Acquiring Your Own Trucking Authority For Long-term Gains

Strong Tie Insurance September 6, 2021 Our Blog

If you’ve been truck driving for a while, you’ve probably considered venturing out on your own. Though it’s tempting to be your own boss and keep all your profits to yourself, not everyone is willing to do what is necessary to run and grow their own trucking business—one crucial factor to consider is getting cheap commercial truck insurance.

If you’re ready to be your own CEO, dispatcher, maintenance manager, and all-around person in your trucking business, then it’s time you acquire your own trucking authority to get long-term gains.

Trucking Authority and Why You Need It

Trucking authority is an operating permission granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to a motor carrier to give them the right to operate a commercial motor vehicle to transport goods or passengers for hire.

Any trucking business needs a trucking authority to conduct its operations. If you’re considering setting out on your own instead of driving a truck for someone else, then you need to secure this permission.

How to Acquire Your Own Trucking Authority

So you’ve decided to get your own trucking authority, but what is the next step? There is so much information available online on how you should go about it, that figuring out which comes first can slow you down.

Check out the step-by-step below, so you can get your trucking authority sooner rather than later!

Start Your Business

Before you even apply for a trucking authority, you must already have a business that’s ready to operate once the permission is granted. Not to mention, the application for trucking authority requires details only established businesses have, such as an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

If you don’t already have your EIN, you will need to get it from the International Revenue Service (IRS).

Putting up a company in place determines the kind of trucking business you have, whether you carry cargo, how much cargo you carry, and where you travel. These factors will determine which types of trucking authority or authorities you need to get.

Register with the US Department of Transportation

If you plan to operate a trucking company, you must register with the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and acquire a USDOT Number. A USDOT number is a unique number identifier used to collect and monitor a company’s safety information during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and other forms of inspections.

To get a USDOT number, you need to complete the Application for Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority and Instructions form or the Application for Motor Passenger Carrier Authority form—whichever is applicable to you and the Designation of Agent for Service of Process form.

You will be asked for your truck information, tax ID number, incorporation details, and license plate. 

Apply for Trucking Authority with FMCSA

Go to the FMCSA website, where you’ll find instructions for the requirements of getting the type of interstate operating authority you need.

You will be asked to complete a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit to receive a Motor Carrier (MC) Number for your Operating Authority. The same data asked when applying for a USDOT number will be needed when acquiring an MC number.

When getting your MC number, you will be asked to pay a one-time fee of $300. Afterward, you will receive your MC number in the mail.

Once your MC number is issued, don’t operate your trucking business until you file Designation of Agents for Service of Process also known as Form BOC-3, and obtain your insurance.

The BOC-3 form is a legal requirement for transportation companies in the USA to name a service of process (SOP) agent. SOP agent pertains to any individual or business entity that your business has authorized to receive legal documents on your behalf.

As you travel interstate, you must appoint a process agent who is physically located in each state where you are authorized to operate. They should also be available at the address provided during normal business hours.

Filing of BOC-3 is done by sending the filled out and signed hard copy to FMCSA. If you want to file online, you can hire a process agent to help you as only they are authorized to do so.

Obtain Commercial Trucking Insurance

Though you can apply for commercial trucking insurance once you get your MC number, it’s highly advisable that you get yours approved first before you proceed to get your USDOT number and MC number.

This helps you avoid possibly not getting your Trucking Authority due to unapproved insurance.

Once you receive your MC number from FMCSA, you get around 10 working days of dispute period. After this time, you need to provide proof of insurance along with your BOC-3.

You will likely need insurance for primary liability and cargo. The minimum requirement for primary liability coverage is $750,000 while it is $100,000 for cargo.

Though it’s tempting to get cheap commercial trucking insurance for compliance purposes, do note that the coverage of your cargo insurance influences the amount of freight you’ll be allowed to haul.

Depending on your budget, you can get cheap commercial truck insurance. Just note that higher cargo insurance may be more advantageous, depending on your business goals.

Long Term Gains from Your Own Trucking Authority

Though acquiring your own trucking authority can be time-consuming and costly, it is a great investment for those who are interested in long-term gains and are willing to put in the work.

Ultimately, having your own trucking authority today means you have a higher income potential, which, coupled with good business practice and decision-making, can yield exponential growth in years to come.

Get Commercial Truck Insurance  

Acquiring your own truck authority is a huge decision. It also takes a lot of investment, monetary and time-wise. Avoid going through all the trouble of applying for your trucking authority, only to be declined at the last minute because you don’t have insurance.

Get pre-approved commercial truck insurance prior to your application to FMCSA. At Strong Tie Insurance, we have over 20 years of experience protecting our trucking customers. Whether you’re in the market for cheap commercial truck insurance or you’re looking for something more comprehensive to cover all your liabilities, we’ve got you covered!

To get a free quote, contact us at Strong Tie Insurance today.