Friday, January 29, 2016

Interstate vs Intrastate Operating Authority: What's the Difference?

It never fails; every year around this time (and all the time, really) we get question after question asking, "What's the difference between intrastate and interstate authority?" Well friend, that’s a great question, and also probably the reason you’re reading this. So what exactly is the difference between the two?

Well, interstate, just like the term used to describe our cross-country roadways, means “existing or carried on between state lines.” So as you can piece together based on the definition, it means being able to drive your truck and haul loads across state lines. While intrastate, with the root word “intra,” means within; so it refers only to mileage driven within a particular state. Simple enough, right?

But if you are going to be driving across the country, or at least in multiple states (as most truckers do) then you’ll need to make sure the following items are taken care of prior to crossing state lines in your rig.

Apply for a USDOT#

Your USDOT# is issued by the FMCSA, and is used for vehicles that travel interstate, either to haul cargo or to transport passengers. You must have one if:

  • Your commercial vehicle weighs 10,001 pounds or more,
  • Transports 8 passengers or more for compensation, or 15 or more without comp.,
  • Transports Hazardous Materials, or 
  • If you travel in a state that requires a DOT#. 

Please note: This process will be done using the URS system for new applicants, and previous applicants will register using the new system as well starting on September 30, 2016. If you have any questions about the new URS system, take a look at our blog covering the most common questions about URS registration.

Apply for an MC#

Your MC# is what actually serves as your interstate authority, which gives you the ability to legally travel and haul loads between states. So yeah, it’s pretty important. But not so fast—don’t think that once you’ve got this you’re in the clear! You’ll still need to obtain another type of authority from the FMCSA depending on what type of business you have. If you’re unsure what type is right for you, just give us a call!

Register for UCR

UCR is another necessity for truckers traveling interstate, as the agreement requires all commercial vehicles travelling interstate and weighing at least 10,001 pounds to register for UCR annually. You’ll also have to pay the required fees based on the total number of vehicles you need to register.

Register for IRP

This is for vehicles that travel across multiple jurisdictions in the United States or in Canada and that weigh at least 26,000 pounds and/or have three or more axles. The fees for this particular registration depend on the mileage driven in each jurisdiction, and those fees are paid to the base jurisdiction where you are registered. It is then your base jurisdiction’s responsibility to apportion the funds to the correct jurisdictions based on your mileage.

Apply for an IFTA License and Decals

If you operate in multiple jurisdictions, you will have to apply for your IFTA license and decals with your base jurisdiction. Your fuel use and mileage traveled in each participating jurisdiction must be recorded, and then that information must be filed with your base jurisdiction.

Sound a little confusing? Well, we’re not going to lie, it most certainly is. But luckily for you, we can help you take care of every item on this list, and IFTA services are our specialty! So if you need someone to take the IFTA-filing burden off your plate this quarter, just give us a call and we’ll show you just how easy it really is!

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