Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to do to get my USDOT Number and/or MC Number?
Apply for it. You may apply online with the FMCSA https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/applying-usdot-number-and-operating-authority or use us to complete the filing. New Authority Application
What does it cost?
The DOT Number is issued for free. The MC Number has a $300 fee. You will pay this fee to the FMCSA. We waive our filing fee for the DOT Number always, but you can also get your MC Number for free if you purchase one of our Complete Authority Packages.
What other services do you offer?
We complete the rest of your company setup including the LLC filing, EIN Number, BOC-3, UCR, IFTA License, IRP setup (apportioned plates), 2290 and more. We also help you pass your DOT Safety Audit by enrolling you into a Drug & Alcohol Consortium Pool, creating a Driver Qualification File and submitting the rest of the required documents to the FMCSA to complete the safety audit. Through our factoring program, we ensure you have the funds to run your business by getting you paid the same day you deliver your load. We also handle all of the back-office paperwork with your customers including the billing and collections. We offer ELD'S (Electronic Log Devices are mandatory for all commercial vehicles travel in a radius of 150 miles or more), a load board with thousands of new loads posted daily, and decal stickers so you can have your numbers mailed to you the day you get them. And once you are all setup and running, we will continue to keep your annual paperwork filed correctly and on-time all year long through 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 DOT Number immediately and the MC Number is issued within 24 hours after the DOT Number . To activate the MC Number, the FMCSA requires a 21 day protest period and you also must put insurance on file and a BOC-3. You have up to 90 days 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 the $300 fee.
Do I need to have a truck before I get my DOT and MC Numbers?
No, you do not need to have a truck before you get your DOT and MC Numbers. However, the FMCSA will not activate your authority after the mandatory 21 day protest period if you do not have insurance on file, which does require a truck. Also, some filings required for your authority need your truck information in order to file.
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.
Do I need a USDOT Number?
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 MC Number?
The MC number is the federal, interstate Motor Carrier Number issued from the FMCSA.
Do I need an MC Number?
All carriers crossing state lines are required to have an MC Number. The only exception is if you are a private property carrier.
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.
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).
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 required for interstate carriers over 26,000 lb.? (CDL required vehicles- semi's and heavy hot-shots)
IFTA License and Decal Stickers
IRP (Apportioned Plate Registration)
Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (IRS Form 2290) - if over 55,000 lbs.
Enrollment in a Drug Consortium Pool
Driver Qualification File for each driver
* For your specific requirements based on your state and unique situation, please give us a call. More or less may be required of you.
What is an LLC / Inc Filing and do I need it?
Businesses need to register their business name with the Secretary of States office in their state. This allows you to officially conduct business. One of the benefits for registering a business is only the assets owned in the name of the business are subject to the claims of business creditors, including lawsuits against the business. Every state has its own filing fees, they range from $75 - $500. You may file for it yourself or we can file it for you.
What is an EIN Number and do I need it?
An EIN Number is the Tax Identification Number for your business. It is required for LLC / Inc Corporations. You may file on the IRS website for free or we can file it for you. The IRS requires an EIN number for all 2290 filings.
What is the BOC-3 form and do I need it?
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. It is a required filing for any carrier with an MC Number.
What is the UCR and do I need it?
The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Program is a federally-mandated, state tax on interstate freight, collected annually. It is due each January. The state fee is $62 for 1-2 trucks, $185 for 3-5 trucks, $368 for 6-20 trucks and $1,283 for 21 -100 trucks. All commercial vehicles must file each year.
Included in our Annual Services Program
What is the Heavy Highway Use Tax (IRS Form 2290) and do I need it?
It is an annual, federal tax from the IRS for all heavy highway vehicles. It is required for all vehicles 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, your ACH information (the IRS does not accept credit cards) 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
My application is filed and I have my US DOT Number and MC Number. 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?
If you are an interstate carrier (intrastate carriers are not enrolled in the new entrant program) you will be required to have a DOT Safety Audit within the first 3-12 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. After you have answered their questions, they will then mail you another letter with a list of things you need to upload to them to pass the safety audit. They will not do a physical onsite inspection if you upload the documents they request.
Items they request:
1. Driver List - Name, birthday, date of hire, DL number, license state
2. Vehicle List - (tractors and trailers) - Unit numbers, VIN numbers and plate numbers
3. Proof of Insurance
4. Medical Card - for 1 driver
5. MVR - 3 year driving record from state DMV - for 1 driver - Included in the DQF
6. Copy of CDL
7. Drivers Record of duty for 30 consecutive days - documentation to include fuel receipts and ELD report or log book records
8. Annual Vehicle inspection from a DOT Certified shop
1. Enrollment in a Drug Consortium Program to include, pre- employment drug test (not required for GVW under 26k)- Included in the D&A Enrollment
We can help with the paperwork needed to pass the audit. A-La-Carte Application
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 26,000 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 paperwork or online instructions or we can file it for you for $170.00. The state will charge you about $10 per vehicle. A-La-Carte Application
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 26,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight or have 3 or more axles on the power unit. Your commercial DMV will get this setup for you or we can help you apply for it. A-La-Carte Application
What documents are required and how long does it take to register in the IRP Plan?
Your state's IRP Documents, 3 proofs of residency, title or title receipt, bill of sale, 2290, insurance and lease agreement (if applicable). We fill out the IRP docs and give you a list of needed items and submittal instructions. You will need to submit the paperwork to your state for them to start processing. Your state will take about 1-2 weeks. and they will not complete the setup until your authority is active.
What is the fee for IRP?
The fee depends on your state. But most fees are from $1,200 - $2,000 per truck.
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 (registration). You will need to renew your plates annually. Included in our Annual Services Program
How do I order my decals through Authority Express?
The quickest way is to fill out our Decal Order Form
You will be asked to provide the information that will be displayed on the side of the vehicle and to choose a color and a font.
How soon do I get my new decals?
We mail out your decal order within 24 hours. They are mailed via priority USPS in a cardboard tube. We track each package.
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 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. New Authority Application
What is required to stay legal all year long?
There are many annul filings due throughout the year. Let us take care of those for you, all for a low monthly cost.
Annual Services Program:
4 quarters of IFTA taxes - dues Jan. April. July and Oct
UCR Renewal - due Dec
IRS Form 2290 - due July
IFTA License Renewal - due Jan
IRP Renewal - varies, registrations lists the expiration date
Annual Services Price Tiers:
1-2 Trucks - $75/mo
3-10 Trucks - $115/mo
11-20 Trucks - $175/mo
Larger fleets call for custom pricing
*If you travel in the following states; NM, KY, NY you will need to file quarterly weight distance taxes for just $9 more a month we will take care of these for you.
*If you travel in OR, you will be required to report your miles monthly, we can do that for you for just $25 / mo.
Additional Services & our Filing Fees
DOT Number FREE
MC Number FREE (You are still responsible for the $300 government fee)
Create Business Entity $190
Obtain EIN Number $85
IFTA License $170
IRP Account Setup $220
Enrolled in Drug Consortium Pool $130
Driver Qualification File $150
TX DOT Number $130
CA Number & Permit $175
OR Weight Distance Permit $85
NM Weight Distance Permit $85
KY KYU Weight Distance Permit $85
NY HUT Weight Distance Permit $85
SCAC Code $85
DOT Update $85
Full Decals -Company Name, City & State, DOT & MC $50/ pair
DOT Decal Stickers $25/ pair
MC Decal Stickers $25/ pair
DOT & MC Decal Stickers $35/ pair
CA# Decal Stickers $25/ pair
TX# Decal Stickers $25/ pair
KYU# Decal Stickers $25/ pair
Annual Services 1-2 Trucks $75/ month
Annual Services 3-10 Trucks $115/ month
Annual Services 11-20 Trucks $175/ month