Please see below for frequently asked questions. Questions are broken down under categories. If you do not see your question(s), feel free to contact us and we will get you an answer as soon as possible.
Q: What is the difference between common and contract operating authority?
A: Common Carrier Authority is the right to withhold services to perform transportation for the general public on an on-call basis. Insurance Requirements include a minimum amount of $750,000.00 in general liability (BIPD) and $10,000.00 in cargo coverage.
Contract Carrier Authority is when a carrier enters into an oral or written contract with a broker (or shipper) to transport a stipulated amount of freight for a stipulated price over a predetermined period of time. Insurance requirements for this is a minimum amount of $750,000.00 in general liability (BIPD).
Q: What is the difference between interstate and intrastate commerce?
A: Interstate Commerce refers to the purchase, sale or exchange of commodities, transportation of people, money or goods, and navigation of waters between different states. Interstate commerce is regulated by the federal government as authorized under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. If you are operating in Interstate Commerce, you must comply with all federal and state regulations and registrations. You are also subject to IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) and IRP (International Registration Plan). Intrastate Commerce is the act of purchase, sale or exchange of commodities, transportation of people, money or goods while keeping all transactions in a single state. If operating in Intrastate commerce only, the following federal regulations are mandatory: CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) for drivers operating vehicles over 26,000 lbs., Drug and Alcohol testing for CDL drivers and Financial responsibility for transportation of certain hazardous materials/substances.
Q: How does a carrier, either private or for-hire carrier, know when they can begin actual operations?
A: Operations are only authorized when your MC number goes active and you have received a certificate of authority. It comes by mail and normally takes (3) to (7) days. We can provide you with this the day you become active. Just call our office and request a quick permit.
You are allowed to operate under your US DOT number as a private motor carrier.
NOTE: It takes a MINIMUM of at least (45) to (60) business days for your operating authority to become active. There is NO way to speed up this process.
Q: How do I obtain the service date of my Operating Authority?
A: Copy and paste: http://www.safer.fmcsa.dot.gov and follow the steps below:
— At the bottom of the page, select ‘Licensing & Registration’
— Enter your MC number,
— Verify you are not a bot by copying the letters/numbers into the box (this is not case sensitive)
— Select ‘Search’,
— To your right, under ‘View Details’, select ‘HTML’,
— Scroll to menu bar at bottom of page and select ‘Authority History’,
— This page will show the granted date for Operating Authority.
Q: Can I transfer my operating authority?
A: Yes, call our office for more details as there are more requirements to have this done. Please note should a transfer of authority occur, safety registration and US DOT numbers are non-transferable.
US DOT Numbers:
Q: Will I need separate US DOT numbers for each of my vehicles?
A: No. Each business must have its own US DOT number. All vehicles in your business will use the same US DOT number.
Q: Does a biennial update have to be in the month based on your US DOT number or just in the year of the number (odd/even)?
A: The month AND year indicate when a carrier’s biennial update is due. You are required to provide this update every two years even if your company has not changed its information, has ceased interstate operations since the last update, or is no longer in business and you did not notify FMCSA.
Q: If someone is due for their biennial update in, say, January. How early can they do this online and have it count as their biennial update and not just a census change? Or does it HAVE to be done within the month it is due to count?
A: Consistent with the regulation, FMCSA requires that it be completed during the specific month and year based on the last two digits of the US DOT number.
Unified Carrier Registration (UCR)
Q: What is UCR?
A: UCR is for registering operators of vehicles engages in interstate commerce and replaces the Single State Registration System (SSRS).
Q: Are there differences between UCR and SSRS?
A: Yes. Most notably, UCR applies to not only for-hire motor carriers but rather to all operators of commercial motor vehicles. This includes carriers carrying their own goods and products across state lines AND carriers transporting interstate goods even if your vehicles do not leave the state.
Q: Will the registration apply to individual vehicles or will a single registration
apply to the entire fleet?
A: One registration, based on fleet size, applies to all vehicles registered under
your US DOT number.
Q: What if I have offices in other states besides the state I’m headquarted in (ex.: North Carolina)?
A: If your primary base of operation is North Carolina, you declare NC as your “base state” and register your entire fleet (including those vehicles located/operated in other states) once, in this state.
Q: What is the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula?
A: The Federal Bridge Formula limits the weight on groups of axles in order to reduce the risk of damage to highways and bridges. Allowable weight depends on the number of axles a vehicle has and the distance between those axles.