How to Get Trucking Authority
Getting operating authority is typically a big step in starting a trucking company, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle! What’s the first step to getting trucking authority and how do you do it? Don’t fret, we’ll address what trucking authority is, how and where you get it, the things you must have in place to get an MC and DOT Number, and how the Apex Startup Program can do it for you.
What is Trucking Authority?
Like many words in the trucking industry, motor carrier operating authority is used interchangeably with many other terms like; trucking authority, MC authority, DOT authority, MC Number, and USDOT Number. Most of the time, these terms are referring to the same thing.
So, what is operating authority? Operating authority is required for most carriers who transport passengers or freight in interstate commerce. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the government agency that regulates the trucking industry and grants active operating authority by issuing Motor Carrier (MC) and USDOT Numbers. MC and USDOT Numbers serve as unique identifiers for your trucking company and help the FMCSA conduct inspections, monitor your safety scores, maintain compliance reviews, and more.
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In it, we talk about the FMCSA, liscences, registrations, fees, taxes, business expenses, and more
How to Get Active Authority
Types of Operating Authority
Unfortunately, getting active operating authority is not very simple. In the Unified Registration System, where you apply for your MC and DOT Numbers, there are several different types of operating authority you can choose. If you apply for the wrong one by mistake, no refunds are given. It isn’t easy to fix those mistakes. The three main types of operating authority are motor carrier, broker, and freight forwarder. Depending on your type of operation or the cargo you carry you might need to have multiple operating authorities.
The process of applying for authority from the FMCSA is not straightforward and depends on whether you’ve applied before. Most applicants will register with the Unified Registration System (URS) online to obtain operating authority.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Own Authority?
The FMCSA charges $300 to file the paperwork and get your authority issued. This includes your MC and DOT Numbers. To reinstate authority, you’re looking at $80, and if you need to change the name on your paperwork, that costs $14.
If you want active authority, you’ll have to spend significantly more. We’ve put together some estimates for what it costs to start a trucking company including other filing and registration fees, insurance down payments, and taxes.
Trucking Insurance Requirements
What comes first, insurance or starting a trucking company? While it might not be the funniest joke, this question often comes up with the trucking companies we help. Why? Because the FMCSA will not grant active operating authority until it has received proof of insurance. Getting insurance coverage for your trucking company can be a challenge and confusing. But when you use the Apex Startup Program to help start your trucking company, we have the experience to point you in the right direction.
As you can see, getting trucking authority on your own isn’t always as easy as just submitting an application to get an MC number or DOT Number. Our Apex Startup Program experts know exactly what needs to be done and can simplify the process for you!
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