So you are looking to apply for your trucking authority? It doesn’t matter if you a rookie driver, or you are an experienced driver you will still need to apply for a trucking authority if you want to start an operating authority. To help you get out on the road quickly, we will explain all the requirements needed to acquire your trucking authority. To gain authorization from the U.S. Department of Transport or USDOT, you will have to complete a large amount of paperwork.

What is ‘Operating Authority’?

Operating authority is a mandatory requirement for any hire-carrier that is over 10,000 GVW that will be or is expecting to be crossing the state lines. To do this, you will have to gain official authorization from USDOT. Not only that, you will be required to have a motor carrier (MC) number that is issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator (FMCSA). Your MC number will allow you to transport regulated goods or commodities over state lines.

Why do I need Trucking Authority?

Are you thinking of running your own trucking company? If you are already an owner-operator that is leasing through a carrier, you may have been thinking about applying for your own authority for a while now. Although there can be more risks when you are leasing through a company, but having your own trucking authority can have many financial benefits, and you can run on your own time. In the long run, it is extremely beneficial to apply for your authority.

How long will it take for me to receive my Trucking Authority?

Gaining your trucking authority certification is a lengthy process. It usually takes between 5-7 weeks, depending on administration times. Please also be aware that there are many upfront costs to gain trucking authority. There is also a substantial amount of regulations and requirements for a trucking authority.

How to Apply for Trucking Authority

There are two kinds of trucking authorities which you can apply for, federal and state.


  • Apply for your MC Number: Your MC number is issued by the FMCSA, the MC number will provide you with authority to cross states lines as an independent motor carrier.
  • USDOT Number: The USDOT number will be the tracking number for your company, and it is issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The USDOT number will register the number of drivers, trucks and your overall safety rating.
  • BOC 3 Process Agents: These process agents are allocated in each state, and they can accept any legal documents on your behalf. They will then return them to you, in your registered home state.
  • Apply for insurance: Any carrier has to obtain Liability & Cargo Insurance. It is recommended that you apply for your insurance two weeks after filing for you MC number. The reason for this recommendation is to ensure that you will not run into any delays during your trucking authority application.


  • UCRA: Otherwise known as the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement. This document states that all motor carriers, exempt, private, regulate, or freight forwarders, as well as leasing companies, are required to pay fees under the UCRA. UCRA calculate fees based on each company, and how many commercial vehicles that it operates.
  • IFTA: The Internation Fuel Tax Agreement or IFTA is for any trucks that weigh over 26,000lbs who run interstate operations for-hire or privately. Once you have registered, you will have to complete and file quarterly tax filings.
  • IRP: IRP (The International Registration Plan) is for large trucks, that again weigh over 26,000lbs. The IRP will cover all of your apportioned tags for the truck. There is an annual fee to register your truck. The cost of your fee is dependent on the number of miles that you run in each province or state.
  • Simple Permits: Certain states do require additional permits if you want to operate within their borders. The states that require permits are NY, KY, NM & OR; each state will base their fee on the number of miles that you have traveled in each state.
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