Be Your Own Boss: How Do You Get Your Own Trucking Authority?

Steps for how to get trucking authority

Whether you are an experienced driver or a newbie, you may have considered the benefits of being your own boss and, therefore, have wondered how to get your own trucking authority. It can be a difficult task, overwhelming at times, but there are resources to guide you.

First, though, let’s take a look at some information on what it means to get own authority and what your own authority cost is. To get your own authority in trucking, you need to determine more than just your type of operation. So, how to get authority in trucking? You need money for insurance, permits, and equipment, as well as for enrollment in a drug and alcohol testing program.

What is operating authority in trucking?

Many drivers want the chance to earn more money and run a trucking business independently. To begin with, any carrier doing interstate business must have a US DOT number. However, in order to get your own authority in trucking and get your DOT number, you need to have a business name and know your business type. For example, will you be organized as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation? When getting trucking authority, you also need to know what kind of freight you’re going to haul and for whom? This is crucial information. Then, before the FMCSA will approve your trucking authority, you’ll need to submit proof of liability insurance. Often this can be a big obstacle in how to get your own authority in trucking. There are so many different factors in determining insurance, and the cost can be higher for new carriers. When you’re wondering, “How do I get my own trucking authority?” these are some things you may not necessarily always think of. Owner-operators who have taken the steps on how to get authority for trucking have reported a variety of insurance quotes, anywhere from $8,000 to $16,000. Rates, however, tend to fall as the business becomes more established. And there are also many factors that determine rate quotes, so don’t panic yet.

Commercial Truck Insurance

You may be asking: What else do I need to know in getting my own authority?

There are other requirements to get own authority. These include process agents, heavy highway vehicle use taxes (HVUT), unified carrier registration (UCR), international registration plan (IRP), IFTA, any other state-specific regulations, and drug/alcohol testing. Now you know the basics for how to get own authority in trucking. It’s important to understand, too, that within the first 18 months of your business, you’ll receive an audit that will focus on the following:

  • Driver qualifications
  • Driver logs
  • Maintenance programs
  • Accident register
  • Driver qualification files
  • Drug and alcohol policies

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