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 both vehicle liability (bodily injury and property damage protection) and cargo liability insurance. Contract motor carriers, which only operate under contract with select shippers, need only vehicle liability insurance. Please see the chart below: VEHICLE LIABILITY INSURANCE Vehicle is a... Government Requires Truck 10,000 lbs or under $300,000 Truck Over 10,000 lbs $750,000 CARGO LIABILITY INSURANCE Cargo Government Requires Household Goods $5,000 PROCESS AGENTS 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 moving company applications filed through this site 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 a state, you may have to secure intrastate household goods 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. Click Here if operating across state lines to apply for Interstate Operating Authority.
Call (888) 414-1874 to apply for the state's intrastate motor carrier authority.
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. If you are a moving company, you must publish an interstate Tariff which lists your rates and charges and the rules that apply to the transportation of residential household goods. Movers must publish a Tariff before they operate and make their Tariff available to the USDOT and the public upon request but do not need to file their Tariffs. All rates and charges collected without a Tariff in place are illegal. You may be ordered to refund these unlawful rates and charges to consumers for any moves performed without a duly published Tariff in place. Trucking companies no longer need tariffs. Tariffs are regulated by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board ("STB"). Click Here to be directed to a Licensed STB Practitioner/Tariff Publisher to learn more about the mover Tariff publishing requirement. Click Here to Apply for Interstate Mover Authority