Frequently Asked Questions
What is a USDOT Number?
The USDOT Number is a federal, intrastate number that serves as an identifier when collecting and monitoring a company’s safety information.
A USDOT Number is required if you have:
Vehicles that are over 10,000 lbs, that transport goods for compensation
If you transport between 9 and 15 passengers (including the driver) for compensation,
If you transport 16 or more passengers, or
Haul hazardous materials in interstate commerce
What is an Authorized For-Hire Carrier?
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 and travel interstate, in addition to the USDOT Number you will also need to obtain Operating Authority (MC Number). The MC number is the federal, interstate Motor Carrier Number issued from the FMCSA.
What do I need to do to get my DOT Number and/or MC Number?
Apply for it. You may apply online with the FMCSA or use a company like ours to complete the filing.
What is required for interstate carriers over 26,001 lb.?
BOC-3 form filed
IFTA License and Decal Stickers
Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (IRS Form 2290)
Enrollment in a Drug Consortium Pool
Driver Qualification File for each CDL Driver
* For your specific requirements based on your situation please give us a call. More or less may be required of you.
What is the difference between interstate and intrastate commerce?
Interstate commerce is transportation involving the crossing of a state boundary. Intrastate commerce is transportation within a single state.
How do I determine my GVW?
The GVW is your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and it is the maximum total weight of the truck and trailer combination, fully loaded.
What is the BOC-3 form?
The BOC-3 (Blanket of Coverage) form is to designate a process agent for you in all 50 states. A process agent is a representative upon whom court papers may be served in any proceeding brought against a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder.
What is the UCR Program?
The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Program is a federally-mandated, state tax on interstate freight, collected annually.
Included in our Annual Services Program
What is the Heavy Highway Use Tax (IRS Form 2290)?
It is an annual, federal tax from the IRS for all heavy highway vehicles. Heavy means any vehicle over 55,000 lbs. It costs $550 year. It is due each July and is good through June 30th. It is prorated $46 a month if you need it any other month. You need company information including the EIN Number. your vehicles VIN, and your GVW to complete the filing. The fine for not having it is 4.5% of the total tax due. Included in our Annual Services Program
How long does this process take?
We submit your application online to the FMCSA the same day we receive it. The FMSCA issues the Motor Carrier Number (MC Number) immediately but they take 2-3 weeks to active the MC number. You will be required to put insurance on file before they will activate it. You have up to 9 months to put insurance on file. If you don’t, put insurance on file within that time frame the FMCSA will dismiss your application and you will have to reapply and repay them the $300 fee.
My application is filed and I have my US DOT and MC #’s. Can I begin operations?
Your DOT number is active immediately and you may run intrastate but you will need to wait until the FMCSA activates your MC Number before you will be legal to run interstate.
What is the DOT Safety Audit?
You will be required to have a DOT Safety Audit within the first 12 months of activation. You will be notified of an upcoming audit by mail. The letter will instruct you to call the FMCSA to verify company information. They will then mail you another letter with a list of things you need to have on file to pass the safety audit. You will need to answer the questions and provide any requested documentation. They do not do a physical vehicle inspection for hauling cargo, only if you haul passengers.
A couple of important items you will need to have on file;
1. Enrollment in a Drug Consortium Program to include, pre- employment drug test
2. DOT medical card
3. Driver Qualification File for each CDL driver to include MVR Report for 3 years
4. Daily vehicle inspection sheets (if you have more than one truck and trailer).
5. DOT Certified annual inspection of truck.
6. Drug and Alcohol Policy Manual
7. Supervisor Training Program. (This is required if you have more than one driver).
We can help with the paperwork needed to pass the audit.
What is IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) and the requirements?
IFTA Fuel Tax Reporting is required for any vehicle crossing state lines with GVW/GVWR over 26,001 lbs. The IFTA agreement states that you will pay the taxes the state charges at the pump on any mileage run in that state even if you did not purchase fuel there.
Under the IFTA, you are issued an IFTA license and one set of IFTA decals per truck, which will allow you to operate in all other IFTA jurisdictions. You will have to have IFTA decals for the current year. The previous years decals expire in January.
Buying fuel in a “cheaper” state does not mean that you are saving money. This is called “fuel tax equalization” between states. It is important that you retain all of your fuel receipts, so that you can prove when, where and how much fuel you purchased during any given tax period. If you use a fuel card, it will keep track of the gallons of fuel purchased in each state.
How do I file for my IFTA License and Decals?
You can visit your states IFTA Department for the requirements or we can file it for you for $115.00.
When are IFTA Reports Due?
TAX RETURN REPORTING QUARTERS (Any Given Year) – DUE DATES:
Quarter 1: January thru March – Due by April 30
Quarter 2: April thru June – Due by July 31
Quarter 3: July thru September – Due by October 31
Quarter 4: October thru December – Due by January 31
An IFTA quarterly tax return MUST be filed even if the licensee does not operate or purchase fuel in any IFTA jurisdiction in any particular quarter. Included in our Annual Services Program
Who is required to register in the International Registration Plan (IRP)?
An IRP account is required for companies that have vehicles crossing state lines that are over 26,001 lbs. gross vehicle weight or have 3 or more axles on the power unit. Your commercial DMV will get this setup for you.
What will I receive once I have the IRP account setup?
You will receive your Apportioned License Plate for your power unit and an Apportioned Cab Card that lists the states/provinces you have registered your vehicle to operate in. You will need to renew your plates annually. Included in our Annual Services Program
Will I need anything else to travel in the 48 states?
There are 4 states that have their own weight distance tax permits. They are Kentucky, New Mexico, New York and Oregon. If you will travel through any of these states and are over 26,000 lbs. (18,000 for NY) you are required to either have a temporary or a permanent permit. If you frequently run in the state, the permanent permit will be less expensive in the long run. You will be required to file the weight distance taxes every quarter at the same time as you file your IFTA taxes. Included in our Annual Services Program for an additional fee
If you are a resident of TX or CA and are over 26,001 lb., you will be required to have intrastate authority. Commonly called the TX DOT Number and the CA Number.
What is the definition of Broker Authority?
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 apply for broker authority and have a surety bond on file.