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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The trucking industry has made a large historical impact since the early 20th century. It has affected the U.S. both politically as well as economically since the notion has begun. Previous to the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse-drawn carriage. Trucks were first exclusively used by the military during World War I.   After the war, construction of paved roads increased. As a result, trucking began to achieve significant popularity by the 1930's. Soon after trucking became subject to various government regulation, such as the hours of service. During the later 1950's and 1960's, trucking accelerated due to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate Highway System is an extensive network of freeways linking major cities cross country.

Invented in 1890, the diesel engine was not an invention that became well known in popular culture. It was not until the 1930's for the United States to express further interest for diesel engines to be accepted. Gasoline engines were still in use on heavy trucks in the 1970's, while in Europe they had been entirely replaced two decades earlier.

As most people have experienced, moving does involve having the appropriate materials. Some materials you might find at home or may be more resourceful to save money while others may choose to pay for everything. Either way materials such as boxes, paper, tape, and bubble wrap with which to pack box-able and/or protect fragile household goods. It is also used to consolidate the carrying and stacking on moving day. Self-service moving companies offer another viable option. It involves the person moving buying a space on one or more trailers or shipping containers. These containers are then professionally driven to the new location.

During the latter part of the 20th century, we saw a decline of the trucking culture. Coinciding with this decline was a decline of the image of truck drivers, as they became negatively stigmatized. As a result of such negativity, it makes sense that truck drivers were frequently portrayed as the "bad guy(s)" in movies.

Popular among campers is the use of lightweight trailers, such as aerodynamic trailers. These can be towed by a small car, such as the BMW Air Camper. They are built with the intent to lower the tow of the vehicle, thus minimizing drag.

AMSA wanted to help consumers avoid untrustworthy or illegitimate movers. In January 2008, AMSA created the ProMover certification program for its members. As a member, you must have federal interstate operating authority. Members are also required to pass an annual criminal back check, be licensed by the FMCSA, and agree to abide by ethical standards. This would include honesty in advertising and in business transaction with customers. Each must also sign a contract committing to adhere to applicable Surface Transportation Board and FMCSA regulations. AMSA also takes into consideration and examines ownership. They are very strict, registration with state corporation commissions. This means that the mover must maintain at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As one can imagine, those that pass are authorized to display the ProMove logo on the websites and in marketing materials. However, those that fail will be expelled from the program (and AMSA) if they cannot correct discrepancies during probation.

“Writer-director James Mottern said he was influenced by nuanced, beloved movies of the 1970s such as "The Last Detail" and "Five Easy Pieces." Mottern said his female trucker character began with a woman he saw at a Southern California truck stop — a "beautiful woman, bleach blonde ... skin tanned to leather walked like a Teamster, blue eyes.” - Paul Brownfield

As of January 1, 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established as its own separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation. This came about under the "Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999". The FMCSA is based in Washington, D.C., employing more than 1,000 people throughout all 50 States, including in the District of Columbia. Their staff dedicates themselves to the improvement of safety among commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and to saving lives.

In 1938, the now-eliminated Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) enforced the first Hours of Service (HOS) rules. Drivers became limited to 12 hours of work within a 15-hour period. At this time, work included loading, unloading, driving, handling freight, preparing reports, preparing vehicles for service, or performing any other duty in relation to the transportation of passengers or property.   The ICC intended for the 3-hour difference between 12 hours of work and 15 hours on-duty to be used for meals and rest breaks. This meant that the weekly max was limited to 60 hours over 7 days (non-daily drivers), or 70 hours over 8 days (daily drivers). With these rules in place, it allowed 12 hours of work within a 15-hour period, 9 hours of rest, with 3 hours for breaks within a 24-hour day.

The FMCSA is a well-known division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). It is generally responsible for the enforcement of FMCSA regulations. The driver of a CMV must keep a record of working hours via a log book. This record must reflect the total number of hours spent driving and resting, as well as the time at which the change of duty status occurred. In place of a log book, a motor carrier may choose to keep track of their hours using an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR). This automatically records the amount of time spent driving the vehicle.

The Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula is a mathematical formula used in the United States to determine the appropriate gross weight for a long distance moving vehicle, based on the axle number and spacing. Enforced by the Department of Transportation upon long-haul truck drivers, it is used as a means of preventing heavy vehicles from damaging roads and bridges. This is especially in particular to the total weight of a loaded truck, whether being used for commercial moving services or for long distance moving services in general.   According to the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula, the total weight of a loaded truck (tractor and trailer, 5-axle rig) cannot exceed 80,000 lbs in the United States. Under ordinary circumstances, long-haul equipment trucks will weight about 15,000 kg (33,069 lbs). This leaves about 20,000 kg (44,092 lbs) of freight capacity. Likewise, a load is limited to the space available in the trailer, normally with dimensions of 48 ft (14.63 m) or 53 ft (16.15 m) long, 2.6 m (102.4 in) wide, 2.7 m (8 ft 10.3 in) high and 13 ft 6 in or 4.11 m high.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways is most commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, Interstate Freeway System, Interstate System, or simply the Interstate. It is a network of controlled-access highways that forms a part of the National Highway System of the United States. Named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who endorsed its formation, the idea was to have portable moving and storage. Construction was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The original portion was completed 35 years later, although some urban routes were canceled and never built. The network has since been extended and, as of 2013, it had a total length of 47,856 miles (77,017 km), making it the world's second longest after China's. As of 2013, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system. In 2006, the cost of construction had been estimated at about $425 billion (equivalent to $511 billion in 2015).

In 1991 the film "Thelma & Louise" premiered, rapidly becoming a well known movie. Throughout the movie, a dirty and abrasive truck driver harasses the two women during chance encounters. Author Michael Dunne describes this minor character as "fat and ignorant" and "a lustful fool blinded by a delusion of male superiority". Thelma and Louise exact their revenge by feigning interest in him and then blowing up his tanker truck full of gas.

The USDOT (USDOT or DOT) is considered a federal Cabinet department within the U.S. government. Clearly, this department concerns itself with all aspects of transportation with safety as a focal point. The DOT was officially established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, beginning its operation on April 1, 1967. Superior to the DOT, the United States Secretary of Transportation governs the department. The mission of the DOT is to "Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life for the American people, today and into the future." Essentially this states how important it is to improve all types of transportation as a way to enhance both safety and life in general etc. It is important to note that the DOT is not in place to hurt businesses, but to improve our "vital national interests" and our "quality of life". The transportation networks are in definite need of such fundamental attention. Federal departments such as the USDOT are key to this industry by creating and enforcing regulations with intentions to increase the efficiency and safety of transportation. 

Throughout the United States, bypass routes are a special type of route most commonly used on an alternative routing of a highway around a town. Specifically when the main route of the highway goes through the town. Originally, these routes were designated as "truck routes" as a means to divert trucking traffic away from towns. However, this name was later changed by AASHTO in 1959 to what we now call a "bypass". Many "truck routes" continue to remain regardless that the mainline of the highway prohibits trucks.

With the onset of trucking culture, truck drivers often became portrayed as protagonists in popular media. Author Shane Hamilton, who wrote "Trucking Country: The Road to America's Wal-Mart Economy", focuses on truck driving. He explores the history of trucking and while connecting it development in the trucking industry. It is important to note, as Hamilton discusses the trucking industry and how it helps the so-called big-box stores dominate the U.S. marketplace. Hamilton certainly takes an interesting perspective historically speaking.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) conducted a series of tests. These tests were extensive field tests of roads and bridges to assess damages to the pavement. In particular they wanted to know how traffic contributes to the deterioration of pavement materials. These tests essentially led to the 1964 recommendation by AASHTO to Congress. The recommendation determined the gross weight limit for trucks to be determined by a bridge formula table. This includes table based on axle lengths, instead of a state upper limit. By the time 1970 came around, there were over 18 million truck on America's roads.

Words have always had a different meaning or have been used interchangeably with others across all cultures. In the United States, Canada, and the Philippines the word "truck" is mostly reserved for larger vehicles. Although in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the word "truck" is generally reserved for large vehicles. In Australia and New Zealand, a pickup truck is usually called a ute, short for "utility". While over in South Africa it is called a bakkie (Afrikaans: "small open container"). The United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, and Hong Kong use the "lorry" instead of truck, but only for medium and heavy types.

Commercial trucks in the U.S. pay higher road taxes on a State level than the road vehicles and are subject to extensive regulation. This begs the question of why these trucks are paying more. I'll tell you. Just to name a few reasons, commercial truck pay higher road use taxes. They are much bigger and heavier than most other vehicles, resulting in more wear and tear on the roadways. They are also on the road for extended periods of time, which also affects the interstate as well as roads and passing through towns. Yet, rules on use taxes differ among jurisdictions.