Are you new to the trucking world or owning your own trucking company? I’d love to help you navigate the roadways to Long Haul and trucking options in the State of Florida, especially regarding your insurance.
The first step of getting into trucking in Florida, once you’ve obtained your hauling unit and CDL License is obtaining your USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) number, FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) number or both. You may be asking yourself, “Which is the one I need or do I need to acquire both?”
What is a USDOT number and why do I need it?
Businesses or sole proprietors that operate a commercial vehicle hauling cargo in state lines must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Registry Number. It is the identification number used “when collecting and monitoring a company’s safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections” according to FMCSA.
What is a FMCSA number and why do I need it?
The big difference between the DOT number and the FMCSA is that the latter is for interstate commerce. Also, a business may need to register for more than one type of authority to support their planned operations such as but not limited to freight forwarder, passenger transportation, and Mexico-based carriers to operate in the US. The USDOT designation is free to those who successfully register for a FMCSA number.
First timers will begin the application process online on the Unified Registration System (URS). You will be provided a DOT number at the completion of the URS registration. You will be contacted after 30 days by FMCSA to validate information and correspond with you about the New Entrant safety program. Then you will be able to obtain your permanent DOT or FMCSA number.
What are my BOC-3 and Insurance filings?
You will also need to keep in mind additional requirements such as the Process Agent Designation, or BOC-3 form. The BOC-3 form will be e-filed by the processing agent on your behalf. A processing agent can be found near you on the FMCSA website. You can also find information about the required insurance outlined on the FMSCA’s website at Insurance Filing Requirements | FMCSA (dot.gov). The insurance company will electronically file with the FMSCA with your credentials satisfying the insurance requirement.
What is a New Entrant safety audit?
For the New Entrant Safety Assurance program, you can expect to be monitored during the initial 18-month period where you must demonstrate you can operate safely, maintain up-to-date records, conduct periodic inspections, and perform maintenance on CMVs. If pass you, you will be granted permanent authority.
How long will it take to get my FMCSA number?
The FMCSA takes approximately 4-6 weeks for processing the application. From the completion of the URS application, you will have 90 days to comply with the application requirements. If you do not comply with all the requirements, then you will have to pay the fees again to reapply.
How do I proceed with insurance once I’ve registered with the USDOT and/or FMCSA?
Once you’ve registered with these governing authorities, you’d want to complete your Commercial Auto Insurance with your required filings.
Typically these administrations require a minimum operating Liability of $750,000 if you’re crossing state lines. I’d be elated to discuss the intricacies of the insurance requirements with you as soon as you’re ready to take the next step to get on the road.
My name is Roxanne Martinez and I specialize in Commercial Auto Insurance coverage. I can be reached Monday – Friday from 10 am until 5 pm by calling 954-368-0060, x 9 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to assisting your new trucking venture get on the road with all of your insurance needs: Commercial Auto coverage, Motor Carrier Cargo coverage, Bobtail, Physical Damage, driver’s Workers Comp and more! Contact me today for a free consultation.