So you want to take being a trucker to the next level and launch into sole proprietorship? That means you need to get your own authority to open your own trucking company. Are you ready to be your own boss as an owner-operator? Well, congratulations! Let’s run through just what this means in the big picture and how to get started in this process. If you are a driver under a company then you are operating under that company’s authority, however to run your own company you will no longer be able to run under their authority and will have to get registered under the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) yourself.
Your motor carrier authority is the MC number and/or USDOT number that gets assigned to your company that will need to be listed on your equipment while in operation. If you are wanting to operate as your own company, then you are required to be registered in this way. If you get pulled over or checked at a weigh station, in addition to checking your ID and proof of insurance, you can bet they will also be making sure that everything is in compliance with your operations and your operating authority. Such as if you are in the business of interstate commerce or possibly even need an intrastate authority for taking loads across state lines. To get started you will need to go through the FMCSA to figure out if you need a DOT, and MC, or both.
What is Trucking Authority?
An operating authority with the FMCSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation is important within the United States to have as a truck driver because it gives you the ability to operate your trucking business legally under the department of transportation. Doing business in any field comes with the requirement to have certain registrations to operate, but in regards to a motor carrier in the trucking industry, the different authority types you can be granted allow you to operate your business in different manners.
What Are the Benefits of Having Your Own Trucking Authority
These are definitely benefits of having your own authority and as well as your own trucking company. Number one here is the fact that you’re becoming your own boss in sole proprietorship, which is a life long dream of many.
This is your time to really excel in the industry with uncapped potential. When you are the boss you reach a point that you truly get out of the business what you put into it. The company as a whole becomes a reflection of your devotion to your work.
What Are the Steps to Getting Trucking Authority?
Register Your Business with the appropriate State or County
Obtain an EIN (Employer identification number) for the IRS
Register Your Business with the US Department of Transportation (USDOT)
Apply for a Motor Carrier Number (MC#) with the FMCSA
File a BOC-3
Obtain the proper policies from your insurance company (Liability Insurance, Cargo Insurance, Etc)
Get your apportioned plates and set up your International Registration Plan (IRP)
Set up an IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) Account
Unified Carrier Registration (UCR)
Obtain all permits you may need to operate like HVUT or 2290 for vehicles over 55,000 lbs., state weight distance taxes, drug consortium, drug clearinghouse, SCAC, TWIC card for ports, TSA clearance for ports and bases, etc.
Need more help before you hit the load boards? Check out our many other informative articles to get you up to speed on the ins and outs of the trucking industry.