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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Common carriers provide for-hire truck transportation to the general public. Common carriers must file both liability (BI & PD) insurance and cargo insurance.

    Contract carriers provide for-hire truck transportation to specific, individual shippers, based on contracts. Contract carriers must file only liability (BI & PD) insurance.

    Brokers arrange for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, for compensation, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Brokers must file either a surety bond or trust fund agreement.

  2. The definition of an "authorized for-hire " carrier is a person or company that provides transportation of cargo or passengers for compensation. If you are a for-hire carrier, in addition to the USDOT Number you will also need to obtain Operating Authority (MC Number).

  3. Each individual Operating Authority is $300. Separate filing fees must be submitted with the application at the time of processing for each Authority sought. For instance, requests for Common Carrier of Property Motor Carrier and Contract Property Motor Carrier Authority will require two $300 fees ($600). Payments can be combined. FILING FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE..

    1. You can file for the following operating authorities with the OP-1 Application For Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority:
      • Motor Common Carrier of Property except Household Goods;
      • Motor Contract Carrier of Property except Household Goods;
      • Motor Common Carrier of Household Goods,
      • Motor Contract Carrier of Household Goods,
      • Broker of Property except Household Goods,
      • Broker of Household Goods,
      • United States Based Enterprise Owned or Controlled By Persons of Mexico Providing Truck Services For The Transportation of International Cargo (Except Household Goods);
      • United States Based Enterprise Owned or Controlled By Persons of Mexico Providing Truck Services For The Transportation of International Household Goods
    2. OP-1(FF) - Application for Freight Forwarder Authority
    3. OP-1(P) - Application for Motor Passenger Carrier Authority
    4. OP-1(MX) - Application to Register Mexico-based Carriers for Motor Carrier Authority to Operate Beyond U.S. Municipalities and Commercial Zones on the U.S.-Mexico Border
    5. OP-2 - Application for Mexican Certificate of Registration for Foreign Motor Carriers and Foreign Motor Private Carriers Under 49 U.S.C. 1302.
  4. The answer varies from state to state. In most states, intrastate non-hazardous-material motor carriers do not require a USDOT Number, but several States participate in programs such as PRISM, which does require intrastate motor carriers, with or without HazMat, to have a USDOT Number. If you do not know whether your state requires intrastate motor carriers to have a USDOT Number, contact the Office of Motor Carrier Safety field office in your state. For a listing of State offices, go to the FMCSA Field Roster.

  5. Interstate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation involving the crossing of a State boundary. Either the vehicle, its passengers, or cargo must cross a State boundary, or there must be the intent to cross a State boundary to be considered an interstate carrier. Intrastate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation within a single State.

    If your operations include interstate commerce, you must comply with the applicable Federal safety regulations andOperating Authority rules, in addition to State and local requirements. You must notify the State in which you plan to register your vehicle(s) of your intentions to operate in interstate commerce to ensure that the vehicle is properly registered for purposes of the International Registration Plan (IRP), and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). The base State will help you by collecting the appropriate fees and distributing a portion of those fees to the other States in which you operate commercial motor vehicles.

    If you operate exclusively in intrastate commerce , you must comply with applicable State and local regulations. The only Federal regulations that are applicable to intrastate operations are: the commercial driver's license (CDL) requirement, for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles as defined in 49 CFR 383.5; controlled substances and alcohol testing for all persons required to possess a CDL; and minimum levels of financial responsibility for the intrastate transportation of certain quantities of hazardous materials and substances.

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