Interstate Motor Carrier Operating Authority is essentially a business license issued by the USDOT. The main purpose of operating authority is to regulate insurance for the protection of the public and shippers. Common motor carriers (those open to the public) must file vehicle liability (bodily injury and property damage protection).
Contract motor carriers, which only operate under contract with select shippers, also need vehicle liability insurance.
Please see the chart below:
VEHICLE LIABILITY INSURANCE
Vehicle is a... Government Requires Industry Expects
Van under 16 passengers $1.5 million $1.5 million
Bus over 16 passengers $5 million $5 million
All motor carrier authority applicants must file a legal point of contact for all 48 Continental states. You must have someone designated in each state to receive legal process on your behalf and forward legal papers to your official address of record. Your agents will be assigned for you when you apply for authority through this site. Form BOC-3 will be issued to you and the government listing your individual agents for each state. Your BOC-3 will be filed with USDOT for you under your MC or FF Number.
EXAMINATION, EXPERIENCE & FITNESS
There is no examination or experience required for Interstate Motor Carrier Operating Authority. Fitness is no longer regulated due to the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995, which de-regulated the trucking industry on January 1st, 1996.
APPLICATION PROCESSING TIME
Usual processing time for passenger carrier applications is 3-4 months, due to an extensive background investigation policy. There is a 10 business day public notice and comment period so authority cannot be issued sooner than 3 weeks.
DISMISSALS & PETITIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION
Authority will be granted upon compliance with the financial security and process agent requirements as long as you comply within 90 days of submission of your application. Applicants who do not comply within 90 days will have their applications dismissed. Applicants may then petition the USDOT for reconsideration up to one year, after which, a new motor carrier authority application must be submitted. If you need to petition USDOT for reconsideration, Click Here to connect to a licensed transportation practitioner.
2. Who needs Operating Authority?
Companies that operate as “for-hire” motor carriers (for a fee or other compensation) that transport passengers or federally-regulated commodities across state lines ("in interstate commerce") are required to have interstate motor carrier operating authority.
For-hire carriers must secure BOTH a USDOT safety tracking number and an MC Number (formerly know as an "ICC/MC Number"). You will get both by filing through this site.
If you operate for-hire solely within certain states, you must secure intrastate motor carrier authority.
Call (888) 414-1874 for more information.
NOTE: Interstate Operating Authority does NOT give you rights to operate point-to-point within any state. It is only permission to cross state lines. Do not confuse intrastate operating authority with making a stop off on an interstate run. The bill of lading which lists points of origin and destination determine whether a load constitutes INTERstate or INTRAastate operations. If you operate without intrastate authority, you may be liable for fines up to $5,000 in certain states. Most small and medium-sized motor carriers get INTERstate Operating Authority and INTRAstate Operating Authority for the state in which they are based. Large motor carriers with big fleets secure federal interstate and state intrastate operating authority for all applicable states.
3. How do I get Operating Authority?
You may secure Operating Authority online through this website.
If operating point-to-point within a state, call (888) 414-1874.
4. What happens after I get Operating Authority?
You must file for Unified Carrier Registration ("UCR"). This is the registration of your federal authority with the states. Your UCR fee will be calculated at check out and submitted for you. Fee includes state and third-party processing fees. You must then renew your UCR annually.
Copyright 2011 James P. Lamb & Associates