What is Trucking Authority

Trucking authority – also known as operating authority or motor carrier authority – is permission from the government to get paid to haul freight. Before you can start your own trucking company, you have to get your operating authority. Once you have that, you can start doing business under your own MC number.

Freight brokers also have to get operating authority and are assigned an FF number, or freight forwarder number. But the FMCSA, which regulates the trucking industry, is planning to phase out MC and FF numbers. Instead, trucking companies will be identified only by their DOT numbers from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

You'll also need to register for IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) before doing business. You might also have to apply for state permits, before operating in certain states. 

Start Your Trucking Business

Have Someone Else Take Care of the Paperwork

Services like GLAuthority and DAT Authority will take care of the registration process, so you avoid any delays and get your business up and running as soon as possible. Plus, when they take care of the paperwork, you won't end up paying extra for registrations that you don't need.


How Much Does Trucking Authority Cost?

The cost for getting your own authority can vary by state. Through GLAuthority, you can apply for carrier authority or broker authority, or both. Packages for carrier authority start at $549.


How Long Does it Take to Get MC Authority?

It takes about 5 to 7 weeks to complete your MC authority, including federal and state. Here is a summary of the requirements:

Federal – Approximately 16 business days to complete

  • MC Number – Issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Motor Carrier (MC) Number is what constitutes authority to cross state lines for hire as a motor carrier. All companies transporting freight for hire are required to obtain an MC Number. 
  • USDOT Number – Issued by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the USDOT Number is the main tracking number for your trucking company. The USDOT number registers the number of trucks, drivers, and the safety rating of your company. A USDOT NUMBER DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AUTHORITY.
  • BOC 3 Process Agents – Process agents are people designated in each state that can accept legal documents on your behalf and then return them to you in your home state. BOC 3 process agents are required for federal authority.
  • Insurance – A carrier must obtain liability and cargo insurance. It is recommended that you obtain a $1,000,000 liability policy and a $100,000 cargo policy. You will need to obtain insurance within the first two weeks after the MC number is filed to avoid any delays in your authority processing. If you fail to get insurance on file within the first 60 days, your authority application will be dismissed.  

State

  • UCRA – The Unified Carrier Registration Agreement states that all motor carriers, regulated, exempt, private, interstate brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies are subject to fees under the UCRA. Fees are calculated per company, based on the number of commercial motor vehicles it operates. (Commercial motor vehicles include the number of trucks and/or power units operated by the company).
  • IFTA – The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is for trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight over 26,000 lbs operating interstate for-hire or interstate private. All 48 states and the Provinces of Canada participate in the IFTA program. Once registered, there will be quarterly tax filings due. You are required to keep track of the mileage traveled in each state and all of your fuel purchases. Some states charge a small, one-time registration fee to get started, but it's usually free.
  • IRP – The International Registration Plan (IRP) is for trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight over 26,000 lbs operating interstate for-hire or interstate private. All 48 states and the Provinces of Canada participate in the IRP Program. The IRP covers the apportioned tags for the truck. There is a yearly fee to register and operate your truck in each state or province. The cost depends on the miles you run in each state or province, and the average cost ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per year.
  • Simple Permits: New York, New Mexico, Kentucky & Oregon – These states require an extra permit to operate within their borders. Once you register, you'll also have tax filings due, based on miles traveled in each of these states.
    • NY charges a $15 per truck registration fee and quarterly reporting of mileage.
    • NM charges a $7 per truck registration fee and quarterly reporting of mileage.
    • KY does not charge a registration fee, but it does require quarterly reporting of mileage.
    • OR charges a $2,000 cash deposit or security bond to register. The cash or bond will be refunded if the carrier stays compliant for the initial 24 months. After registering, the carrier is also required to file monthly mileage reports.
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