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Do I Need a USDOT Number?

What is a USDOT Number?

Companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Number. Also, commercial intrastate hazardous materials carriers who haul types and quantities requiring a safety permit must register for a USDOT Number.

The USDOT Number serves as a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a company's safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections. Click the button below to determine if you need a USDOT number:

You are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that:

  • Is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce


  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or

  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or

  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation;

AND is involved in Interstate commerce:

Trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—

  • Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);

  • Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or

  • Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.

You are required by FMCSA to obtain a USDOT Number and comply with the Federal Regulations.

It is the responsibility of motor carrier operators and drivers to know and comply with all applicable Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Safety compliance and safe operations translate into saved lives and protected property.  We believe the information in this package, when effectively applied, will contribute to safer motor carrier operations and highways.

States that Require a USDOT Number

Apart from federal regulations, some states require their intrastate commercial motor vehicle registrants to obtain a USDOT Number. These states include:

  • Alabama

  • Alaska

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Connecticut

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Hawaii

  • Idaho

  • Indiana

  • Iowa

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • Minnesota

  • Missouri

  • Montana

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • Nebraska

  • Nevada

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Oklahoma

  • Oregon

  • Pennsylvania

  • Puerto Rico

  • South Carolina

  • Texas

  • Utah

  • Washington

  • West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

  • Wyoming

For intrastate motor carrier registration, check with your responsible state agency.

What is a BOC-3 Blanket and Do I Need It?

Any new transportation company must file a BOC-3 before they can start operating within the United States, whether they plan to operate as a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder.

We understand that starting a new trucking company and doing all the administrative tasks that come with it can quickly become overwhelming, so in this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about BOC-3 filing and how to do it so you can get your vehicle(s) out on the road.

What Does BOC 3 Stand For?

BOC stands for “Blanket of Coverage,” and the BOC-3 is a form you must file to give the FMSCA proof that you have a process agent in each state you operate. It is essentially an official list of entities (usually companies, but sometimes individuals) who can receive legal documents on your behalf.

What is a BOC 3 Form?

A BOC-3 form is the form you must fill in with the names and addresses of those authorized to receive legal documents on behalf of your business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While it is possible to fill in a physical BOC-3 form, most filing is now done online.

What is BOC 3 Filing?

BOC-3 filing is simply the act of filling in and submitting your BOC-3 to the FMCSA. As we’ll learn shortly, in most cases, an agent will do this on your behalf.

Can I File My Own BOC 3?

It depends. If you are a motor carrier, only a BOC-3 designation of process agent can file for you, and it must be filed online.

However, if you are a freight forwarder or broker that does not own and operate CMVs (commercial vehicles) you can file your BOC-3 yourself with a physical paper copy.

What is a BOC 3 Process Agent?

A BOC-3 process agent, also known as an FMCSA agent, is an individual or business appointed by you to receive legal documents on your behalf. This means that should you receive a summons, complaint, or another form of legal communication; they will receive that information first.

You need to have a BOC-3 designation of process agent in each state you operate in. That means that if you operate in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, you’ll need a BOC-3 agent in each state (so 4 BOC-3 agents in total).

Your BOC-3 process agents must also be available at that address during normal business hours (This is essentially the same as needing to have a registered agent in each state you operate in when you have an LLC).

Note that some organizations can cover you in multiple states, so your BOC-3 process agent may represent you in all the states you operate in. This is often the easiest way to file your BOC-3.

Do I Really Need FMCSA BOC 3 Process Agents?

In many cases, you are legally required to elect process agents to act on your behalf, so yes, you do. Even if you aren’t, working with FMCSA BOC-3 process agents is a good idea. While their services range depending on who you work with, many provide a range of services that make your life easier and less stressful, such as legal counsel, communication with the FMCSA, and assistance in staying on top of your business’s administrative tasks, helping you avoid fines. They also file hundreds of BOC-3 forms, so they know exactly what is necessary.

How to Fill Out a BOC 3 Form

If you’re a motor carrier, then your BOC-3 process agent(s) will need to fill out your form(s) for you. Whether you’re able to file it yourself or not, you’ll need the following information:

  • Name and address of the trucking company


  • The name and title of the person authorized to sign on behalf of the company


  • The name and address of the FMCSA BOC-3 process agent(s) for each state

Do I Need to File a BOC 3 Form?

If you don’t have a BOC-3 process agent and are planning to operate a trucking company in the US, as a motor carrier, freight forwarder, or broker, you need to file a BOC-3 form.

When Should You Refile a BOC 3 Agent Processing Form?

You should refile your BOC-3 any time there is a name change, transfer of authority, or another change to the details you provided on your BOC-3.

How do I File a BOC-3?

To file your BOC-3, you need to choose your BOC-3 processing agents. In most cases, it’s going to be easiest for you to do this with a “Blanket Legal Entity,” which is essentially a company that can represent you in all 50 states, leaving you free to operate your business as you wish. This is also the most cost-effective way to move forward, as you don’t have to waste time finding different BOC-3 agents and paying their various fees.

We provide a fast and easy filing process here at Foley, so if you want to simply enter your details and sit back and relax, we’re here to help. We’re happy to handle the entire process for you so you can focus on getting your new company up and running.

What is Freight Forwarder (FF) Number in Trucking? How to get it.

What is Freight Forwarder authority?

Freight Forwarder (FF) Number is an authority granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to individuals, partnerships, or corporations to operate a business in interstate or foreign commerce. 

Freight Forwarders are responsible to arrange, assemble, and/or consolidate the transportation whereas the actual movement is performed by the FMCSA-Licensed carrier. They also issue bills of lading to shippers and are responsible for loss of or damage of goods.

To carry out freight forwarding services, the carrier must have a valid FMCSA authorized FF Number and a surety bond of $75,000.

How to get a Freight Forwarder (FF) Number

For an applicant to register as a Freight Forwarder, he has to visit the Unified Registration System (URS) as of December 2015. Now the applicant must provide information like the freight forwarder application form (OP-1 FF) and USDOT number, if applicable. Alternatively, you can contact a reliable service provider like DOT Compliance Group to do it for you.

There is a fee for each type of registration. If you want to register for freight forwarder authority for both household goods and property, you have to pay the fee for both.

It takes approximately 3 weeks to receive a grant letter from the date the application is mailed.

If the applicant has applied online the FF number will be issued immediately and will receive the grant letter within 15 days.

The grant letter received from FMCSA will include FF Number. This number will help you to get both a surety bond or trust fund agreement and insurance.

Simultaneously the FMCSA will publish the application in the FMCSA register. During this protest period (10 days) anyone can file objections with FMCSA stating why you should not obtain an FF Number.

The next step is to submit insurance policies. The insurance company must file the appropriate insurance forms within 90 days after receiving the grant letter and the date the notice of application is published in the FMCSA register.

Depending upon the functions an applicant wants to perform, the insurance company will file one or more of these forms on your behalf:

  • BMC-34: This form is for cargo liability 

  • BMC-91 or BMC-91X: This form is for bodily injury and property damage

  • BOC-3: You have to pick a process agent to file BOC-3 on your behalf. A process agent is a representative upon whom a court paper may be served in any proceedings. This form has to be filed within 20 days after the grant letter is mailed and the date the notice of application is published in the FMCSA register.

  • BMC-84 or BMC-85: This form is to get a surety bond (BMC-84) or trust fund agreement (BMC-85). Both of these cover the $75,000 requirement. 

Trust fund agreement is frequently used by large brokers and carriers. The applicant will pay the full $75,000 into a fund that cannot be accessed by him. 

Freight broker surety bond is frequently used by new brokers and carriers who don’t have much capital to work with. The applicant will pay a percentage of the $75,000 as a yearly premium.

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