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June 25, 2021

What Is a BOC-3 and Who Needs It?

A man talking on a phone

Part of filing to get your trucking authority also includes filing your BOC-3. The BOC-3 stands for Blanket of Coverage and designates an agent for your company that can file legal documents on your behalf. The BOC-3 and choosing the right processing agent is important because you need someone to trust when handling notifications from the government, especially if your company is facing legal action.

Unlike filing your motor carrier authority, which can be done yourself, the BOC-3 can only be filed by a process agent designated by the carrier. However, a broker or freight forwarder (a company that won’t often be on the road) can file one for themselves if they won’t be on the road like a regular motor carrier.

Here are a few other commonly asked questions about the BOC-3 and processing agents.

What Is a Processing Agent?

A processing agent is a company or agent that acts on your behalf when dealing with legal documents. While you do submit an address for your place of business when obtaining your motor carrier authority, the FMCSA wants to make sure that your company is reachable, especially if you are on the road most of the time.

It’s kind of like a permanent address for your company, even though you already have a primary place of business. Plus, it’s an easy way to reply to time-sensitive notices no matter where your loads take you.

Who Needs To File a BOC-3?

If you need your motor carrier authority, then you need to file a BOC-3, as it is part of getting your MC Number. BOC-3s are required for all motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders. Depending on where your company is operating, you may also need to have a processing agent in each state you regularly do business.

However, you can choose a blanket process agent that covers you in each state your business operates. It’s often much easier to have one person or company handle it than finding a different processing agent for each state.

How To File a BOC-3

Unless you are a broker or freight forwarder, you need to designate a processing agent to file this for you. Just like when filing insurance, you’ll talk to your chosen processing agent who will then fill out and submit the appropriate paperwork. This has to be done before your MC Number becomes active or else your number will be dismissed.

Once it’s filed, you must keep a copy of the form at your principal place of business so you have a copy that proves you’ve allowed that agent to work on your behalf.

Can I File My Own BOC-3?

You cannot file your own BOC-3 if you are a motor carrier hauling loads in interstate commerce. The reason for this is because especially if you are on the road regularly or do not have a physical location for your business, the government needs to have someone on hand they can contact if they need additional information or need to pursue legal action.

You can file your own BOC-3 if you are a broker or a freight forwarder, but you do have to file for each primary state of operation. And, you cannot file for yourself if you are planning on driving a truck for your company.

Semi trucks in a lot

How Much Does It Cost To File a BOC-3?

How much it costs to file your BOC-3 depends on the processing agent. If you choose to get your motor carrier authority through Motor Carrier HQ, we’ll take care of the BOC-3 as part of our trucking authority package.

If you need a processing agent, you can have us file it for you for just $60.

Want To Start Your Trucking Company?

The BOC-3 is just one piece of being compliant with the FMCSA. If you want more help starting your company, get in touch with one of the coaches at Motor Carrier HQ. We can create a custom gameplan for your business, including helping you get your operating authority, pass the new entrant safety audit, and much more.

We take care of the paperwork so you can keep your trucking business on the road! And, if you need more tips, don’t forget to check out our podcast Haulin Assets, where we started our own trucking company and walk you through it step by step.

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