Truck DriversWorking for a trucking company is one thing, but working for yourself has many perks and benefits of which you may want to be aware.  Being your own boss allows for operational autonomy, but if you aren’t aware of how to get new trucking authority, it may seem tricky and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.  If working for YOU seems appealing and you want to find out how to get new trucking authority, read on.

Trucking Authority Defined

Trucking authority, sometimes referred to as “motor carrier authority,” is needed for those who want to start their own trucking company.  Basically it is permission granted by the government that allows you to get paid to haul freight.  Once the government has granted trucking authority, you are eligible to start being your own boss and begin your trucking business under your own Motor Carrier (MC) number.

Steps to Obtain Trucking Authority 

Determine Your Business Type- Finding the best business type for your N.C. trucking needs must be initially established. There are various business types for which you could opt, but keep in mind that a LLC (Limited Liability Company) can protect your personal assets and should be considered.  It allows for sole proprietorship, but with legal protection.

Complete UCR- You must complete and submit your Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) for transporters with one or two trucks for a fee of $76. For further instructions and access to the form go to Unified Carrier Registration Plan.

Acquire USDOT #- Note that having a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number does not mean your trucking authority has been granted. This number is the primary tracking number for your trucking company that includes information regarding the safety of your trucking company and number of trucks owned, along with listed drivers.  There is no fee required to register for your USDOT number.  To access this registration, go to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s online system.

Acquire MC#- This number is issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and costs $300. The MC # is what grants trucking companies authority to cross state lines to transport freight for hire as a Motor Carrier. Here’s the link to FMCSA to learn more.

Assign Process Agent- Use the FMCSA form BOC-3 to designate your process agent and ensure that the process agent can protect you in every state where you are operating. Your processing agent is responsible for accepting any legal documents sent to you for allegations/legal action against your trucking company and forwarding them to you in your home state.  FMCSA keeps records of process agents systemized by their location and can be found under Registration and Licensing on their website.  The standard start up fee for a process agent is around $125 with an annual fee of $100.

Get Insurance- Shopping around for the best N.C. trucking insurance at an affordable rate or better yet, have a trucking insurance specialist shop around for you is optimum. Your insurance premium will depend on multiple factors including your territory, home state, and driving record; however keep in mind that as a new business owner, your rates will be higher than someone who has been operating as a sole proprietor for more than 2 years.

You must obtain N.C. liability and cargo insurance within the first 2 weeks after the MC# is filed in an effort to keep the process smoothly running.  If you do not have a report of insurance documented within the first 60 days, your trucking authority application will be terminated. 

File UCRA- All motor carriers are subject to fees under the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement are established based on the number of vehicles used to transport freight.

Register IFTA- You must register for International Fuel Tax Agreement before you can become operational in your trucking business.

File IRP- With an average cost running anywhere between 1,000- 3,000 annually, this International Registration Plan is required for trucks weighing over 26,000 lbs. and operating interstate for-hire or “interstate private.”

Truck Signage- Federal requirements require any truck to have the following on each side of of the cab: 1) Legal name of the motor carrier operating the truck listed on form MCS-150. 2) DOT number issued by FMCSA proceeded by the letters “USDOT”. 3) MC number *if applicable).

Paramount insurance Agency understands your N.C. trucking needs and can assist you with any questions you may have regarding the steps necessary to get your trucking authority.  Call us TODAY at 866-869-3335 so that we may assist you with all of your N.C. trucking insurance needs.