How Do I File For My Trucking Authority?
Updated: Mar 13
Without your trucking authority you are unable to participate in interstate commerce - basically, you can't run your business without it. There are different authorities for different types of cargo, and some carriers may need multiple authorities to cover all cargo they use. Your Motor Carrier (MC) Number is issued through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Getting your own authority is a huge move for your career growth as it allows you to get paid for hauling freight as your own trucking company. It gives you complete independence and if done the right way, you could see a huge rise in pay too. You can hire on truck drivers to work for you and over time your business can grow.
We can help you file for your authority for free, so you avoid making any costly mistakes. Click here to get started!
Before you start you need to:
Know what authority you need to apply for
Name your business & file it with your state - check your state's requirements for this
Develop a business plan and structure - read how to here
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Get insurance - learn about the different types here
Get your MC Number
So, how do I file for my trucking authority?
Fill out and submit the federal application to get your USDOT number.
All trucking companies must register with the USDOT. This is your company's ID number and is what is used to access all your company information (vehicle type, cargo, safety, and compliance). Your USDOT is renewed every 2 years.
File a BOC-3
You have 21 days to file your BOC-3 after you have completed your MC application and get an insurance policy. It will take about 3-4 days for your authority to become active after these two items are filled with the FMCSA. It will then take approximately 305 days to receive your certificate of authority (COA) in the mail. Note that you are not authorized to start working until your MC Number is active and your BOC-3 and Insurance Policy is filed with the FMCSA.
Pay your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT)
This is an annual tax for all heavy vehicles that operate on public highways
Set up your International Registration Plan (IRP) & get your apportioned plates
You must register your fleets of vehicles that travel in multiple jurisdictions for your IRP. You report the mileage driven in each state annually and pay taxes on those driven miles. To register you need your VIN, title information, purchase cost and date, and the make and model of your vehicle. Your fee is determined by the number of states you work in and the number of miles you drive. Once you pay the fee, you'll receive your apportioned tags.
Create an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) account
This is an agreement among the lower 48 states and Canadian provinces to simplify the reporting of fuel taxes by interstate motor carriers. At the end of each fiscal quarter, you must complete your fuel tax report, list all miles you have traveled in all participating jurisdictions, and all fuel purchases.
Complete a Unified Carrier Registration (UCR)
Businesses that are operating commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce must register within their operating state and pay an annual fee based on the size of your fleet. This registration needs to be renewed EVERY YEAR!
Sign up for a drug and alcohol consortium
The FMCSA and the DOT require all motor carriers to have negative drug screens prior to hiring or driving themselves.
All compliance must be in order before you can move forward and state making money. It is extremely important that you do not miss a step to avoid little mistakes and big delays in starting your business.