Motor carriers face a variety of regulations that they must follow based on many aspects. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) requires different types of licenses and insurances for motor carriers. The system can easily become complicated, especially if you are unsure about what motor carrier classification you are under. In addition, freight brokers face different requirements than common or contract carriers. Here are some starting tips that every motor carrier business should be aware of.

Do I Need a USDOT Number?

The answer to this question is almost always yes. The minor exception to this rule is if a motor carrier has non-hazardous material and both the vehicle and cargo never leave the state they are registered in. However, many states have additional programs that require a USDOT number even if the cargo is not hazardous. Contact your state’s Office of Motor Carrier Safety to clarify if your motor carriers are required to have a USDOT number.

The Process to Receive a USDOT Number

In order to apply for a USDOT number a Motor Carrier Identification Report must be filled out. There is no fee for this application and it can be found at this website. Information will need to be written down such as the past year’s carrier mileage, the company operation, and information about passengers and cargo. There is also an online registration assistant to make the process run much more smoothly.

Insurance Requirements

1. If a business is a common carrier, or provides for-hire truck transportation and is open to the public, the FMCSA requires liability insurance, but insurance for cargo is not necessary.

2. If a business is a contract carrier, or hires specific individuals and requires a contract, only liability insurance is necessary.

3. Both common and contract carriers carrying household goods are required to have liability insurance and cargo insurance.

4. If you are a broker, or your business manages the transportation of property through motor carriers, the FMCSA requires a surety bond or trust fund agreement.

Invest in Reliable Insurance

These tips only cover very basic information about the FMCSA’s requirements. It is incredibly important to make sure you are following all of your federal and state requirements. GSIS can provide reliable insurance for motor carriers. Both domestic and international logistics insurance can be provided. GSIS also has experienced staff that can help customize your insurance to fit your business’ needs. If you are interested in more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at 310-379-9660 and we would be happy to assist you with any questions you may have about our services.