If you operate an exempt for-hire motor carrier, you may not be required to have the same credentials or insurance coverage as other for-hire motor carriers. Below is some information about exempt for-hire motor carriers and the requirements that apply to them in the United States.
What is an exempt for-hire motor carrier?
An exempt for-hire motor carrier transports exempt property in exchange for compensation. In this case, the term “exempt” simply means “unregulated.” This property is owned by someone other than the for-hire motor carrier and may include a variety of different low-value items, such as fruits, vegetables, and unmanufactured or unprocessed goods. Administrative ruling 119 offers a more detailed list of commodities that may qualify as exempt.
Requirements for non-exempt for-hire carriers.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, special requirements apply to non-exempt for-hire carriers. In addition to obtaining a USDOT number, for-hire carriers are required to obtain operating authority. Different types of operating authority are available, so it is important to consider your intended activities carefully so you can be sure you have obtained the right credentials from the Department of Transportation.
About interstate operating authority.
The DOT requires companies that operate as for-hire carriers, as well as companies that transport passengers and federally-regulated commodities, to apply for interstate operating authority and obtain an MC number in addition to their DOT number. Different types of operating authority are available. In cases where the business plans to run more than one type of operation, companies may need to obtain more than one type of operating authority to comply with federal regulations.
To obtain operating authority, new applicants must use the Unified Registration System available online. This system will issue a USDOT number and an MC or another type of operating authority number. Applicants who already have a USDOT number and/or one type of operating authority must use a specific form to apply for additional registrations.
The USDOT also requires most for-hire carriers to carry specific types of insurance in order to protect themselves and their customers. Make sure that you’re familiar with these requirements.
What it means for exempt for-hire carriers
Exempt for-hire motor carriers are not subject to all the regulations discussed above and may not need to obtain the same type or level of insurance coverage. However, it is important to be sure that you actually qualify as an exempt for-hire carrier before you forego operating authorities or other requirements. If you aren’t sure whether you qualify as an exempt for-hire motor carrier, speak with an expert about the specifics of your operations.
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