The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the regulating body for truck brokers. The FMCSA defines a broker as any person who arranges for the transport of goods by truck for a fee. To obtain a license, the FMCSA requires that brokers register, provide proof of insurance and pay a processing fee. Registration may be completed online or through the mail.
Register with the FMCSA by filing an OP-1 application. This is the Application for Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority. You will need to provide information such as your legal business name and location, type of business, type of authority being requested and insurance information.
Obtain a surety bond or trust fund agreement. This serves as a guarantee by a third party that you will fulfill your obligations as a broker to your shippers and carriers. The bond or agreement must be in the amount of $10,000. A form BMC-84 must be submitted for surety bonds. If using a trust fund agreement in lieu of a surety bond, form BMC-85 must be submitted. These forms are to be submitted by your insurance company or financial institution.
Submit a form BOC-3 to the FMCSA. This is the Designation of Process Agent Form on which you must list your process agents for each state in which you will conduct business. A process agent is someone who is designated by you to accept any legal documentation in your name. The FMCSA provides a list of companies providing process agent services on its website.
Pay the non-refundable application fee. You may begin broker operations as soon as you receive your License for Operating Authority from the FMCSA.
Before filling out the OP-1 application, brokers need to have a valid USDOT Number. Information on obtaining a USDOT number is available on the FMSCA website.
The OP-1 application and BOC-3 form can be filed electronically through the FMSCA website, or can be mailed in by following the instructions on the application. Read through the forms completely and gather all relevant information before filling them out.