How to Register Your Motor Carrier Business
1. FORM A COMPANY
Before you begin your motor carrier registration, you need to form your business. You should do so under some form of corporate entity. It makes little sense for a trucker to be a sole proprietor. You’re on the road all the time, and you’re liable for any accident or mistake you make. You can start as a sole proprietor and switch to an LLC or corporation later, but that means extra paperwork and wasted time.
Learn how to easily form an LLC or a corporation first.
2. GET YOUR USDOT NUMBER
The first step in motor carrier registration is acquiring a Department of Transportation Number (USDOT). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses this number to identify you (the motor carrier) and your rigs.
3. FILE FOR YOUR OPERATING AUTHORITY
Once you’ve received a USDOT number your motor carrier registration is underway. You’ll now need to be authorized by the FMCSA to haul goods across state lines. This is called your Operating Authority. When your application is received you will be issued a Pending MC Number. You will use this Pending MC Number to file your BOC-3 and motor carrier insurance.
4. GET INSURED
When you buy a car and register it, you are required to purchase insurance. Motor carrier registration is no different: you must acquire motor carrier insurance. The level of insurance you need depends on what you’re going to haul and where you’re going to haul it.
Here’s our Step by Step Guide to Getting Trucking Insurance.
5. FILE YOUR BOC-3
The BOC-3 is the form you use to designate your process agent. You need a process agent for each state you (or your cargo) travels through. Most motor carriers hire a Blanket Agent. Blanket agents provide you with process agent coverage in every state. This makes your life simpler because you only need to hire one company, instead of fifty.
Here’s our Step by Step Guide to Filing Your BOC-3.
6. YOU’LL NOW RECEIVE YOUR OPERATING AUTHORITY FROM THE FMCSA
7. UNIFIED CARRIER REGISTRATION (UCR)
Traveling from state to state isn’t free. States expect compensation for the use of their roads and fuel. If you travel interstate, you’ll need to register with the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) which collects fees based upon the number of vehicles you operate.
Here’s our Step by Step UCR Guide.
8. HEAVY HIGHWAY VEHICLE USE TAX (HVUT)
Vehicles in excess of 55,000 pounds cause greater wear and tear on the highway system. If you operate one of these big rigs, you’ll be required to pay an additional Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT).
Here’s our Step by Step HVUT Guide.
9. INTERNATIONAL FUEL TAX ADMINISTRATION (IFTA)
Every state requires motor carriers to pay special fuel taxes. When you register with the International Fuel Tax Administration (IFTA) you will pay fuel taxes to a single agency instead of paying each individual state. You will receive IFTA stickers for your trucks, allowing you to legally travel into every state.
Here’s our Step by Step IFTA Guide.
10. INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION PLAN (IRP)
Member states and provinces require motor carriers to pay a tax based upon miles traveled through their jurisdiction. You must register with your local IRP office for all qualified vehicles.
Here’s our Step by Step IRP Guide.
Motor carrier registration is a complicated, involved process. Process Agent LLC is here to help. Take a look at our guides and contact us if you have any