Owner Operators - Owner Operator REXpert

I am a Licensed Insurance Agent and retired Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Investigator with more than 49 years in transportation. For the past 16 years I have been a transportation consultant assisting those who would like to get their own motor carrier or broker authority. Send me your questions and I will use my expertise and knowledge to answer them.

Q The Unified Carrier Registration Agreement (UCRA) is sort of replacing the present Single State Registration System (SSRS) starting January 1, 2007. The SSRS has only been a requirement for motor carriers in the past. Why is the UCRA now including brokers who do not even have any trucks?
A In my opinion, the UCRA is a way to group all interstate transportation, including brokers and some freight forwarders that do not have any trucks. It is also including farmers and other private and exempt carriers into one category. In my opinion, it is also a way to bring in revenue as "everyone" involved in interstate transportation must pay an annual fee. There can be a warning to anyone with a MC or USDOT number that you better have your current address on file. If the new system cannot find you to assess the fee, they can then be able to revoke your authority.

Q Where do I learn the economic regulations? Where can I find the most recent USDOT regulations?
A My transportation e-book is available FREE only from layover.com. Request your copy today and it can easily be used as a broker and/or motor carrier seminar. It contains all the USDOT regulations updated daily

Q What is the first thing I should do before I apply for a broker or motor carrier authority?
A You should always make sure you can obtain the surety bond for your broker's license, and your liability and cargo insurance for your motor carrier authority. If you apply first for your authority, you will have a maximum of 80 days to get your insurance on file or you will lose the authority you applied for and the USDOT does not refund any filing fees. Let me know if you want a free quote and I will be happy to provide the quote for you.

Q What is a SCAC code? And do I need it?
A The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is a unique two-to-four-letter code used to identify transportation companies. NMFTA assigns SCACs for all companies except those codes used for identification of freight containers not operating exclusively in North America, intermodal chassis and trailers, non-railroad owned rail cars, and railroads. The SCAC is used by motor carriers, railroads, ships and airlines. It is a combined code that is common to all types of transportation. Many shippers, carriers and brokers will not do business with you unless you have one. It can be obtained from NMFTA, 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314-4687. Phone number 703-838-1831 or website http://www.nmfta.org.

Q I want to get my broker's authority. Should I get a surety bond or trust fund?
A Either one is sufficient to obtain your broker's license. The trust fund normally is obtained from a financial institution and the surety bond is obtained from an insurance company. The trust fund normally requires you to make available the entire $10,000 where the surety bond requires you to pay an annual fee and does not require you to have the entire $10,000. To see if you qualify for the surety bond, please email me for a free quote.

Q I am a motor carrier of general commodities and would like to also transport household goods. Can I also get the additional authority?
A You can make another application for the household goods authority and use the same MC and USDOT number that has your general commodities authority. Also, you can use the same BOC-3 and insurance that is already on file at the FMCSA.

Q I am interested in starting my own broker and motor carrier company. Do I need to find office space or can I work out of my home?
A Many brokers and motor carrier companies work out of their home. There is no reason to pay for office space if you don't need to. Also, many trucking companies don't even work out of their home; they work out of their trucks. They have a cell phone and a wireless computer and can actually work anywhere. You will need to have a permanent address where you will keep your records when the USDOT and other state agencies want to look through your records.

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Ask Rex...

Rex Evilsizor & Associates specializes in filing motor carrier authorities (both freight and passenger) with the Federal Highway Administration. Rex is a retired ICC investigator (Special Agent) and Licensed Insurance Agent with more than 49 years of transportation experience.

Due to the amount of questions we receive, we are unable to answer all of them individually. We will answer as many as possible in this column.

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