Phone: (605) 334-8871


Federal Regulations


1. What is the difference between interstate commerce and intrastate commerce?

Interstate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation involving the crossing of a State boundary. Either the vehicle, its passengers, or cargo must cross a State boundary, or there must be the intent to cross a State boundary to be considered an interstate carrier. Intrastate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation within a single State.

If your operations include interstate commerce, you must comply with the applicable Federal safety regulations and operating authority rules, in addition to State and local requirements. You must notify the State in which you plan to register your vehicle(s) of your intentions to operate in interstate commerce to ensure that the vehicle is properly registered for purposes of the International Registration Plan (IRP), and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). The base State will help you by collecting the appropriate fees and distributing a portion of those fees to the other States in which you operate commercial motor vehicles.

If you operate exclusively in intrastate commerce , you must comply with applicable State and local regulations. The only Federal regulations that are applicable to intrastate operations are: the commercial driver's license (CDL), for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles as defined in 49 CFR 383.5; controlled substances and alcohol testing for all persons required to possess a CDL; and minimum levels of financial responsibility for the intrastate transportation of certain quantities of hazardous materials and substances. 

2. Now that I have determined that I will be operating in interstate commerce, what do I need to do to begin?

A USDOT number is required if you have vehicles that are over 10,000 lbs, if you transport between 9 and 15 passengers (including the driver) for compensation, if you transport 16 or more passengers, or haul hazardous materials in interstate commerce. No fee is required. You must complete the MCS-150 (Motor Carrier Identification Report) and a MCS-150A (Safety Certification Application) to obtain a USDOT number. The forms can be found on our web site at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov. The MCS-150 and MCS-150A can be completed on line or you can print out a copy of the forms, complete and mail to the address indicated. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call our toll-free number at 1-800-832-5660 to have one mailed to you.

Generally, if you are operating as a "for-hire" motor carrier of regulated commodities or passengers in interstate commerce, you must also obtain interstate operating authority (MC number) unless your "for-hire" operation is limited to the transportation of exempt commodities, or you operate within a commercial zone, exempt from the interstate operating authority rules. Information about commercial zone exemptions may be found at 49 CFR 372. Administrative Ruling No. 119 provides additional guidance for identifying exempt commodities, which can be found on the Internet at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/adminrule.pdf. A list of commodities, which are NOT exempt from the operating authority rules, can be found at 49 CFR 372.115 or on the Internet at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/372.115.htm.

3. What is the definition of a for-hire carrier?

The definition of a " for-hire " carrier is a person or company that provides transportation of cargo or passengers for compensation. If you are a for-hire carrier, in addition to the USDOT number you will also need to obtain operating authority (MC number). 

4. Where can I purchase the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?

To purchase a complete copy of the FMCSRs, Parts 300-399, contact the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, telephone: (202) 512-1800 or at www.access.gpo.gov 

5. Besides a USDOT number what other forms are necessary to operate as a "for-hire" carrier in interstate commerce?

The Form OP-1, Application for Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority, is required for a motor carrier of property and a Form OP-1(P), Application for Motor Passenger Carrier Authority, is required for a motor carrier of passengers.

If you are a for-hire carrier you must acquire operating authority (MC number). You must (1) complete and file the appropriate OP-1 application along with the filing fee ($300 for each type of authority you are requesting); (2) have your insurance company file the appropriate insurance forms for the type of authority you are requesting with the FMCSA; and (3) submit or have a Process Agent Service submit a BOC-3, Designation of Process Agent form.

Note: Passenger carriers who are Federal Transit Administration Grantees (Transit Benefit Operators) under 49 U.S.C. 5307, 5310, or 5311 are required to maintain liability insurance at least at the highest level required for any of the States in which the transit service area is located. The $300 filing fee will be waived for the Transit Benefit Operator application. 

6. How do I go about filing for operating authority (active MC number) to travel within the U.S. as a "for hire" motor carrier?

You can either complete the appropriate OP-1 application over our Internet site at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov and pay the required filing fee with a credit card or you can download a copy of the application form at this site, or request a copy of the OP-1 application by calling 1-800-832-5660 to have an application mailed to you. The filing fee is $300.00 for each type of authority requested. No insurance information can be submitted until the carrier has been assigned its MC number. 

7. What happens after I file the appropriate OP-1 Form?

Once the application is received and accepted, you will be assigned your MC (motor carrier) number. You will receive a letter informing you of this MC number and telling you any additional information needed to get into compliance. Once your insurance company has filed the correct insurance form, and the process agent has filed the BOC-3 Designation of Process Agent form, you will receive your official operating authority in the form of a Certificate and/or Permit. You will not be able to operate until this information has been submitted and the Certificate and/or Permit is officially issued.

8. I perform both for-hire and private carriage. Will I be able to operate once I get my USDOT number?

Once you have your USDOT number you will be able to operate as a Private motor carrier. You will not be able to operate as a For-Hire motor carrier until you have operating authority (an active MC number). 

9. Can I operate outside of my base State now that I have applied for authority?

If you are transporting exempt commodities and have a USDOT number, you may operate as an exempt for-hire interstate motor carrier without an MC number. 
You cannot transport regulated commodities in interstate commerce until you have obtained operating authority (Certificate and/or Permit) and received your single State registration. Simply applying for operating authority is not sufficient. You must wait until the Certificate and/or Permit has been issued.

What are exempt commodities?

On our website at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rulesregs/fmcsrhome.htm you will find Administrative Ruling No. 119 which is a guide on what is or is not exempt. The booklet is no longer in print, but the information is still correct. The list of exempt commodities is ever changing, but this can be used as a general guide. Also, a list of commodities that are not exempt can be found in the FMCSR at Section 372.115. 

10. Until I get my own operating authority (active MC number), can I lease my services to a for-hire carrier with operating rights?

Yes, leasing is permissible if you comply with the requirements under Section 376.11.

11. How can I find out if my operating authority (active MC number) has been issued? Can I get a faxed copy?

To check whether your operating authority has been issued, you should go to our Internet site at http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov . If you do not have access to the Internet, you can contact our 24- hour automated system at 202-358-7000 or call our status line at 202-366-9805 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time. We will only fax your operating authority if 10 or more working days have passed since the service date and you have not yet received the operating authority. 

12. How can I suspend or put my operating authority (MC number) on hold?

The regulations do not allow for voluntary suspension of operating authority; however, voluntary revocation of your operating authority is allowed. To accomplish a voluntary revocation, you must (1) complete a Form OCE-46, Request for Revocation of Registration; (2) have it notarized; and (3) mail it back to the FMCSA, Insurance Compliance Division at 400 Virginia Avenue, SW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Upon receipt of the form, the information will be coded into the system, and the date that occurs is when your operating authority will be voluntarily revoked. The telephone number to request this form is 202-385-2423 or 2424. The operating authority can be reinstated at any time in the future if you so desire by requesting reinstatement of the authority and paying an $80 fee. 

13. What do I need to do to reinstate my operating authority (make my MC number active)?

You can reinstate your operating authority by requesting reinstatement of the authority and paying the $80 fee. This can be done over the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov and paying with a credit card. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may send a written request for reinstatement of the operating authority, listing the " MC " number, the legal name of the carrier, and include an $80.00 fee by check, money order or credit card payable to FMCSA. The mailing address for a check or money order is FMCSA, P.O. Box 409934, Atlanta, Georgia 30384-9934. You must make sure your insurance company files the BMC-91 or 91X and/or BMC-34 (if necessary) to meet the proof of insurance requirement. You must also be certain that you have a valid Designation of Process Agents (BOC-3) filing in effect. Your operating authority will not be reactivated until updated insurance filings have been received and accepted. You will receive a Reinstatement notification from the FMCSA after the operating authority has been reinstated. 

14. What is a Process Agent?

A process agent is a representative upon whom court papers may be served in any proceeding brought against a motor carrier and is one of the pre-licensing requirements that must be met by the carrier before authority is issued.

A list of the process agent services can be found in the instruction packet accompanying an application or on our web site at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov . 

15. What are the definitions of common, contract, and broker authority?

Common carrier' provides for-hire truck transportation to the general public. Common carriers must file both liability (BI & PD) insurance and cargo insurance. 

Contract carrier' provides for-hire truck transportation to specific, individual shippers, based on contracts. Contract carriers must file only liability (BI & PD) insurance. 

Broker' a company who, for compensation, arranges for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Brokers must file either a surety bond or trust fund agreement.

16. What is the difference between common and contract carrier authority?

The common carrier authority requires liability and cargo insurance. The contract carrier authority only requires liability insurance. Some shippers prefer common and some prefer contract. 

17. Can a contract carrier broker loads?

No. A contract carrier cannot broker loads without first applying for and receiving a license to operate as a broker of freight. 

18. What applications do I need to complete for common carrier authority?

A common carrier of property must file a Form OP-1, Application for Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority and a common carrier of passengers must file a Form OP-1(P), Application for Motor Passenger Carrier Authority. You can file for operating authority over the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov or you can download a copy of the application forms at this site. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may call our toll free number at l 800-832-5660 and request an application be mailed or faxed to you.

You are also required to file a MCS-150 (Motor Carrier Identification Report) and a MCS-150A (Safety Certification Application) to obtain a USDOT number. You can file for a USDOT number over the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov or call our toll-free number at 1-800-832-5660 and request the form be mailed or faxed to you. 

19. Where do I go to find out if a company has interstate operating authority (active MC number)?

The information can be obtained on our web site at http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov under carrier search. If you do not have access to the internet, you can call our 24-hour automated system at 202-358-7000, call our toll free number at 800-832-5660 or call our status line at 202-366-9805 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time. 

20. I share interstate operating authority (MC number) with a business partner and would like to get my own MC number and discontinue my partnership with this person is that possible?

Yes. There are two options: 1) You may request a name change for the existing MC number by submitting a notarized letter requesting the partner be removed from the existing authority along with a $14 name change fee payable by check, money order, VISA or MASTERCARD. The partner being removed from the existing authority would then file a new application along with the required fee to receive his or her own MC number; or 2) If the partners cannot agree who should keep the existing MC number, they should both file a new application with the required fees and get new MC numbers. They should also request that the existing MC number be voluntarily revoked.

21. How can I find out the status of my USDOT number?

If you request a USDOT number on the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov you will receive your USDOT number immediately and a notification letter will be mailed by the FMCSA confirming your USDOT number. If you mailed your MCS-150 and MCS-150A forms to receive a USDOT number you can go to http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov and search by the motor carrier name to see if the application has been processed or you can call our toll-free number at 1-800-832-5660.

22. Is there a difference in using the Internet vs. mailing the application in when filing for operating authority?

By using the Internet, you can increase the speed by which your application is processed in contrast with ground mail and manual data entry. You may submit your operating authority requests online at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov . To submit your request, click on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), then click on FMCSA Registration Application, type of authority requested (Motor Property Carrier and Broker, Motor Passenger Carrier, etc), fill in the required information and click submit. You will be given an OMC number for tracking purposes.

Two days after you file your application you will be able to see the status of your application on the Internet at http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov . To obtain your MC number, just click on " continue, " select " carrier search " from the drop down menu and enter your last name or company name and the State abbreviation where the carrier is located, and then click on " search. " From this point, to see the status, click on " screen " under view carrier details. Operating authority will be granted a minimum of 10 days later and only after insurance and Designation of Process Agent documents are on file with the FMCSA. You will receive your Certificate, Permit, or License by mail. We encourage many of our applicants to use this online data entry option. This allows us to provide immediate response to carriers who require it, and reduce processing delays for all applicants. In contrast, applications filed by mail can take an additional 7 to 14 days to process. 

23. Can you transfer operating authority (MC number) on the website?

No. Transfer applications can be faxed directly to you by calling 202-366-0643 from your fax machine. (Note: You must pick up the phone on your fax machine, call 202-366-0643, listen for the prompt and hit the end/receive button and then hang up your phone.) If you do not have a fax machine you may obtain a Transfer application by calling 202-366-9805, and one will be mailed to you. 

24. Are USDOT numbers transferable?

No, USDOT numbers are not transferable. You can file for your USDOT number on the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov or call our toll-free number at 1-800-832-5660 to request a copy of the MCS-150 (Motor Carrier Identification Report) and a MCS-150A (Safety Certification Application). 

25. What forms are required to transport Regulated property for-hire Interstate?

If you are transporting Regulated property "for hire" from one State to another, you are required to have both a USDOT number (MCS-150 and MCS-150A) and operating authority (active MC number - OP-1). You may apply for the USDOT number on the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov and you may apply for the MC number on the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov . 

26. Why doesn't my MC#324115(B) appear on the web site at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov

Because that is an MC number for a Broker and Brokers are not listed on the Internet site at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov since they are not assigned USDOT numbers. However, MC numbers for Brokers will appear on our Internet site at http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov . 

27. What form do I complete to become a broker?

To become a broker you must file Form OP-1, Application for Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority. This operating authority requires you to have on file with the FMCSA either a surety bond (BMC-84 form provided by an insurance company) or a trust fund (BMC-85 form obtained by request to the Insurance Compliance Division at FMCSA on 202-385-2423 or 2424 in the amount of $10,000) as well as a Designation of Agents Form BOC-3. 

28. What form do I complete for passenger (limo) operating authority?

Form OP-1(P), Application for Motor Passenger Carrier Authority, is required for passenger authority. You can file for this authority or download a copy of the application on the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov . You also can call our toll-free number at 1-800-832-5660 and request a copy be mailed or faxed to you. 

29. Who may become a freight forwarder? What is the definition?

A freight forwarder is a company that arranges for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. In the ordinary course of its business, a freight forwarder usually assembles and consolidates less-than truckload (LTL) shipments at origin and disassembles and distributes truckload (TL) shipments at destination. The freight forwarder assumes responsibility for the transportation from origin to destination but it uses a for-hire carrier for the line-haul movement. Freight forwarders must register with FMCSA by filing a Form OP-1(FF), Application for Freight Forwarder Authority. You can file for this authority or download a copy of the application on the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov . You also can call our toll-free number at 1-800-832-5660 and request a copy be mailed or faxed to you. 

30. Can we obtain apportioned tags from the FMCSA web site?

No. License plates and stickers are State matters, and you should contact your State department of motor vehicles for the requirements. 

31. What do I need to do to change the name of my motor carrier operation?

You may change the name of your operation only if there is no change in the ownership, management, or control of the company. The information can be changed on the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov . Select Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; FMCSA Registration Applications; and Name Change. There is a $14 fee for the name change. (Note: If there is a change in ownership, management or control of the company you must file a Transfer Application.)

If you would like to mail your name change (legal or trade name) and are paying with a check or money order , a letter must be sent to the FMCSA at P. O. Box 409934, Atlanta, GA 30384- 9934. The letter must contain the current name and the new name, and the statement that there is no change in ownership, control, or management of the company. If you have incorporated, you must send a copy of the Articles of Incorporation. 

If you prefer to put the fee on a credit card but do not have access to the Internet, you may mail your request to FMCSA, Licensing Team, 400 7 th Street, SW, Room 8214, Washington, DC 20590. The letter must contain the current name and the new name, and the statement that there is no change in ownership, control, or management of the company. If you have incorporated, you must send a copy of the Articles of Incorporation. 

The following types of requests for name changes can be processed on the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov but will need additional documents for verification: 
(1) If you are adding or deleting an immediate family member you must present a notarized letter for the change to become effective. (Definition of immediate family: husband, wife, brother, sister, mother or father.); 

(2) If you need to delete a name from your operating authority because of the death of a spouse or death of a partner already on your operating authority, you must present a copy of the death certificate; 

(3) If you are adding a Partner as a result of marriage, you must present a copy of the marriage license; and 

(4) If you are deleting an existing partner currently on the operating authority, you must present a notarized letter from the partner being removed for the change to become effective

Note: After receiving the Re-entitlement Decision, you will have 30 days to refile the proof of insurance and designation of agents (BOC-3) in the carrier's new name. 

The name will be changed under the MC number and U.S. DOT. Number. 

32. How do I change my address?

Address changes can be accomplished by going to our Internet site at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov . If you do not have access to the Internet you may submit a letter to the FMCSA Licensing Division, Room 8214, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590 or fax to 202-366-3477. In your letter, please reference the MC number and include the former and current addresses and telephone numbers. The letter must be signed by the applicant or applicant's representative. The address change will be updated for both the MC number and the USDOT number. No fee is required. 

33. Will I keep the same MC number if I change my name? Will I get a new Certificate or Permit?

Yes, you will keep the same MC number if you change your name. However, you will not receive a new Certificate or Permit, but you will receive a Re-entitlement Decision that should be attached to your original operating authority. 

34. I am trying to check on a safety rating where do I go?

If you have the MC number, USDOT number, or name for search purposes, you can check on safety ratings at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov . 

35. I recently did a search through the Safer Query in reference to my company and found the information to be incorrect. Who should I contact to get this fixed?

You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-832-5660 to have the information corrected .

36. How can I update my USDOT record?

You can update your USDOT number over the Internet at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov by filing a MCS-150 (Motor Carrier Identification Report). To update online you will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) but the good news is that you can also apply for your PIN online at https://www.mchqecom.com/nu_cc/cc_pin.asp . You may also update your USDOT record by filing a MCS-150 by mail. You may mail the forms to FMCSA, MCMIS Team, Room 8214, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590. Please put "update" on the MCS-150 form and make all necessary changes. You can also call our toll free number at 1-800-832-5660 to have a MCS-150 form mailed to you. 

37. How do I determine whether I am subject to FMCSA's safety regulations?

If you operate any of the following types of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce you must comply with the applicable U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) safety regulations concerning: CDL: controlled substances and alcohol testing for all persons required to possess a CDL: driver qualifications (including medical exams); driving of commercial motor vehicles; parts and accessories necessary for safe operations; hours of service; and inspection, repair and maintenance. 

(1) A vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 4,537 kg (10,001 lb) or more, whichever is greater; 

(2) A vehicle designed or used to transport between 9 and 15 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; 

(3) A vehicle designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers; or 

(4) Any size vehicle used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR chapter I, subchapter C). 

38. Do you offer temporary authority?

Temporary authority is only issued for National Disasters or Emergency situations.

39. How do I determine if I need cargo insurance?

It depends on the type of authority you apply for with FMCSA. If you apply for common carrier authority, you are required to have on file evidence of both liability (BI & PD) and cargo insurance. If you apply for contract authority, you are only required to have evidence of liability (BI & PD) insurance on file. Common carriers hauling low value goods as specified at 49 CFR 387.301(b) may request exemption from cargo insurance requirements by calling 202-366-9805 and asking that they be sent a cargo exemption form. 

40. Where do I obtain the insurance forms (BMC-91 or BMC-91X)?

The form BMC-91 or BMC-91X are both used to make liability insurance filings with the FMCSA. We do not provide these forms. The insurance company making the filing maintains their own supply of forms. In fact, many insurance carriers are set up to make the required insurance filings with us electronically. 

41. I need to have a copy of the form BMC-84 (surety bond) e-mailed to me?

Your insurance company must provide the Form BMC-84 Property Broker's Surety Bond. 

42. Will my insurance company have BMC-85 form?

You may obtain a copy of Form BMC-85, Property Broker's Trust Fund Agreement by contacting the FMCSA Insurance Compliance Division at 400 Virginia Avenue, SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. The telephone number is 202-385-2423. You may also download an image of the Form at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/BMC-85.pdf . 

43. Do you know where I could possibly get the forms RS-1, RS-2, and RS-3?

The RS-1, RS-2, and RS-3 are for single State registration and must be obtained through your State Department of Motor Vehicles. 

44. I transport some hazardous materials. Must I register?

Pursuant to Title 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart G (107.601 - 107.620), certain offerors and transporters of hazardous materials, including hazardous waste, are required to file an annual registration statement with the U.S. Department of Transportation and to pay a fee. For more information, visit http://hazmat.dot.gov/register.htm . 

45. Is there a Web site address that tells me how to comply with regulations dealing with alcohol and drugs?

Yes. That information can be found at www.dot.gov.









Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software