Everyday around 200-300 applicants are seeking some sort of interstate authority whether it's broker, freight forwarder or motor carrier. If you're not familiar with the process it can be a bit confusing.
We recommend you get off on the right foot with a specialist who knows just how to make this process simple and painless, like us for example. It may cost you a few extra dollars in fees but it can also save you hundreds trying to undo what's been incorrectly input into the system and even an extra $300 for applying for the wrong type of authority!
Many applicants pay an addition $300 because they checkmark 'YES' in this box. This box = $300 even though it doesn't mention it anywhere. It's confusing but it's questions like these that cost you big bucks and the FMCSA doesn't issue refunds either!
I remember speaking with a company who paid $1200 in fees when in reality it should have only cost $300. They just lost $900 and the authority application had to be fixed.
In my 29 years of compliance experience I have been able to narrow down the 6 most common mistakes most people make that get tripped up in in the very beginning of the process.
Business name and type of entity is not properly set up with your base state.
Secure and register your trade name/LLC/Inc with your base state. You can do this through the Secretary of State or LegalZoom. I use LegalZoom because they make it so simple AND it’s done right.
Using a personal Social Security number instead of applying for an EIN.
Obtain your EIN (employer identification number). This is free at irs.gov. If you choose to obtain this online you will receive it immediately after completing your information.
Unable to secure proper insurance in a timely manner causing the FMCSA to dismiss the application.
Call an insurance agent and see if you can afford the monthly premium. Visit www.evilsizor.co/insurance for a list of agents who specialize in trucking.
Not knowing the steps it takes before you’re legal to operate across state lines.
Be aware of the time line it takes before your authority is finally granted. The MC number and USDOT number is assigned right away but that doesn’t mean you can operate. It’s a minimum of 22 calendar days before your authority is granted.
Forgetting to file the required forms to activate the authority.
There are typically two filings that MUST be made before the FMCSA will grant your authority. The BOC-3 and Liability Insurance (for Motor Carriers) or Surety Bond (for Brokers).
Entering the states without proper credentials. State Permits for motor carriers are applied with each individual state must be secured BEFORE entering the states.