Steps for Getting Authority Through the FMCSA
Are you or your carrier in need of FMCSA Operating Authority and an MC Number? If so, the Moving Authority team has created the following step-by-step guide. This way, you can receive Operating Authority in an efficient and simple manner. If you have any questions about the guide, do not hesitate to contact us. One of our Operating Authority experts will answer all your questions. Now, let’s jump in and go over how to get FMCSA authority ASAP.
Step One: Figure Out if You're in Need of FMCSA Operating Authority
If one of the following three phrases applies to you, then you don't need Operating Authority. “I’m a private carrier.” “I’m a for-hire carrier that hauls exempt commodities.” This refers to goods that the US government does not regulate. “I’m only operating within a federal designated zone.” That type of zone gets exempt from interstate authority policies.
Do you not fall into one of the three categories written above? If so, then you need to secure FMCSA Operating Authority. Also, say that you or your carrier engage in interstate commerce. That also means that you're in need of authority. Also, do you haul hazardous materials? If you do, then you need Operating Authority. And this type of authority applies no matter where you're traveling or operating. Say that your cargo goes across state lines. That means you're engaging in interstate commerce. That’s the case even if your own trucks or vehicles do not cross state lines.
Step Two: Learn Which Authority (and What Type of Form) You Need
Any type of authority that you need depends on what you're hauling and where it’s hauled. That’s why you've got to check out the different types of FMCSA Operating Authority. This way, you can learn what your moving or trucking business needs. Let’s now go over the two major types of authority forms to consider.
FMCSA Form: The OP-1 Motor Carrier and Broker Authority
This applies to a Motor Common Carrier of Property (except Household Goods) designation. It’s also for a Motor Contract Carrier of Property. But there's also an exemption for Household Goods. The form is also for a Motor Common Carrier of Household Goods. And also a Motor Contract Carrier of Household Goods. A Broker of Property (except HG) will also use the form. But that’s not the only type of broker in need of Broker Authority.
The OP-1 form also applies to a Broker of Household Goods. There are two less-common designations that use the form for authority. First, there’s the US-based Enterprise Carrier of International Cargo (except HG). And then you've got the US-based Enterprise Carrier of International Household Goods.
FMCSA Form: OP-1(P) Motor Passenger Carrier Authority
Here’s another FMCSA form that applies to many carrier designations. It includes a carrier involved in Charter and Special Transportation. (This refers to interstate or foreign commerce. It also applies to traveling between points in the United States.) The Charter/Special Transportation is also for companies owned by people in Mexico. The OP-1(P) also affects carriers under the Service Over Regular Routes designation. This can apply to the transportation of newspapers or baggage of passengers. It also involves moving mail/express packages in the same vehicle as passengers. Or, the baggage of passengers within a second motor vehicle.
The OP-1(P) also applies to a carrier under the Service Over Regular Routes designation. (This refers to US-based businesses owned by people within Mexico.) Do you believe that your motor carrier needs Intrastate Authority? If so, you need a completed OP-1(P) form to execute your service across regular routes. Keep in mind that a Mexico-based carrier must complete either an OP-2 or OP1-(MX) Form. Does your business have status as a Non-North America-Domiciled motor carrier? If it does, then your company must file an OP-1(NNA) Form through the FMCSA.
Step Three: Complete the Correct FMCSA Authority Form
Filling out your paperwork might take some time. That’s because you’ll need to answer some questions about your company. Most US motor carriers file with the FMCSA using the OP-1 Form. If that’s the case for your business, get prepared to answer questions like these. “Is your motor carrier a contract or common carrier?” “Do you conduct private or for-hire transportation?” “Does your carrier transport household goods?” “Does your business transport international cargo? What about international household goods?” “Does your company engage in the transportation of hazardous materials?” “How much does each of your vehicles weigh?” If you need help answering questions like these, please contact Moving Authority.
Step Four: File Your FMCSA Operating Authority Application
Your carrier has some options when it comes to this step. Many companies across the country choose to have Moving Authority file their applications. But you can also complete and file your application online through the FMCSA website. But that’s not all, carriers can download forms, fill them out, and send them in. (When doing so, make sure that you also include the FMCSA application fee.) Do you plan on filling out the forms without the guidance of Moving Authority? If so, you’ll need to send them to a specific FMCSA physical address. You can find the correct address on the FMCSA website. If you have trouble with this step, feel free to call the Moving Authority team.
FAQ: Receiving Operating Authority Through the FMCSA
Listed below are common questions about securing FMCSA Operating Authority. Do you have a question that isn’t written below? If so, do not hesitate to call the Moving Authority team. One of our authority experts will help you out.
What Is the Cost of Getting Authority?
Every type of FMCSA authority for operating will cost a carrier $300. But keep in mind that some authorities do not have an associated fee. (Private Motor Carriers of Passengers for Non-North America-Domiciled Motor Carriers). But most FMCSA authorities do have an associated fee. Keep in mind that each official operating form does not cost $300. Instead, the charge for each authority is $300. Moving Authority provides a series of registration packages to help carriers save money. Feel free to browse those authority/operating packages on our website.
How Do I Pay the FMCSA?
Most carriers pay the FMCSA online using a credit card. But you can also pay through the mail using a money order or check. Keep in mind that the FMCSA URS program went into effect in 2015. Since then, all US carriers have to register online.
How Long Will It Take the FMCSA To Process My Submitted Paperwork?
Online filing through the FMCSA website takes place on an immediate basis. But it will take the FMCSA some time to process the paperwork of your carrier. Are you operating as a non-passenger property carrier? If so, your application will take 20-25 business days to process. Now, say that you mail the application instead of using the FMCSA online system. That application will take about 45-60 business days for processing.
All passenger carrier and household goods applications take 8 extra weeks to process. This applies to both online applications and applications sent through the mail. Keep in mind that the FMCSA cannot grant complete Operating Authority at first. A carrier must also submit motor carrier insurance and a BOC-3 form. The insurance and BOC-3 form then have to get approved by the FMCSA.
How Can My Company View the Current Status of the Authority Application?
It’s best to go online to view your current authority application status. When you do, access the FMCSA SAFER system. (SAFER refers to the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records.) Find the heading that says “FMCSA Searches.” Then, click on Licensing and Insurance. You’ll now need to type in your MC and USDOT Number. Next, click search and then click HTML. This is where you can scroll down under the Authority History section.
What Does “URS” Mean?
URS refers to the Unified Registration System. This is a recent electronic online registration system that the FMCSA created. Its purpose is to streamline the registration process for US carriers. Let's go over which types carriers will need to file through the URS.
All US interstate carriers must secure URS registration. This applies to for-hire carriers of exempt cargo and private carriers. Brokers, freight forwarders, and intermodal equipment providers must also file. URS registration even extends to hazardous materials safety permit holders/applicants. Repair and cargo tank manufacturing families also use URS registration.
How Does URS Affect My Carrier?
Here’s the key purpose of URS. It’s to combine all registration forms into one online system. This way, FMCSA registration can take place in a faster and simpler manner. Private carriers now have to update BOC-3 process agent designations through the URS. This also applies to for-hire US carriers hauling exempt commodities.
I Applied for an MC Number. Can I Now Operate Outside of My Base State?
No, you must do more than apply for an MC Number. First, you have to secure both single-state registration and Operating Authority. Otherwise, you can't transport regulated commodities through interstate commerce. (This refers to for-hire interstate commerce.) Again, this is crucial- applying for an MC Number is not enough. You must go through other steps to have a legal qualification for operating.
Do you have a USDOT Number and transport exempt commodities? If so, you can start operating as an exempt for-hire interstate motor carrier. This means that you’ll begin operating without an MC Number. But if you realize you're in need of an MC Number, please call Moving Authority today. Our Operating Authority experts specialize in helping carriers secure MC Numbers.
Can the FMCSA Provide Me With a Temporary MC Number?
No, there are very few situations in which a carrier can receive a temporary MC Number. You can only get temporary MC Numbers if there are emergency situations. Or, if there are national disasters. Otherwise, you must file for an actual MC Number.
Do You Have More Questions About Securing FMCSA Operating Authority? If So, Contact Moving Authority
The Operating Authority experts at Moving Authority are standing by to answer questions. We can help you with every step of the process to secure authority. From BOC-3 registration to getting an active MC Number. Our team assists carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders all across the US. No matter your registration problem, we can help you find the right solution. Moving Authority looks forward to serving as your go-to resource for FMCSA registration.
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