As a transport company specializing in equine and livestock, it is important to ensure that you have the proper registration and certification to operate legally and safely on the roads. This includes obtaining a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number and a Motor Carrier (MC) number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In this blog post, we will explain the steps you need to take to get your DOT and MC numbers and provide some helpful information to make the process as smooth as possible.
Step 1: Determine Your Operating Authority
The first step in obtaining your DOT and MC numbers is to determine your operating authority. This involves determining the type of operations you will be conducting and the type of vehicles you will be using. Depending on the type of operations you will be conducting, you may need to obtain either a common carrier operating authority or a contract carrier operating authority.
Common Carrier Operating Authority: A common carrier is a motor carrier that transports passengers or property and is available to the general public. If you will be transporting equine or livestock for hire to the general public, you will need to obtain a common carrier operating authority.
Contract Carrier Operating Authority: A contract carrier is a motor carrier that transports property under a contract with one or more shippers. If you will be transporting equine or livestock for a specific shipper or group of shippers under a contract, you will need to obtain a contract carrier operating authority.
Step 2: Register with the FMCSA
Once you have determined your operating authority, the next step is to register with the FMCSA. You can do this by filling out the appropriate forms and submitting them to the FMCSA, along with the required fees. The forms you will need to complete will depend on the type of operating authority you are seeking.
For common carrier operating authority, you will need to complete the OP-1 form (Application for Motor Carrier Authority).
For contract carrier operating authority, you will need to complete the OP-2 form (Application for Contract Carrier Authority).
Both forms can be found on the FMCSA's website and should be submitted along with the required fees to the FMCSA's Operating Authority Unit.
Step 3: Obtain Insurance Coverage
In order to obtain your DOT and MC numbers, you must also obtain insurance coverage that meets the minimum requirements set by the FMCSA. This includes liability insurance, cargo insurance, and insurance for any leased vehicles you may be using.
Liability Insurance: Liability insurance provides coverage for damage or injury that you may cause to others while operating your vehicles. The minimum liability insurance requirement for motor carriers transporting property is $750,000.
Cargo Insurance: Cargo insurance provides coverage for damage or loss to the cargo you are transporting. The minimum cargo insurance requirement for motor carriers transporting property is $5,000 per shipment.
Leased Vehicle Insurance: If you will be using leased vehicles in your operations, you must obtain insurance coverage for those vehicles. The minimum insurance requirement for leased vehicles is the same as for owned vehicles.
Step 4: Obtain USDOT Number
Once you have registered with the FMCSA and obtained insurance coverage, you can obtain your USDOT number. The USDOT number is a unique identifier assigned by the FMCSA that is used to track the safety and compliance information of commercial motor carriers. You will use your USDOT number on all forms, applications, and reports that you submit to the FMCSA.
To obtain your USDOT number, you will need to complete the MCS-150
In conclusion, obtaining your DOT and MC numbers is an important step in operating a transport company that specializes in equine and livestock. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that you have the proper registration and certification to operate legally and safely on the roads. If you have any questions or need assistance in obtaining your DOT and MC numbers, the FMCSA provides a wealth of information and resources to help you navigate the process.
Once you have your DOT and MC numbers, the next step is to start growing your business and connecting with shippers who are in need of your services. That's where Hauling Buddies comes in. As a leading transportation platform, Hauling Buddies can help you connect with shippers who are looking for reliable and safe carriers to transport their equine and livestock. Join Hauling Buddies today and start growing your business!