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Operating Authority

What are Operating Authorities?

If your business uses commercial motor vehicles on public roads or highways, you need operating authority to run those vehicles. An authority to operate commercial vehicles is granted by a State or Federal agency, and it allows your company to transport goods or people on public roads and highways. Types of operating authority vary depending on where you plan to operate your vehicles and what you are transporting.

Intrastate Operating Authority

Intrastate Transportation is transportation where the vehicle never leaves the State. Intrastate operators make their pick-ups and drop-offs in the same State and never cross state lines in operation of their vehicles. For example, if one of your trucks leaves its terminal in Anaheim, picks up cargo in Long Beach, delivers the cargo to San Francisco, and returns to Anaheim, you are performing intrastate transportation because you never left the State of California.

Intrastate Transportation is regulated by State agencies. In California, intrastate authority is regulated by either the California Public Utilities Commission or the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Intrastate carriers that transport passengers (Bus, Limo, or Shuttle companies) or household goods (moving companies) must gain authority to operate their vehicles from the Public Utilities Commission. All other intrastate carriers must gain their operating authority from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Interstate Operating Authority

Interstate Transportation is transportation where the vehicle crosses State lines. This typically occurs when pickups and drop-offs are in different States. For example, a trucking company picks up cargo in Long Beach and delivers the cargo to Las Vegas. The trucking company is performing interstate transportation because the pick-up was in California and drop-off was in Nevada, and they had to cross State lines to complete the route.

Regardless, if the trip begins and ends in the same State, a carrier is operating interstate if the vehicle enters another State. For example, a tour bus company picks up a busload of passengers from Los Angeles and takes them roundtrip to the Grand Canyon for a weekend of sightseeing. Even though the trip begins and ends in California, the trip is interstate because the route crosses into Arizona.

Interstate transportation is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. FMCSA is part of the Department of Transportation, the federal agency that regulates the transportation system. In addition to having to obtain a DOT number, there are different types of interstate operating authorities primarily based on what type of services your business provides and what types of cargo you carry. These operating authorities include but are not limited to common carriers of property, contract carriers of property, brokers of property, freight forwarders, and passenger carriers.

Why Use American Trans Data?

Not having the proper authorities to operate your vehicles can result in large fines for motor carriers and delays in starting operation. American Trans Data Corp has 30+ years experience consulting Interstate Transportation companies. Our transportation experts can meet with you to discuss your new venture as a passenger or property carrier and what types of service you would like to provide the public. We can advise your company on what types of authority you will need for the services you provide. We can prepare the documents and applications required to apply for the operating authorities you need. And we can act as an agent for your company during the application to streamline the process of obtaining authorities.

If you need help getting the proper authorities to operate, CALL us at 866-665-ATDC.