How To Get An MC Number
In order for you to start your own trucking business and participate in interstate commerce, you must have an active trucking authority. Whether you are transporting passengers or hauling freight loads, you are required to register with the FMCSA for your type of authority. You must have an active operating authority in all states to operate your business in the trucking industry.
Getting your motor carrier authority and starting your trucking company is a big step in your career and must be done correctly. If a step is missed or you make a mistake, it will delay you even longer from getting an MC number so you can get paid for hauling loads. This article will outline the steps you need to take to get an MC number.
Steps to follow to get an MC number
Register your trucking company
First thing's first, you must register your new trucking company in the state you plan to operate out of. Different states have different requirements, so it is important to know what to expect in the state you operate in. If you haven't already, you also have to decide on the business entity you will create for your trucking company. The most common entities are Limited Liability Companies and Sole Proprietorship's.
Get an EIN for your trucking company
If you create a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you must get an EIN that is issued by the IRS in order to operate your business. With a Sole Proprietorship, it is not mandatory to get an EIN number. If you decide not to get one, you have to operate your trucking business under your personal social security number. However, this is not recommended as it opens you up to potential fraud.
Get your USDOT number
You must register your trucking company with the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). A DOT number is your company's form of ID that freight brokers and shippers use to access your information if you haul for them. A DOT number provides company information such as vehicle type, type of operation, cargo, safety, and compliance. Every two years your DOT number must be renewed, or whenever you update your company information.
Get an MC Number
In order to participate in interstate commerce and cross state lines hauling loads, you must get an MC number. You must file for your MC authority and pay a filing fee before you can get on the road. You get your MC number immediately after you file, however it does not go active straight away. After the initial file, you'll have 20 business days to complete your BOC-3 and get an insurance policy for your trucking company. Two to three weeks after you have filed those with the FMCSA, your MC authority will become active.
It is extremely important to note that you cannot start to haul loads until you've filed your BOC-3 and insurance policy with the FMCSA, and your MC number goes active.
File your BOC-3 and get an insurance policy
The FMCSA requires that all trucking companies get a BOC-3 process agent in each state that can serve legal paperwork on your behalf. You must also make sure that you have an active insurance policy in place for your trucking authority to become active. Any changes that you make to your name, address, or phone number, must immediately be updated on your BOC-3 and insurance policy to prevent you from going on an inactive MC authority list.
Pay your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
Before you can set up your International Registration Plan (IRP), you must pay your HVUT. This is an annual tax for all heavy vehicle operating on the highways.
Set your International Registration Plan (IRP) up and get your apportioned plates
When you operate a trucking business within multiple jurisdictions, you must report all the miles driven and pay taxes on those miles annually. All vehicles that will be driven in more than one jurisdictions must be registered for the IRP. To register, you'll need your truck's VIN number, title information, purchase cost and date, and the make and model of your truck. Before registering, you also need to have an idea of what states you plan to haul in. You will receive your apportioned plates once you have paid the registration fee.
Create your International Fuel Tax Agreement account
An IFTA agreement is an agreement between the lower 48 states and Canadian provinces to simplify the reporting of fuel taxes. All trucks that operate in multiple jurisdictions must report their fuel taxes. At the end of the each fiscal quarter, you must complete a fuel tax that includes the miles traveled in participating jurisdictions and all fuel purchases made. You'll get your IFTA license and two decals for each vehicle that is registered.
Complete your Unified Carrier Registration (UCR)
A UCR verifies that your trucking company has an active insurance policy in the states you operate in. You must register all vehicles within the states they operate in and pay an annual fee based on how many trucks you have. You must renew your UCR every year.
Enroll in a drug and alcohol consortium
All drivers for your trucking company must register with a drug and alcohol testing center before being allowed to haul freight loads. All drivers must have negative drug screens before hiring carriers or driving themselves. This is a requirement from the FMCSA and USDOT.
All your compliance must be in order before you can start your trucking company and hire any carriers. Skipping a step or making a mistake will delay your operating authority from going active and you won't be able to haul any loads.
We can help you avoid all costly mistakes by filing your MC authority for you for free - all you need to do is pay the FMCSA required registration fee. Your trucking company will be up and running as soon as possible.