How to Apply for Trucking Authority
Are you interested in obtaining your trucking authority? You need to apply for a trucking authority regardless of whether you are a novice or a seasoned driver if you wish to start a trucking business. This article will go over all of the criteria for acquiring your trucking authority to get you on the road as soon as possible.
What does trucking authority mean?
Trucking authority is the permit granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ship cargo as a motor carrier. To move freight across state lines, you must have your trucking authority. Even though it is mandated by law, not everybody in the industry has trucking authority. Some businesses are leased owner-operators, which means the earnings are divided between the owner and the operator. Nevertheless, obtaining your trucking authority allows you the organizational flexibility to choose your loads, scheduling, and even route, resulting in a more effective and profitable operation.
How long will it take to obtain your trucking authority?
Obtaining your trucking authority certification is a lengthy procedure. Depending on the administration times, it usually takes from 5-7 weeks. Please be mindful that there are several costs involved in obtaining trucking authority. Besides, there are also various rules and regulations for a trucking authority.
How to apply for trucking authority
Contrary to conventional opinion, obtaining your trucking authority is a simple process. As long as you have met the requirements, you will be able to launch your own trucking business in no time. In seven easy measures, here are 7 steps to follow to acquire your trucking authority.
1. Establish and register your enterprise.
You must establish the business framework in the same way as you would in any other business. What complicates matters is that there are various ways to set up a business entity. Nevertheless, sole proprietorship and limited liability corporations are the most common entities used in the trucking business. Therefore, you should formally register your company after settling on the entity you wish to start.
2. Obtain a USDOT number.
The following step is to acquire a US Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. To achieve this, you must complete one of the three FMCSA forms to obtain your authority. Acquiring a USDOT number is as simple as visiting the FMCSA website and filling out the required form. Besides, the best thing about the whole process is that it is free.
3. Acquire the motor carrier operating authority.
The motor carrier operating authority, also known as the MC, helps the government trace transporters and freight dealers, and it also enables you to cross state lines. There are several types of authority available. However, freight carriers require two permits: an MC for property, which allows you to ship all except household items, and an MC for household goods, which permits you to transport household items. Nevertheless, if you want to operate across national borders, you would almost certainly need the motor carrier Interstate Operating Authority.
4. Appoint a process agent.
Choose an SOP process agent in each state representing the transporter whenever any given US state issues any legal proceedings or court orders. A process agent is simply a person or business entity designated by the company who is allowed to obtain legal documentation on behalf of the principal. Upon designation, this agent is authorized to receive and forward court orders and litigations on behalf of your organization in the state where the process agent is based. This is achieved by a BOC-3, a federal filing that appoints a process agent to receive legal documentation on behalf of a shipping or logistics firm in each state where the company is authorized to conduct business.
5. Obtain trucking insurance.
Your truck, just as every other automobile, would need insurance in case of any risk. Like regular auto insurance, trucking policies will cover both personal harm and property damage in the event of an accident. Additionally, it includes other facets of the trucking business. For example, motor truck freight coverage covers any damage to the consignment you are transporting. Insurance also comprises general liability insurance, which covers the prevalent forms of third-party incidents and injuries.
6. Clear the Unified Carrier Registration fee.
UCR is a federal mandated annual fee levied on all trucking firms that carry out inter-state or foreign operations. The yearly UCR charge is based on the number of vehicles in the company’s fleet. The fee for first-time owner-operators with a single truck will be smaller than for carriers with a large fleet of trucks. You must complete the UCR within your state. Though, some states do not participate in UCR. If you are based in a non-participating state, you a not excluded. You must buy a UCR in the neighboring participating state.
After you have gotten everything in order and secured your trucking authority, the only thing left is putting some emblems on your vehicle. You must display the following signage; the driver’s official name, as specified in the MCS-150 form, and the DOT number.
As you can see, applying for your trucking authority is not as complicated as many people assume. All you need to do is follow the above seven steps, and you will be on the road in no time.