Addiction

I’ve been hearing a lot about the “addiction epidemic” on the news and I just shake my head. I lived it first hand for years with my son. My story in no way compares to some of the terrible and sad stories I have heard but for me and my family, it was years of hell and the worst period of my life. It took almost 2 years to admit that my son was an addict. I thought things like that don’t happen to people like me. I don’t do drugs. I have a home, a job, I work hard, I provide for my family – how or why would any of us be affected by drugs. I was so wrong. Addiction can touch anyone but you don’t realize that when you have never been faced with it before.

Before I go any further, I am happy and proud to say that my son has now been clean for over 2 years. My heart aches for those who haven’t been so lucky. My story could have just easily gone in that direction, but I’m blessed that it didn’t.

Drugs are ugly. They create desperation and desperation creates chaos and loss of self. I

Understanding Motor Carrier Authority

Interstate vs Intrastate in Commerce

If you perform trade, traffic, or transportation exclusively in your business’s domicile state, this is considered intrastate commerce.

If your trade, traffic, or transportation is one of the following, this is considered interstate commerce. Source: 49 CFR 390.5:

  • From one State to another State or a foreign country
  • Between two places within a State, but during part of the trip, the CMV crosses into another State or foreign country
  • Between two places within a State, but the cargo or passengers are part of a trip that began or will end in another State or foreign country

Depending upon the type of business operation (Motor Carrier, Broker, Freight Forwarder, Shipper, Vehicle Registrant, and/or Cargo Tank Facility) and what will be transported (property, hazardous materials, and/or passengers), companies may be required to register for both Interstate Operating Authority (Form OP-1 series or Form OP-2) and USDOT Number (Form MCS-150 series).

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs), which govern safety and financial responsibility. FMCSA’s registration requirements reflect the focus on both of these concerns.

Before beginning interstate operations in the United States (U.S.), all authorized for-hire Motor Carriers of non-exempt property and passengers, Brokers, and Freight Forwarders based in the U.S. or Canada must obtain Operating Authority (MC#) by submitting the appropriate form(s) in the OP-1 series.

The type of Operating Authority impacts the type and level of insurance required by the FMCSA.

Motor Carrier of Property (except Household Goods) – An authorized for-hire Motor Carrier that transports regulated commodities (except household goods) for the general public in exchange for payment. Motor Carriers of Property (except Household Goods) must file proof of public liability (bodily injury and property damage — BI & PD) with FMCSA in order to obtain interstate Operating Authority. Cargo insurance is not required.

Motor Common Carrier of Property (except Household Goods) — An authorized for-hire Motor Carrier that transports regulated commodities (except household goods) for the general public in exchange for payment that is based on published tariff rates. Motor Common Carriers of Property (except Household Goods) must file proof of both public liability (bodily injury and property damage —BI & PD) and cargo insurance with FMCSA in order to obtain interstate Operating Authority.

Motor Contract Carrier of Property (except Household Goods) — An authorized for-hire Motor Carrier that transports regulated commodities (except household goods) for specific customers in exchange for payment that is based on negotiated contracts. Motor Contract Carriers of Property (except Household Goods) must file proof of public liability (BI & PD) insurance with FMCSA in order to obtain interstate Operating Authority. Cargo insurance is not required. A Motor Contract Carrier of Property (except Household Goods) cannot be a Motor Common Carrier of Property (except Household Goods) without applying for additional Motor Common Carrier Operating Authority and filing proof of cargo insurance with FMCSA.

Motor Carrier of Household Goods (Moving Companies) – An authorized for-hire Motor Carrier that transports only household goods for the general public in exchange for payment. Household goods are personal items that will be used in a home. They include items shipped from a factory or store, if purchased with the intent to use in a home, and transported at the request of the householder who pays for the transportation charges. Motor Carriers of Household Goods must file proof of both public liability (BI & PD) and cargo insurance with FMCSA in order to obtain interstate Operating Authority.

When you obtain your MC# (Operating Authority) you have specific responsibilities:

If you will operate vehicles of more than 10,000 pounds GVWR and are, thus, subject to pertinent portions of the USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) at 49 CFR, Chapter 3, Subchapter B (Parts 350-399), you must certify as follows:

Applicant has access to and is familiar with all applicable USDOT regulations relating to the safe operation of commercial vehicles and the safe transportation of hazardous materials, and will comply with these regulations. In so certifying, applicant is verifying that, at a minimum, it:

(1) Has in place a system and an individual responsible for ensuring overall compliance with FMCSRs.

(2) Can produce a copy of the FMCSRs and the Hazardous Materials Transportation Regulations.

(3) Has in place a driver safety training/orientation program.

(4) Has prepared and maintains an accident register (49 CFR 390.15).

(5) Is familiar with DOT regulations governing driver qualifications and has in place a system for overseeing driver qualification requirements (49 CFR 391).

(6) Has in place policies and procedures consistent with USDOT regulations governing driving and operational safety of motor vehicles, including drivers’ hours of service and vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance (49 CFR 392, 395, and 396).

(7) Is familiar with, and will have in place on the appropriate effective date, a system for complying with USDOT regulations governing alcohol and controlled substances testing requirements (49 CFR 382 and 40).  (If you will operate only small vehicles (GVWR under 10,000 pounds) and non-hazardous materials, you are exempt.)

 DOT Number

You are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that: Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; AND is involved in Interstate commerce.