If you want to learn more about Motor Carrier HQ and our services, here is a list of some commonly asked questions. You can start your own trucking company with the help of Motor Carrier HQ. If you don’t see a question answered here, reach out to one of our coaches to get your questions answered.
What services do you offer?
Our focus is helping you get your new trucking company on the road and be successful. We take care of the paperwork for you to keep your trucking company compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Just some of our services include:
- Motor Carrier Authority
- DOT Number
- Broker authority
- Unified Carrier Registration (UCR)
- Audit Assistance Package
- Drug and Alcohol Random Pool Membership
Does it cost money to call?
No, it does not cost you any money to get a no-obligation consultation for your trucking company. We’ll spend as much time on the phone with you as you want developing a custom game plan that is right for you. It’s important to us that you feel confident, because we want to see each trucking company be successful.
As part of our measure twice, cut once method, we only recommend what you need and never what you don’t. We’re always ready to answer any questions you have before you’ve spent anything with us.
How much do your services cost?
How much it costs to work with Motor Carrier HQ depends on what you need, as we work with you to build a custom game plan to get only what you need and never what you don’t.
Do you offer any packages?
Yes, some of our more common packages include our trucking authority package, which comes with:
- FMCSA fee ($300)
- DOT Number
- MC Number
- BOC-3 Process Filing Agent
- Getting started guide
- 2 free hours of consulting
We also have a DOT Audit Assistance Package that includes everything you need to prepare to pass the new entrant safety audit. Don’t hesitate to get in touch for a no-obligation consultation with one of our coaches.
Do you offer trucking insurance?
No, we are not an insurance company. But, we do have recommendations to get good commercial truck insurance. Learn more about how to get the right truck insurance for your company.
What should I expect when working with Motor Carrier HQ?
If you choose to purchase our services online, we’ll get in touch as soon as we can to get the information we need to take care of all the paperwork for you. If you purchased your trucking authority or DOT Number, we can get you your number in as little as an hour once we get the info we need.
If you aren’t sure what products you need from us yet, give us a call! Our coaches can walk you through any concerns you have about starting a trucking company and help set your business up for success!
Do I have to come in to get your services?
Nope! We can take care of everything you need over the phone. But, we do have an office located in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can reach out to us if you have any questions and we’d love to have you stop on by.
I’ve already started my own company. Why would I need your services?
Our goal is to make sure that the trucking company you’ve started is successful. If you’ve already taken the steps to get your company started, we are happy to help you stay compliant with the FMCSA. You can check out our DIY DOT Audit Assistance package or get in touch with our coaches to get recommendations from us to help manage payroll, taxes, and other aspects of running a trucking company.
You can also listen to our podcast Haulin Assets for more advice to keep your company on the road.
I don’t need my MC number, but I want to get it anyway. What do you recommend?
If you need your MC Number, just let us know and we’ll help you get it! We know there are some cases where you might want to get one, even if you’re not required by the FMCSA. Just like any of our other clients, we’ll walk you through the entire process. But, we’re always ready to talk further and won’t ever pressure you into getting something you don’t need or want.
What do I need to start my own trucking company?
Starting a trucking company may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many steps you have to do first, like getting the right truck, getting your motor carrier authority, and even finding insurance.
If you want to learn more about how to start your own business, download our free guide that outlines the steps to start a trucking company. You can also listen to our podcast Haulin Assets, where we started our own trucking company and documented the whole process from start to finish.
Help! I just got a DOT inspection violation! What can I do to be compliant?
If you need help improving your safety rating or need a corrective action plan, give us a call! We’ll go over all the paperwork for you to determine what your company isn’t compliant with and take the necessary steps to prevent future violations from missing certain paperwork or registrations.
IRP? MC Number? DOT Number? What do all these acronyms mean?
There are a lot of acronyms in the trucking industry you need to know when starting your own business. It’s important to understand what they all mean and how they affect you so here’s a glossary of some of the most common acronyms you’ll see.
Do I need an MC number?
To get the most out of your trucking company, you’ll most likely need an MC Number. An MC Number is often called operating authority or trucking authority and it shows the FMCSA that you’re operating for hire, transporting passengers or arranging transport across state lines, or transporting federally regulated goods through more than one state.
We can help you determine whether or not you need your MC number. Just give us a call to get started.
Or, learn more about the differences between an MC Number and DOT Number to determine if you need one.
Do I need a DOT number?
If you’re planning on starting a trucking company, you’ll most likely need your DOT Number. If you have a vehicle that meets any of these requirements, you’ll need to make sure you have a DOT Number:
- Your vehicle is 10,001 pounds or more, whatever is greatest of your:
- gross vehicle weight rating
- gross combination weight rating
- gross vehicle weight or
- gross combination weight
- Your vehicle is designed or used to transport more than 8 people for compensation
- Your vehicle is designed or used to transport more than 15 people, even if it is not used for compensation
It also depends on if you’re planning on transporting hazardous materials, too. If you have any questions, contact us, and we can help you determine if you actually need it for your business.
How do I get my DOT and MC numbers?
The FMCSA requires you to fill out specific paperwork and pay a $300 fee to get your operating authority. When you give Motor Carrier HQ a call, we’ll walk you through the entire process and make sure the paperwork is filled out properly the first time. We’ll also make sure you know when it’s active so you’re allowed to start hauling and make money.
How long does it take to get a DOT Number?
It’s possible to get your DOT Number in as little as an hour and that number will be active immediately. You can get your MC number at the same time but it will not be active until after a necessary 21-day period. You will not be able to haul loads across state lines for-hire until both of these numbers become active.
Read More: How long does it take to get a DOT Number?
What is the biennial update?
If you have your own DOT Number, you’re required to update your business info at least once every two years. This biennial update is required by the FMCSA to refresh your MCS-150 Form, also known as the Motor Carrier Identification Report, every two years. You will need to update this form even if there are no changes to your business information.
Failure to update this form every two years, or one year in some states, will deactivate your USDOT number and you could face a fine.
What is IFTA?
IFTA stands for the International Fuel Tax Agreement. IFTA is a cooperative agreement between 48 U.S. states and 10 provinces in Canada. This agreement allows carriers who cross state or country borders to pay taxes under a single fuel tax license.
Under IFTA, trucking companies can refuel anywhere, then file quarterly reports to pay additional fuel taxes or get a refund on the taxes they’ve already paid based on the percentage of miles traveled in each state.
You can learn more about IFTA and even get some tips on how to save money on fuel in episode 29.
Read More: What is IFTA?
Who needs an IFTA sticker?
Carriers are required to have an IFTA sticker if they are operating in two or more jurisdictions defined by IFTA and if their vehicle:
- Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or over.
- Has three or more axles.
- Has a combined weight that’s over 26,000 pounds for the gross vehicle weight.
There are some exceptions to vehicles that fall under these categories that don’t require an IFTA sticker, like an intrastate vehicle. If you have any questions about your vehicle, contact us to get more information.
How do I register under IFTA?
If you need to register under IFTA, you need to apply in the state you’re based in. License application forms can be found online and will differ depending on your state. After your application is processed, you will then be given official IFTA decals for the year. Your state or provincial IFTA authority will provide you a temporary license until your official one is ready to be sent to you.
What is IRP?
IRP stands for the International Registration Plan. In the trucking industry, there are two types of license plates used for commercial trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 10,000 lbs.: base plates and apportioned plates.
Base plates are enough if you drive in one state, but if you plan on driving through multiple states, you’ll need apportioned plates and need to register under the International Registration Plan.
If you’re registered under the IRP, you will have to pay fees in every state or province of Canada that your truck runs through. The amount you pay is based on the percentage of miles you operate in each state.
Read More: What is IRP or apportioned registration?
Do I need apportioned plates?
If you plan on driving your commercial truck with a GVWR over 10,000 lbs through multiple states, you will be required to have apportioned plates as set by the International Registration Plan (IRP).
What is the new entrant safety audit?
The new entrant safety audit is a review of a motor carrier’s records that’s required to make sure a carrier has basic safety management controls that’s set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
During the audit, carriers will be asked to submit documentation that shows they are following all safety guidelines. To pass you will need to prove your trucking company can operate safely for at least 18 months and complete this audit successfully within 12 months of starting your business. Listen to these podcast episodes or read our blog to learn more about this audit and exactly what you can expect from it:
- What is the FMCSA Program
- What is the New Entrant Safety Audit
- How to Prepare for the DOT Safety Audit
- How to Pass a DOT New Entrant Safety Audit
How do I prepare for the new entrant safety audit?
We can help you prepare for the entrant safety audit! At Motor Carrier HQ, we offer a DIY package that goes over everything you need to know. This guide includes folders and forms with instructions for each section and a 67-page guide. Find out more about this package and how it can help you!
Visit our website to purchase this online DIY package to get you started.
What happens if I fail a DOT audit?
Failing a DOT audit will result in a downgrade or your safety rating and/or force your company to be put out-of-service until you can prove your company can operate safely. This means that your company will need to make a corrective action plan that explains what changes you’re going to make to stay compliant with all the safety regulations that are determined by the FMCSA. If you need help coming up with a corrective action plan, our team can help you figure out how to get started.
How do I check my CSA score?
To check your Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score, first head to the official FMCSA website. You will need your USDOT number and PIN to access the SMS login page, which will then tell you what your score is. If you don’t have a PIN, watch this video to learn how you can get one.
I got a conditional safety rating. How do I get an upgrade?
If you fail a safety audit, our team can help you come up with a corrective action plan that will make sure you’re following the rules set by the FMCSA. Contact us to find out how you get started.
Do I need a TXDOT Number if I have a USDOT Number?
Along with having a USDOT number, everyone who picks up loads in Texas and delivers the same load in Texas has to register for a TXDOT number. There’s some paperwork that needs to be done in order to get your TXDOT number that we would be happy to help you with! Visit our page to learn more about getting a TXDOT number and how we can get the process started for you.