5. Apply For Your Authority
Getting your authority is a fairly simple matter when it comes to the grand scope of things. Basically you will be completing forms based on the type of hauling you are doing and how your company is setup. There will be several forms for your Interstate authority. Basically the FMCSA site will offer you Guided or Unguided help in telling you which forms and filings you will need. It is best to go ahead and take the Guided approach.</P>
LINK --> FMCSA Registration System
After you have completed the short questionaire, you should be told of which things you will need...
Don't start freaking out yet... This is what everyone will see. These are the requirements you will have to meet to have your authority activated. A little farther down you will see a button to 'Register Online'. If you are ready, go ahead and click it. What the system does not tell you is that you will also need a credit card or debit card for two different reasons. First the system uses your credit card to establish your identity and second it will eventually charge your card the $300 to process the application. The registration fees are non-refundable, so you better make sure you are ready. The clock start ticking once you have submitted the paperwork.
If you are not prepared to pay for your insurance and the other associated items, do not register at this time. Once you have submitted your paperwork, you have just under 21 days to meet all of the requirements listed above. There is a 21 day wait for authorities to go active anyway, but if the listed requirements are not met your authority immediatly goes into a suspended/revoked status. If that happens you will have to basically start over. You wouldn't really be starting over since you can only hold one USDOT number, but you will have to jump through some hoops to get it restarted. This is not the scope of this guide, so we will skip those details for now.
If you have insurance lined up and a company ready to accept your money, you can begin. Complete the forms as truthfully as possible. You will not be handling 'hazmat materials' as definted to require any hazardous material filings. So continue on and complete the forms and pay your $300. If you have questions, you can contact someone here to answer questions you may have. Make sure you write down/print the resulting MCS-150 form since it will include your USDOT number and your 'docket' number. Your docket number will be your MC when activated.
Once you have completed the forms, the clock is now ticking. You will have just under 21 days to secure and have your insurance filings sent to the FMCSA. Once you completed your forms, your application will appear in the FMCSA register as a new filing. Be prepared for your phone to start ringing and your mailbox will be full of junkmail.
Now will be the time to complete the list. Insurance filings and BOC-3 agents will be the next items. So now you will call the insurance agent to activate you insurance. Typically I would suggest waiting approximatelly one week before activating your insurance. Most companies will report to the FMCSA electronically at the end of the day, so it should take 1-2 days to get the requirement filled for insurance. There is no reason to insure from day one since you will not be active for 21 days, so save the money a little longer and make your insurance cover you for more of your active time before the next payment is due.
See the next section in regards to Process Agents(BOC-3 Filings)