There is more to US DOT numbering than simply applying to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – FMCSA – for a safety permit to transport hazardous goods. Filing an application for the necessary operating authority forms one part of the process.
Applicants should know that any entity involved must hold on file specific insurance and legal process documents, before FMCSA will issue the relevant authorization permit. This includes all applicants, be they motor carrier, freight forwarder, or broker authorities to whom dot insurance requirements apply.
Based on the types of registrations involved, the filing formalities vary. Click here to review comprehensive list requirements showing a series of pre-registration forms, lability categories, and specific authorities subject to filing of forms. It is important to note that first-time applicants with FMCSA must apply using the Unified Registration System (URS).
Existing Authority Holders
Existing registration / authority-holders can make application for the necessary authorities using the OP-series forms until a later date. However, from January 17, 2017, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice with more details on the suspension of the URS effectiveness date.
Important note: The FMCSA is the regulatory authority and does not furnish copies of specific insurance forms – connect with your broker for formalities concerning the application process.
The “How to file” is important – Transport operators need to prepare; making contact with their agent for the dot insurance requirements is a good start. They need to request filing of the required forms immediately after obtaining their assigned docket number.
Filings have a finite timeline; a 90-day period applies after the FMCSA has published public notice of intention to register the applicant. Confirmation is by way of a letter of the applicant’s docket number and date of publication in the FMCSA Register.
Follow the Rules
Applications must be consistent in that the name and address of the business as set out in all pre-registration filings need to match precisely that provided in their application for operating authority filings. Deviations will result in rejection of the pre-registration filings.
Where You Should File
Note that insurance companies – not their agents – that want to file insurance forms online need to set up a filer account with FMCSA. You or your agent need to file a request to the Insurance Team at email@example.com with the following information:
– Letter on the insurance company’s letterhead requesting a filer account
– Home office address of the insurance company
– Billing address, if that address is different from the home office address
– Provide the name of the contact person you dealt with at that insurance company
– Home office contact person’s telephone and fax numbers
– Supply the billing contact person’s telephone and fax number if it is different from the home office contact person
– Provide a preferred user name for the account (if applicable)
– Be sure to include a copy of the insurance company’s state license
– Use this subject line: “Insurance Filer Account Request”
Use Your Broker to Cut Through the Formalities
Dot insurance requirements are potentially complex formalities to follow. We hope this article has proved useful to those involved in transporting hazardous goods. As responsible operators, we believe that those involved in this niche sector of transportation will benefit from consulting their broker.