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.
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.
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