How to Get Trucking Authority

We’ll handle the paperwork. You handle the freight.

Before you can start operating as a carrier, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. Navigating paperwork and permit applications can quickly become complicated, so leave it to the experts at DAT Authority.

  • DAT’s experts can help you start your own trucking business.
  • We make getting your MC number easy and hassle-free.
  • DAT makes sure you’re compliant with federal and state regulations.

DAT’s experts can help you start your own trucking business.

The experts at DAT Authority are ready and able to help with all your trucking authority needs.

If you’re serious about starting your own trucking business, you know there are plenty of regulatory challenges to watch out for. Making sure you’ve double checked all the details can quickly become a chore.

That’s where DAT Authority comes in. We handle the registration process and the paperwork, while you focus on transporting freight and growing your business.


Load Broker On Computer

We make getting your MC number easy and hassle-free.

If you need guidance navigating the process, the experts at DAT Authority can help.

When you sign up for DAT Authority, our team of experts will take care of your paperwork for you, ensuring that your forms and permits are filed each year. We’ll handle all the details and make sure you get your MC number as quickly as possible. In fact, we’ve streamlined the approval process so you can hit the ground running with confidence.

DAT makes sure you’re compliant with federal and state regulations.

We take care of the details so you can get your trucks out on the road.

At DAT, we know there’s more to moving freight than just transporting loads. We apply our expertise to your trucking authority, your IFTA tax reporting, and more. DAT stays up-to-date on all federal, state, and industry regulations, so you can rest easy. In fact, our specialists monitor everything from weight standards to air emissions quality to ensure that you’re in compliance.

Truck On Highway

"Some say it's simple to get your authority, and that you should save your money and do it yourself. Other people, including myself, are not sure where to even begin. I used a service provided by DAT to get my authority. It was important to me that it was done right the first time, by people who have done this before."

- Chad Boblett - Boblett Brothers Trucking

"They took me by the hand an led me through all of the diffiult and confusing steps to ensure that I started off on the right food. I cannot say it any clearer than these folks know what it's all about."

- Gregg Knight, LTL Trucking

  • Before you can begin operating as a carrier, there are a few things you need to get in order. Check out our Carrier Startup Guide first to make sure you’re checking all the boxes. Trucking authority, also known as motor carrier authority or operating authority, is the permission granted to you by the government to get paid to move freight, and it’s a prerequisite for starting your business. After you’ve received trucking authority, you can begin operating under your own MC number or the DOT number assigned to you by the Department of Transportation. Carriers are also required to register for the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and apply for state-specific permits as needed.

  • Typically, it takes a minimum of five to seven weeks to complete the state and federal approval process. Federal approval alone can take around 16 business days. Pair that with filling out BOC-3 process agent forms (which are required for federal authority), obtaining adequate insurance policies, and paying registration fees, and the process might be a bit more complicated than you think. Trust us with your trucking authority and we’ll make your job easier, simple as that.

  • If you’re wondering “What do I need to get my own trucking authority?” then you’ve come to the right place. There are a few important steps to getting trucking authority and starting your carrier business. First, you need experience, which likely means having a commercial drivers license and spending several years working as a company driver. Then, you need to develop a business plan and decide how to structure your business, which will ultimately affect liability and taxes. Once you’ve secured capital for your start-up expenses, DAT Authority can take care of the necessary paperwork.

  • Your MC number is issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and is the certification that allows you to cross state lines while getting paid to move freight. Your DOT number will be issued by the Department of Transportation and is the primary number used for tracking your trucking business. This number registers your drivers, truckers, and overall safety rating, but doesn’t actually count as trucking authority.

  • Having your own authority is a significant career move for many carriers and owner-operators. You get to be your own boss — something that comes with increased responsibilities but offers the potential for higher profits. Hiring drivers and finding and negotiating loads are the next steps to becoming a competitive carrier operation, which is why having a partner like DAT goes a long way toward setting you up for success, because DAT is the largest and most trusted load board in trucking. When you get your authority through DAT, it includes one month free on the load board, PLUS a 10% discount.

  • Once you know how to get your own trucking authority, it’s important to consider costs. We offer three DAT Authority packages, starting at $549 per year. This covers all your federal fees, your USDOT number, your designation of process agents (Form BOC-3), as well as your MC number. We also throw in a free month’s access to DAT’s load boards, so you can see the variety of loads listed daily by freight brokers and shippers. Click here to compare the different packages we offer, or here to request more information.

Ready to take the first step?

When you work with DAT Authority, we won't just help you file your paperwork - you'll also gain a trusted advisor to help get your business on the right track, fast and easy. Run your business with confidence - choose a DAT Authority package that best fits your needs, or give us a call at 866-265-3172.

Authority: Basic

  • Includes all federal fees
  • MC / DOT number
  • BOC 3 process agents