no mistakes or omissions.
  • Request an updated copy of their safety fitness rating to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
  • Pay any fees associated with filing an FMCSA operating status authorization request. What is Unified Carrier Registration?
  • Submit supporting documents, such as registration papers, insurance certificates, etc., for verification by the FMCSA.
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