If you're venturing into the CDL trucking and transportation industry, you need to understand the regulatory authorities and the requirements to operate legally. In fact, there's a series of tasks that you'll have to complete to ensure that you're legally authorized to operate your fleet. Overlooking any aspects of your registration could prove costly in fines and penalties. That's why you should work with a transportation authority service for guidance through the process. Here's a look at a few of the things that you should know about the process ahead of you.
It Starts With Federal DOT Paperwork
The first step in your transportation authority journey is the federal DOT paperwork you'll have to submit. This paperwork is necessary for you to obtain your DOT number, and it registers your business, the number of trucks you operate, and your total number of drivers. Your company's safety rating is also tied to your DOT number. That number will be required on most every form and document you fill out in business, so it's an essential first step. In most cases, your DOT number will be issued within a few days of application.
Your Next Step Is Your FMCSA Number
The FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, regulates and registers every commercial trucking business in the country. Your registration number issued by the FMCSA is your federal authority to operate. The motor carrier number issued by the FMCSA is required for all trucking and transportation for hire services and is your legal authorization to cross state lines in transport.
In this process, you'll have to appoint someone in the states you plan to operate your business, known as a BOC agent, to receive legal documents on your behalf in that state and forward those documents to you in your registered state. Consider any states where your business will legally operate and ensure that you have agents you can rely on in those states, as you'll have to provide their information during the application process. It can take a few weeks to get your FMCSA number after application.
Identify Your Fuel Tax Agreement Status, Local Registration Needs, And More
There are also a lot of additional considerations when you're securing your final authorizations to operate as a commercial trucking business. Things like fuel tax agreements, state and local registrations, and more can be particularly troublesome. That's why it's best to work with a transportation authority service. They can help you with the documents and records that you need to ensure that your company is legal.
Contact a company like DOT Compliance Direct to learn more.