Interstate Operating Authority
Motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce must have a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) identification number. Carriers apply for the number through the Federal Motor 16 Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The number is for more than just identification. The information entered on the application is used to track safety performance, to assess nationwide safety trends, and to evaluate the effectiveness of federal motor carrier programs.
New Entrant Interstate Motor Carriers
All new entrant interstate motor carriers—both private and forhire carriers—must complete an application package consisting of an MCS-150 form. This application may be completed online at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov or by contacting FMCSA at (800) 832-5660 and requesting an application by mail. For-hire motor carriers must complete an OP-1 or OP-1(P) and the BOC-3 forms and pay a $300.00 filing fee. Private and exempt for-hire carriers are not required to pay any fee.
When the application package is completed, the carrier is granted new entrant registration with a USDOT number. The carrier is notified by US Mail of the USDOT number and given a telephone number to call within 30 days to schedule a New Entrant Safety Audit. Failure to do so results in the revocation of the carrier’s registration.
After being issued a new entrant registration, the carrier is subject to an 18-month safety monitoring period. During this period, the carrier receives a safety audit and has its roadside crash and inspection information carefully evaluated. The carrier must demonstrate that it has systems in place to ensure basic safety management controls. Failure to demonstrate basic safety management controls may result in the carrier having its new entrant registration revoked.
The carrier is notified in writing that the “new entrant” designation will be lifted from its registration at the end of the 18-month safety monitoring period, if the carrier meets the following requirements:
- the new entrant passes a safety audit or has not been deemed “unfit” following a compliance review
- the new entrant has no outstanding civil penalties
Safety audits are usually conducted off-site over the phone or online, but some may be conducted on-site at the carrier’s place of 17 business. A State or Federal Auditor reviews the carrier’s safety management system, including:
- driver qualifications;
- driver duty status;
- vehicle maintenance;
- accident register;
- insurance requirements; and
- controlled substance and alcohol use and testing requirements.
The FMCSA division office in South Dakota can assist with applications for USDOT numbers. Contact FMCSA at:
Federal Motor Carrier Administration
1410 East Highway 14 Suite B
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
(605) 224-1766 fax