This is an overview of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) registration process for new USDOT Number and Operating Authority applicants. Tables are provided in the section titled
"What Forms Do I Need?" to help users determine requirements for company registration. This determination is based on self-classification of a company's planned business operation using criteria such as cargo, operation, and company type. Online resources designed to help streamline the application process are also briefly reviewed.
The FMCSA registration process requires that companies define the type of Motor Carrier, Broker, Shipper and/or Freight Forwarder business operation they plan to establish. The Agency administers the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) that govern interstate—and some intrastate—commercial trucking and bus industries.
The FMCSA establishes standards for commercial motor vehicles, their drivers, and truck and bus companies involved in the interstate transportation of passengers and cargo, including Hazardous Materials. The Agency's responsibilities include monitoring and enforcing compliance with regulations governing both safety and commerce. Its focus on both concerns—safety and financial responsibility—is reflected in the dual path of its current registration process. Companies may find they are subject to both registration requirements—USDOT Number and Interstate Operating Authority—or either one separately.