Can a Motor Carrier broker loads?

Motor carriers cannot broker loads without the proper authority.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) currently does not allow motor carriers to broker loads unless they first apply for and receive a license as a property broker. If you are a new broker, that means you must complete an application for broker authority using the Unified Registration System (URS) of the FMCSA. You will need to locate proof of insurance coverage to do so. The FMCSA also requires new applicants to submit Form BMC-84, also known as Surety Bond, and Form BMC-85, also known as the Trust Fund Agreement.

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What is the SMS Insurance/Other Indicator?

It's important to know the Insurance/Other Indicator.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has prepared a program designed to enhance safety and to ensure that oversized commercial vehicles are as safe as possible on the roads. The SMS Insurance/Other Indicator is part of a wider initiative and designed to check for licensing, registration, reporting, and insurance issues.

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What medical criteria are required to obtain a medical certificate? (And who needs one?)

Drivers of commercial vehicles need to get a medical certificate.

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles must undergo a physical examination to make sure they are medically fit for duty. If the truck driver passes the medical exam, the examiner will complete a medical examiner’s certificate, which can be submitted to the Department of Transportation. Below is some information to help you understand this certificate and determine whether you need it.

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What is the Driver Fitness BASIC?

It's important to be familiar with the Driver Fitness BASIC.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains strict safety requirements for motor carriers and drivers. The Driver Fitness Compliance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven overall categories used to compare and rank carriers based on safety. BASIC is part of an overall initiative to improve roadway safety and conditions for all and is part of the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) plan.

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How can I change from one type of truck operating authority to another?

It's important to make sure you have the right truck operating authority.

If you find that you need to choose a truck operating authority after being exempt in the past, or you need to change from one type of operating authority to another, you can do so using the process outlined below. A thorough understanding of how operating authorities work and what they require can help you save time and money during the process. Since your truck operating authority could impact the insurance you are required to carry, choosing the right model for your business is essential if you want to ensure you are getting the best possible rates on your insurance.

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How to get an MC Number/Operating Authority

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A company that is interested in engaging in certain types of transportation activities must have an MC Number, which is also known as operating authority. Specifically, companies that (a) transport passengers via interstate commerce and that (b) transport federally regulated commodities that are owned by others or coordinate the transportation of those commodities, are required to have operating authority.  That operating authority is important because it determines the type of cargo that a company is permitted to carry and the type of operation that a company is permitted to have. Here are the steps to follow in the process of obtaining an MC Number.

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What do I do if I get a warning letter from the FMCSA?

Here's what to do if you get an FMCSA warning letter.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for making sure that commercial trucks and drivers are safe enough to be on America’s highways. To protect the public, the FMCSA completes regular inspections of equipment, driver log books, records of violations, and more. If your business is found to have a violation, the FMCSA will then notify the motor carrier of violations by mail in the form of a warning letter.

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What does the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC cover?

It's important to review your insurance coverages as you grow your fleet.

Regular maintenance for your trucks and fleet vehicles does more than just prevent you from experiencing emergency repair work costs and downtime; it enhances your safety on the roadways, too. As a trucker or an organization that owns trucks, if you perform deliveries or shipping services, you are also required to comply with key maintenance and safety regulations from the FMCSA. One way to track how well you are doing is the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC program; learning more about this safety program will help keep your drivers and others safe on the roads and ensure you remain in compliance.

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What does the Unsafe Driving BASIC cover?

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains records on seven levels of unsafe driving behavior that it uses to rank motor carriers.  The name of the system is BASIC, which stands for Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category. The Unsafe Driving BASIC specifically addresses FMCSA 49 CFR Parts 397 to evaluate motor carriers in several safety categories. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in monetary fines or even the FMCSA shutting down a trucking business. So, it’s important to know how your business stacks up and how to improve if needed.

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Until I get my own operating authority, can I lease my services to a for-hire carrier with operating rights?

If you don't have an operating authority, you could work for a for-hire carrier.

One common question from truckers who have not yet obtained their operating authority (MC number) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is whether they can still lease their services to a for-hire carrier that has operating rights. According to Section 376.11, the answer is yes as long as the trucker meets all FMCSA requirements.

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