faq - frequently asked questions
Q. What do I need to get my own authority?
A. To transport freight across state lines, for hire, you will need to obtain your Interstate Authority. The requirements are based on the GVWR of the vehicles.
Private and Exempt for hire carriers are subject to all of the above registrations except for the MC number. Private carriers only transport their own products, goods or materials including tools and service trucks. Exempt for hire carriers only transport exempt or non-regulated commodities.
Q. How do I determine my GVWR?
A. The GVWR is your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and it is the maximum total weight of the truck or truck and trailer combination, fully loaded. This GVWR is the weight the truck must be registered for and determines which regulations and registrations apply to your operation. Trucks usually have a sticker on the driver's door edge or the door frame which will state the GVWR of the truck or power unit. Trailers will have a sticker or metal plate on their frame stating the GVWR. You add the GVWR rating of the truck and trailer together to determine the total GVWR.
Q. I only use my truck to transport my tools, my own products or equipment in my home state. I'm not a trucking company. What do I need?
A. The USDOT defines all vehicles, 10,000 lbs GVWR and over, that are used to transport cargo, tools, equipment, products, etc.,in furtherance or support of any business as CMV's (Commercial Motor Vehicles. You will need a USDOT number. If you operate a pickup truck and a trailer, you will be over the 10,000 lbs and will also need your US DOT #.
Q. Will I need to have separate US DOT numbers for each of my trucks?
A. No. Each business can only have one US DOT number. You use the same number for all your trucks.
Q. What is the UCR?
A. The UCR is the Unified Carrier Registration. This is the program that replaced the SSRS (Single State Registration System). If you have a USDOT number and travel to other states, you are required to have a current UCR registration unless you are leased to another motor carrier operating under their MC number. Brokers are also required to complete the UCR. The UCR registers your operations with all the states and the fine for not having your UCR can be $300.00 - $500.00.
Q. What is the difference between a Common carrier and a Contract carrier?
A. As of March 21, 2011, there is no difference between a Common or Contract carrier. Liability insurance is the only required insurance filing for either type of authority.
Q. After my application for my authority is filed, what else needs to be done to activate my authority?
A. We will file everything for you except your proof of insurance. The FMCSA will only accept this filing from your insurance company and they will use your MC number to do this filing for you.
Q. My application is filed and I have my US DOT and MC #’s. Can I begin operations?
A. Not until your authority becomes active. If you are stopped by a DOT officer, and your authority is not active, he can place you Out of Service and fine you $1,000 to $10,000.
Q. Will I need anything else to travel in the 48 states?
A. 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 you are required to either have a temporary or a permanent permit. In most cases, the permanent permit will be less expensive in the long run.