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Why was my operating authority application dismissed and how do I fix it?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies that meet certain criteria to apply for operating authority. This is in addition to the number all drivers and motor carriers must obtain from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).

Also known as an MC number, you must have operating authority from the FMCSA if you operate as a carrier for hire. It doesn’t matter whether you receive a monetary payment or another type of compensation. You also need operating authority if you transport passengers during interstate commerce, arrange for the transportation of passengers, transport commodities subject to federal regulation during interstate commerce, or arrange for the transport of such commodities.

Operating authority is extremely important because it determines the type of cargo your trucking company can transport as well as how it must operate as a business. Occasionally, a driver or motor carrier finds that the FMCSA has dismissed their application for operating authority and wants to know why. We discuss the most common reasons below.

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Reasons the FMCSA may dismiss your operating authority application.

The FMCSA requires all applicants for operating authority to file proof of financial responsibility, also known as insurance requirements, and a BOC-3 form if applicable. This form, called Designation of Agents for Service of Process, is only available to process agents completing paperwork requirements on behalf of a motor carrier.

The most typical reason for a dismissal of an operating authority application by the FMCSA is that the person requesting it did not submit proof of financial responsibility and/or a BOC-3 form within 90 days. The FMCSA eventually intends to require applicants for operating authority to reapply and pay the $300 fee a second time if the agency dismisses the first application. However, it tabled that requirement in early 2017. For now, anyone with a dismissed operating authority application can follow the steps below to request the FMCSA to undismiss it.

How to request the undismissal of your operating authority application.

Before you go through the steps to receive your MC number from the FMCSA, make sure you’re in compliance with insurance and BOC-3 requirements. If so, you have the following options to request undismissal:

  • Fax your written request to the FMCSA Licensing Department.
  • Scan and email the form via the FMCSA secured website. You will receive a tracking number upon completion.

Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to include your company name and MC number as well as a statement requesting the FMCSA to undismiss your operating authority application. The agency will consider requests for one year from the date it originally dismissed your application.

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