PSTC has years of experience in obtaining operating authorities for both the US and Canada. Let us help you through the red tape so you can focus on starting and growing your business. Contact us today to see how we can get you started today. Once your operational we will be beside you to keep you in business helping you to protect your best asset in today’s trucking industry, your good safety rating.

How to get started as a Carrier, Freight Forwarder or Broker:

Logo for Unified Registration System

To register as a Carrier, Freight Forwarder or Broker, you must apply for the appropriate authorities under the Unified Registration System (URS). What operating authority you get will dictate the type of operation your company may run and the cargo it may carry, as well as the level of insurance/financial responsibilities your company will need to maintain.

The type of shipping you plan to do will determine what authority you will be looking to get from URS:

• DOT numbers are issued for private carriers. This means you are planning on shipping your own goods

• MC and DOT numbers are for for-hire carriers. This means you are planning on shipping products for hire

• MX is for Mexican domiciled commercial drivers for hire in the United States

• And lastly, FF operating authority is for freight forwarders

USDOT number and other requirements to operate in the United States

Who needs a USDOT number?

You are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that:

  • Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous and transported in a quantity requiring placarding (whether interstate or intrastate).


  • 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; or
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation;

AND is involved in Interstate commerce:

Trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—

  • Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);
  • Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
  • Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.

See more information

Canadian and Mexican based carriers, Freight Forwarders and Brokers are required to obtain a USDOT number as well as comply with all US regulations.

We can help you get this process started today. We can help you get your USDOT number with the approval for the type of business you are running. After your initial application, we can help you with your renewal process which happens every two years. You can either deal with us personally, or with a click of a button at our online shop.

Additional Operating Authorities Required



A BOC-3 is a US Federal filing that designates legal agents of process in every state. This agent of process will accept legal filings on your behalf in the event of any legal proceeding against you. They are not retained to represent you.

New and existing Motor Carriers, Freight Forwarders and Brokers must have a BOC-3 on file before any authority is issued. All new Private HM & Exempt For-Hire Carriers have to file a BOC-3.

PSTC can help you to get your BOC-3 set up to avoid delays in getting your operating authority approved.

Financial Responsibility


The requirement for financial responsibility differs based on the type of operation. Carriers for example must provide adequate insurance while load brokers must provide a a Surety Bond or Trust Fund Agreement. Authorities are not issued until the applicant fulfills this requirement.

Read the FMCSA Insurance Requirements for getting your operating authority approved.

Still not sure what kind of insurance you need for your operation? Our experts can walk you through it so you can choose what is right for your company.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Who needs drug testing:

  • Anyone employing CDL drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) on public roads
  • CDL drivers who operate CMVs on public roads
  • Interstate motor carriers
  • Intrastate motor carriers

Carriers are reminded that before any new CDL driver operates your commercial motor vehicle they must pass a pre employment drug test AND be part of a random drug pool.

PSTC can help you out by reviewing the drug and alcohol report to make sure your operation is compliant with the law, and to help you keep a great safety rating.

PSTC provides DOT start up authorities