US DOT Authority
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Semi-Tractor or Flatbed Truck

Semi-Tractor or Flatbed Truck

Semi-Tractor      Flatbed Truck

Semi-Tractor                                  Flatbed Truck

Call us at (765) 742-2610 for US DOT Authority

US DOT Authority: 

  • US DOT Authority: When you are 'For-Hire' and haul loads across state lines for pay, most loads you haul across state lines will require US DOT Authority from the Federal Government in Washington. You will require this US DOT Authority if you haul loads across state lines as a For-Hire carrier and get paid to haul these loads in a van, a pickup truck, pickup truck towing a trailer, straight truck, straight truck towing a trailer, or a semi-tractor and trailer. It doesn't matter which of these vehicles you drive, you will need US DOT Authority to cross state lines.  The main difference in the application for US DOT Authority is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of a vehicle such as a van, pickup truck or truck, or the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (CGVWR) of a power unit and trailer such as a pickup truck pulling a trailer, truck and trailer or semi-tractor and trailer. Where the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), or Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (CGVWR) of of the power unit and trailer are 10,000-lbs or under in the application for US DOT Authority, you will need a minimum of $300,000 in Personal Injury / Property Damage liability insurance. If the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle, or the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (CGVWR) of the vehicles are 10,001-lbs or greater when applying for US DOT Authority, the requirement is for a minimum of $750,000 Personal Injury / Property Damage liability insurance. MC Authority is the official name used for US DOT Authority. In the process of applying for US DOT Authority, you will need a USDOT number. If you already have a USDOT number, you will need a PIN number for the application for US DOT Authority

Exempt from US DOT Authority Requirements:  

  • Farmer with farm plates:  US DOT Authority not required. A farmer with a farm-plated truck crossing state lines does not need US DOT Authority. A farmer driving a farm-plated van or pickup truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000-lbs or less, or a pickup truck pulling a trailer with Combined gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (CGVWR) of 10,000-lbs or less across state lines is not required to have a USDOT number or register for US DOT Authority. If the truck has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001-lbs or more, he will need a USDOT number, but will not need to register for US DOT Authority. If the truck is pulling a trailer, or a semi-tractor pulling a trailer with Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (CGVWR) of 10,001-lbs or more, he will need a USDOT number, but not US DOT Authority.  In addition to a USDOT number, if the farm-plated truck, or farm plated truck pulling a trailer exceeds 26,000-lbs crossing state lines, you will need to register with the state for IFTA fuel tax but, again, not US DOT Authority. If you have a farm-plated semi-tractor and trailer crossing state lines, you will need to register for a USDOT number and IFTA fuel tax but not US DOT Authority. The state IFTA fuel tax offices ar listed down the left side of this page. 
  • Private Carrier hauling their own products:  US DOT Authority is not required. Manufacturers and other businesses hauling their own products across state lines in any vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,000-lbs or less, or a vehicle pulling a trailer with Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (CGWR) of 10,000-lbs or less is not required to have a USDOT number or register for US DOT Authority. If the vehicle crossing state lines has a GVWR of 10,001-lbs or more, or the truck or semi-tractor is pulling a trailer with the CGVWR of 10,001-lbs or more, a USDOT number is required but not US DOT Authority.  
  • For-Hire Carrier hauling exempt products across state lines:  US DOT Authority is not required. If a Carrier is hauling exempt commodities across state lines such as corn, livestock or logs to a lumber mill, and the truck has a gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000-lbs or less, a USDOT number is not required, and US DOT Authority is also not required. But if the truck has a GVWR of 10,001-lbs or more, or the power unit pulling a trailer have CGVWR of 10,001-lbs or more, the carrier is required to have a USDOT number, but not US DOT Authority.

US DOT Authority Requirements: To obtain US DOT Authority, you will need a USDOT Number, register for the BOC-3 List of Process Agents and carry Personal Injury / Property Damage liability insurance. For US DOT Authority / Common Authority, you will also need Cargo Insurance to cover the value of any cargo you will be carrying. The time span for the application for US DOT Authority is around 21 days. When applying for US DOT Authority, a USDOT Number is required. In the application process, a Docket Number will be issued, but US DOT Authority will not be granted until the Feds have the items they need for the US DOT Authority. Once US DOT Authority has been granted, a letter of authority will be issued to carry in the truck or trucks. Once your US DOT Authority has been granted, registration for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) process will be required. Once you have your US DOT Authority, you will go through a New Entrant Carrier Safety Audit process.  Typically, a member of the State Police, Motor Carrier section will visit you and spend 3 - 4 hours going over all the items concerning Safety you need to have in place as a Motor Carrier that has been issued US DOT Authority. Within these items concerning safety are 16 Critical Items that need to satisfy the Safety Auditor. If you fail any of these 16 Critical Items, you will fail the Safety Audit. If you fail the Safety Audit, your US DOT Authority will be taken away from you and you will lose it. We are told that half of the truckers that go through the interviews will fail the Safety Audit because they do not have all 16 Critical Items in place. You just need to fail one of these 16 Critical Items and you lose your US DOT Authority.

Time Scale for the Application for US DOT Authority:   The process of obtaining your US DOT Authority usually takes between 21 and 24 days, but can take much longer if there is a delay in submitting the required documentation. If the application for US DOT Authority is submitted and payment is made with a credit or debit card, and proof of liability insurance and the BOC-3 List of Process Agents is submitted on a timely basis, the US DOT Authority application process will take 21 - 24 days to complete. If a check is used to pay the Feds for the application for the US DOT Authority, the process could take several weeks as the check has to clear your bank before the process starts. When the Feds in Washington receive copies of the insurance forms for your US DOT Authority, 7 days are added to the date the forms were received before US DOT Authority could be granted. Whichever comes last - the 21 day application process, or the 7 day time period after receipt of the insurance forms is when US DOT Authority will be granted.

US DOT Authority Docket Number: When you apply for US DOT Authority, you will be assigned both a USDOT Number and a Docket Number (you may already have a USDOT Number, in which case this number will be used for the application process). This Docket Number will be used as a reference number during the application process. Once you have been granted US DOT Authority, this Docket Number will then be used as your US DOT Authority number. Once your US DOT Authority has been granted, you can legally start hauling loads. Be careful when you start hauling loads. Make sure you have the Letter of Authority (or a copy of the Letter of Authority) with you in your truck, as some scale-masters may penelize you if you cannot show them this letter. If you apply for US DOT Authority / Common Authority, this letter is called a Certificate of Authority. If you apply for US DOT Authority / Contract Authority, the letter is called a Permit. When your US DOT Authority is granted, your letter of authority will take 7 - 10 days to reach you at your mailing address. Again, you will need this letter, or a copy of this letter in your truck to start hauling loads. Many scalemasters do not consider you have US DOT Authority unless they can actually see this letter.  We can arrange for this letter to be faxed to you either on the day your US DOT Authority is granted, or by the following day. 

Personal Injury / Property Damage Liability Insurance required in the Application for US DOT Authority:  In the application for US DOT Authority, if the weight of the loaded vehicle, or the combined weights of both the power unit and the trailer is 10,000-lbs or less and you are hauling non-hazardous loads on a For-Hire basis across state lines, you are required to carry a minimum of $300,000 in Personal Injury / Property Damage liability insurance when you are granted US DOT Authority. If you are applying for US DOT Authority with a truck with a GVWR of 10,001-lbs or more, or a power unit pulling a trailer with CGVWR of 10,001-lbs or more hauling non-hazardous material, for the application for US DOT Authority, you are required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in Personal Injury / Property Damage liability insurance. With US DOT Authority involving hazardous loads at any weight, you will be required to carry between $1 million and $5 million in liability insurance. 

Cargo Insurance required for US DOT Authority:   When an application for US DOT Authority with Common Authority is made, you are required to carry a minimum of $5,000 in Cargo Insurance. In reality, you will need to have sufficient cargo insurance to cover the value of the cargo at the time an application for is made for US DOT Authority. When an application for US DOT Authority / Contract Authority is made, you are not required to show proof of Cargo Insurance. You may be hauling sand, gravel, stone etc across state lines and may not need cargo insurance. If you have a dedicated contract with one shipper who will provide cargo insurance on the loads, Contract Authority can be applied for. Otherwise you will need Common Authority in the application for US DOT Authority

New Entrant Safety Audit with the application for US DOT Authority:

When you apply for US DOT Authority, you will be required to go through a New Entrant Safety Audit. After submitting the application documents for US DOT Authority to Washington, the USDOT will send you a letter asking you to make a call to (888) 877-2181. When you make that call, you will need to give them your USDOT number, or MC number associated with the application for US DOT Authority. The USDOT will then contact the state Police, Motor Carrier Division and let them know you have called them about the Safety Audit. Somone from the State Police, Motor Carrier Division will then call you and set up a time and date for a New Entrant Safety Audit.  

New carrier entrant audits look for “deadly sins”

Catholicism has its seven sins considered fatal to spiritual progress — lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. Now
 US DOT Authority has 16 sins considered fatal to a new motor carrier’s progress in the business.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has raised the bar for passing a new carrier safety audit.  In December 2008, the agency announced that a new carrier will automatically fail an audit if it has committed any of 16 violations. For 14 of the violations it’s “one strike and you’re out.” For two of them — failing to require a driver to make a record of duty status and using a commercial motor vehicle not periodically inspected (the annual inspection requirement) – violations must have been discovered 51% of the time in trips audited.

New carriers with US DOT Authority who commit the violations risk losing their operating authority if the problem is not soon corrected. The regulation went into effect February 17, 2009.

All new interstate motor carriers are considered a ‘New Entrant’ for 18 months after they register for US DOT Authority with the FMCSA and receive a U.S. DOT number. New carriers are required to pass a safety audit within this period of time. A carrier who fails an audit is notified within 45 days and given 60 days to correct the problem or lose its US DOT Authority. Passenger carriers and hazmat haulers are given only 45 days to correct violations. Once the FMCSA revokes the authority and issues an out-of-service order, the new entrant must wait 30 days before again applying for US DOT Authority and starting the process all over.

New carrier entrant audits are usually conducted at the carrier’s place of business, although group audits can be arranged. It takes 2-4 hours as auditors ask 72 safety-related questions, including 19 related to hazardous materials. They check compliance with requirements related to insurance, accident records, equipment and maintenance records, driver qualifications, CDL license standards, driver records of duty status, drug and alcohol testing, and hazardous materials, if applicable.

The new entrant audit for US DOT Authority was originally designed to stress education before enforcement. In the past it was a pass/fail audit that very few failed. If an auditor found critical safety problems it triggered a formal Safety Compliance Review. A carrier could still pass, for example, even if it did not have a drug and alcohol-testing program or had not implemented random testing.

Under the new rules a carrier automatically fails if an auditor finds a single occurrence of these violations.

FMCSA looked back at audits conducted in a recent five year period and estimated that 47.9% would have been failures under the new rules. Since about 40,000 audits are done each year, which means more than 19,000 new entrants could now fail annually. “One would not necessarily expect such a high failure rate to persist after the rule is implemented,” FMCSA noted in a December 2008 Federal Register notice. “Upon implementation of this rule, many carriers will take the appropriate action to pass the stricter new entrant safety audit, and the actual failure rate will be significantly lower.”

The following are the safety regulations, which are being called the “16 deadly sins” that will result in the failure of a new motor carrier entrant audit, or Safety Audit for US DOT Authority:

  1. Failing to implement an alcohol and / or controlled substances testing program:  ‘No employer shall allow a driver, who the employer intends to hire or use, to perform a safety-sensitive function (driving a truck) until the driver has received a negative controlled substance test result’.  Suggestion:  The owner / driver of the truck who has been granted US DOT Authority take a drug / alcohol test and keep the test results for the Safety Audit as proof you have implemented an alcohol and / or controlled substance testing program. 
  2. Using a driver known to have an alcohol content of 0.04 or greater to perform a safety-sensitive function.
  3. Using a driver who has refused to submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test required under Part 382.
  4. Using a driver known to have tested positive for a controlled substance.
  5. Failing to implement a random controlled substances and/or alcohol testing program.
  6. Knowingly using a driver who does not possess a valid CDL driver’s license.
  7. Knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing an employee with a commercial driver’s license, which is suspended, revoked, or canceled by a state or who is disqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  8. Knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing a driver to drive who is disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
  9. Operating a motor vehicle without having in effect the required minimum levels of financial responsibility coverage (liability insurance; and cargo insurance if required).
  10. Operating a passenger-carrying vehicle without having in effect the required minimum levels of financial responsibility coverage (liability insurance).
  11. Knowingly using a disqualified driver.
  12. Knowingly using a physically unqualified driver.
  13. Failing to require a driver to make a record of duty status, such as logbooks.
  14. Requiring or permitting the operation of a commercial motor vehicle declared "out-of-service" before repairs are made.
  15. Failing to correct out-of-service defects listed by the driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before the vehicle is operated again.
  16. Using a commercial motor vehicle not periodically inspected.

The Name of Your US DOT Authority:  Before you apply for US DOT Authority, you need to have a name to use for your US DOT Authority. There are several ways you can name your trucking business and US DOT Authority. The basic way is to have your name as the business name. You can also add a d/b/a (Doing Business As) to your name, and have this d/b/a name showing on the signs on your truck after you get your US DOT Authority. If you go this route, most states require you to register the d/b/a name at your local county courthouse or county offices.  In the process of applying for your US DOT Authority, the d/b/a name needs to be entered.  Your insurance policy associated with the application for US DOT Authority needs to also show your name followed by the d/b/a name, otherwise there will be a conflict in the application process and the application for your US DOT Authority will be held up until both the full application name and the insurance policy name match exactly.

To become an LLC or to Incorporate for your US DOT Authority:  The name you use for your US DOT Authority can be your personal name, your personal name followed by a d/b/a name, or you can become a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Incorporate when you register for US DOT Authority. You need to Incorporate or register as an LLC before establising your US DOT Authority. If you apply for your US DOT Authority before Incorporating or becoming an LLC, this may create problems if you use the LLC name or Corporate name in the application for your US DOT Authority as the name may already be registered with the Secretary of State. First register the LLC / Corporate name with the SOS and then apply for US DOT Authority. Briefly, by becoming an LLC or Incorporating, this sets up a limited amount of liablity protection for your personal assets. This will not neccessarily protect your US DOT Authority business from liability (beyond the liability amounts covered by the Personal Injury / Property Damge liability insurance amount registered with your US DOT Authority), but it may protect your personal assets from a liability lawsuit.  Before applying for US DOT Authority, you will need to register the LLC or Corporate name with the Secretary of State and obtain an EIN Federal Identification Number (we can do this). The name you choose for you trucking business and US DOT Authority needs to be a unique name that is not already registered with the Secretary of State.  If you want to go this route, we should be able to register for the US DOT Authority name and get you a Federal ID Number.  Again, this needs to be done before the application for US DOT Authority starts. There is something else to consider when doing this. If you already have a USDOT Number in your personal name, do you want to assign this USDOT Number to the LLC or Corporate name when you apply for US DOT Authority, or do you want to get a different and separate USDOT Number for the LLC or Corporate name when you apply for your US DOT Authority. If you already have an IRP license plate in your name from the IRP office, the plate was issued in both your personal name and a USDOT Number associated with your personal name. The two go together. By assigning this USDOT Number to the new LLC name or Corporate name when you apply for US DOT Authority, you will be moving the USDOT Number from one legal entity (you, and your Social Security Number and/or personal Federal ID Number you use for your 2290 Federal highway Use Tax) to a different legal entity (the new LLC or Corporate name with it's own new EIN Federal ID Number when you apply for US DOT Authority). This could cause a problem with your IRP license plate. If you decide to use the same USDOT Number you currently have associated with your personal name and assign it to the LLC or Corporate name, you will no longer have a USDOT Number assigned to your personal name, and you need this number in association with your IRP license plate. In short, the IRP office could demand the license plate back from you without compensating you for the unused portion of the license plate, and insist you apply for a new IRP plate in the LLC or Corporate name when you apply for your US DOT Authority.  the answer is, of course, to get a new USDOT Number in the LLC or Corporate name in the application for US DOT Authority, and keep the current USDOT Number in your personal name. Boy, that's a mouthful!  Call us and let's see what we can do to get you US DOT Authority and possibly register you with the Secretary of State and get you an EIN Federal Identification Number.  By the way, we can process and take your 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax to the IRS for you. Call us for a Federal ID number, register with the Secretary of State, apply for a USDOT number and US DOT Authority.

Emloyer Identification Number (EIN) / Federal Identification Number used with your US DOT Authority: You will probably need an EIN number for your US DOT Authority. In addition to the EIN number for your US DOT Authority, you will need this EIN - Employer Identification Number to file the 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax. Most owner-operators who have trucks registered with license plates 55,000-lbs or above have a Federal ID Number to file their annual 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax. If you are going to establish an LLC or a Corporation for your US DOT Authority, you will need a separate EIN Number from the EIN Number you may have in your personal name for the LLC or Corporation as these are different legal entities than you. You may need the same EIN number, or you may need a different EIN Number for your US DOT Authority. Call us.

IRP / Apportioned License Plate needed with US DOT Authority:  In the application for US DOT Authority, you will probably cross state lines. When you apply for US DOT Authority and your van, Pickup truck, pickup truck and trailer combination, truck, truck and trailer combination are all 26,000-lbs or under when loaded, you will not need an Apportioned / IRP license plate. Once you have your US DOT Authority, if you have a 3-axle truck that will be crossing state lines at any weight, you will need an Apportioned / IRP license plate for this truck. Again, once you have your US DOT Authority, if you have a truck, or a truck and trailer combination at 26,001-lbs or heavier, or a semi-tractor and trailer crossing state lines, you will need to register for an IRP / Apportioned license plate. If you want to go on your own, you will need US DOT Authority as most states require you to either be a Private Carrier, For-Hire Carrier hauling exempt commodities, For-Hire Registrant leased to a trucking company, or a For-Hire Carrier with your own US DOT Authority before issuing an IRP plate.

IFTA / International Fuel Tax Agreement Needed with US DOT Authority:   With the application for US DOT Authority, you will probably be crossing state lines. If you have an IRP / Apportioned license plate to cross state lines, you will also need to register for IFTA fuel tax. The list of IFTA fuel tax offices is down the left side of this page. Once you have your US DOT Authority and have signed up for IFTA fuel tax, the state will require you to file quarterly IFTA fuel tax reports. We can do the quarterly IFTA fuel tax filings for you. Call us for the application for US DOT Authority and, once you are registered for IFTA, we can set you up with the reporting schedule. Once you have your US DOT Authority and are starting to haul loads, the state will require you to keep accurate records of all trips made during each quarter with your truck or trucks. Again, if we register you for US DOT Authority, we can send you trip sheets you can use that will double as records for both the IFTA fuel tax reporting and for your IRP license plate renewals each year.

Weight - Distance Tax State Registrations Needed with US DOT Authority: When you get your US DOT Authority, you may need to go into one or more Weight - Distance Tax states. They are New York, Kentucky, New Mexico and Oregon. Again, if you are applying for US DOT Authority, you may be traveling into any one or more of these Weight-Distance tax states.

  • New York State:  After getting your US DOT Authority, New York requires you to pre-register with them before going into that state. They have a registration fee of $15 per power unit, and any vehicle weighing 18,001-lbs or greater is required to register for the New York Highway Use Tax (NY HUT). You will be required to keep accurate records of miles traveled in the state and file the quarterly Weight-Distance tax reports. We can apply for your US DOT Authority and pre-register for your NY HUT
  • Kentucky: You are required to have your US DOT Authority granted before registering for a Kentucky KYU number if you are plated at 60,000-lbs or more. Again, Kentucky requires active US DOT Authority with Kentucky showing on your IRP cab-card for the KYU registration. You need to pre-register for a KYU number before entering. Once you have a KYU number, you will need keep accurate mileage records and file the quarterly Weight-Distance tax reports with them. We can apply for your US DOT Authority, and pre-register you for a KYU number
  • New Mexico: After getting your US DOT Authority, you have the option of paying at the New Mexico Port of Entry or registering for an account number and paying quarterly. Once you have your US DOT Authority and get a New Mexico account number, you will not be required to pay at the Port of Entry every time you go into New Mexico. Instead, you will be filing quarterly Weight-Distance tax reports with the state. Typically, if you are plated at 80,000-lbs and cross on I-40, you will be paying $60 at the New Mexico Port of Entry to cross the state. If you pre-register for a New Mexico account number, you will be paying around $16.75 for each trip at the end of each quarter. We can apply for US DOT Authority and register for a New Mexico account.
  • Oregon: Oregon does not have a fuel tax. Once you get your US DOT Authority and you want to register with Oregon, the registration process requires you to file a $2,000 Bond with the state, and you will be filing monthly Weight-Distance tax reports.  Or, when you get your US DOT Authority, you can simply pay at the Port of Entry to go into Oregon.  We can register you with any of these states and do the Weight-Distance tax reports for you at the end of each quarter. 

For Individual State DOT Information and Intra-State Trucking Authority:

 Under Construction - Delaware data not yet entered
Please call (765) 742-2610 for DOT number details

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