Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Obtaining Your Own Operating Authority

You will need the authority itself, apportioned license plate and IFTA account. To obtain your authority, you will need a USDOT Number and the type of cargo you will be hauling. Every new company that applies for a DOT number has to undergo a safety audit. Every driver will have to have a driver qualification file, complete pre-employment drug testing and enroll in a random drug testing pool. Previous driving experience will have to be verified. Once you get the authority, you must display your company name and DOT number on the outside of the truck and you will be able to operate legally in all 48 continental states.

Through the International Registration Plan (IRP), you will obtain your apportioned license plate, which you will  designate the states in which you will run in. The renewal process will vary from state to state.

The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), between the 48 contiguous States and 10 Canadian Provinces, where the member jurisdictions acts cooperatively to administer and collect motor fuel use taxes. The purpose of IFTA is to establish and maintain the concept of one fuel use license and one administering base jurisdiction for each license holder (licensee). Under IFTA, you only have to report to one state and the state allocate the fuel tax payments. IFTA tax Returns must be filed quarterly.  Returns are due the last day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter.  IFTA decals are renewed annually based on the calendar year.

Kentucky, New Mexico and New York  have an additional weight-distance tax based on the number of miles you run in those states. Oregon doesn’t participate in IFTA, imposing instead a tax per trip in the state or issuing a permit to collect taxes. Kentucky issues a non-renewable KYU number that remains active and legal as long as you stay current with registrations and tax filings. New Mexico’s permit is annual on the calendar year and has to be renewed. New York issues NYHUT permits in a three-year series, and are up for renewal this year in  2012.

The Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) is required for any interstate carriers, freight forwarders, leasing companies and brokers based in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to register and submit an annual filing. Those registered under the UCR agreement are also subject to annual fees based on the total number of commercial vehicles operated by the company.

DOT is getting stricter so you will want to be aware of the rules and regulations and keep up with your records, registrations, taxes and log books.  As a premier process service agency, Truck Services of North America provides the services and tools to help start your business and keep it compliant. Let TSNA navigate your business through the maze of paperwork! Check out all our services at Don’t see what you are looking for?  No problem, simply fill out the Service Request Form and note the service you require in the message section and we will contact you for details.  Of course you can always email us at or call 803.386.0320. TSNA takes the paperwork out of your way!

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