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April 8, 2022

ICC Filing

Most of the loads that you haul across any state lines will require you to have ICC filing. If you are working on a for-hire basis and want to cross state lines for pay, you will require ICC filing from the federal government in Washington. If you are working as a for-hire carrier and get paid to haul these loads in your truck, pick up truck, van, or towing truck, trailer, straight truck, straight truck towing a trailer, or a semi-tractor and trailer, you will require this filing. Also, it does not matter what kind of vehicle you drive, you will need to opt for ICC filing to cross state lines. 

The biggest point that you have to understand is the gross vehicle weight rating of your vehicle. This can include the weight rating of the power unit and the trailer that is attached to the vehicle including the truck, trailer, semi-tractor, or any other pickup truck that may be attached to it. When the combined weight of all these vehicles and components is 10,000 LBS or below when you are applying for your ICC filing, you will require a minimum of 3,00,000 in personal injury or property damage liability insurance. 

If the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle combined with a tractor, trailer pulling a vehicle, or any other apparatus attached to it is 10,000 LBS or more than that when you were applying for your ICC filing, the amount is going to increase to 750,000 for personal injury or property damage liability insurance. The official name for ICC filing is MC authority. During the process of application for ICC filing, you must also have your US DOT number. You will also need your PIN number for this application. 

Find Out Whether You Are Exempt From Any ICC Filing Requirements or Not

Farmers With Farm Plates (Vehicles Used In Farming)

You are not required to go for ICC filing if you are a farmer using a farm-plated truck to cross state lines. As a farmer who drives a farm plated truck, van, or any other vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 LBS or less, you are not required to have a US DOT number or even register for ICC filing. This applies to your pick-up, pickup truck that pulls a trailer or has a combined gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 LBS or less. However, if the truck or automobile has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 LBS, you will need to have a US DOT number but you still won’t need to register for ICC filing. 

If you are driving a farm plated truck, then in addition to the US DOT number, you will have to register with the state for IFTA fuel tax in case your trailer or automobile exceeds the 26,000 LBS weight limit while crossing state lines. If you are driving a farm plated semi-tractor and trailer and want to cross state lines, you must register for a US DOT number and IFTA fuel tax but again ICC filing is not required. 

Private Carrier And ICC Filing  

If you are working as a private carrier and hauling your products, you do not need to go for ICC filing. There are manufacturers and various businesses that haul their own products across state lines in any kind of vehicle. The gross weight rating of these vehicles can be 10,000 LBS or less. Any vehicle that pulls a trailer or is attached to these vehicles may have a combined gross vehicle weight rating reaching 10,000 LBS but it still won’t require you to have a US DOT number or register for ICC filing. If you have a vehicle as described above and you want to cross state lines but the final GVWR of the vehicle crosses the 10,000 LBS mark, you will require a US DOT number but not ICC filing.

Working As For Hire  

If you are working as a for-hire carrier and haul exempt products across state lines, you will not be required to go for ICC filing. If you haul exempt commodities, as a carrier, you will not have to go for ICC filing. Neither will you have to attain a US DOT number when you are transporting livestock, logs, and corn across the state, and the gross vehicle weight rating is 10,000 LBS or less. 

But if your truck crosses the gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 LBS, including the power unit or the trailer attached or any other component along with the vehicle, you must have a US DOT number but are still not required to go for ICC filing.

Understanding ICC Filing Requirements  

If you want to obtain ICC filing, you must have a US DOT number. You will also have to register for the BOC-3 list of process agents. You must carry personal injury and/or property damage liability insurance as well. ICC filing is also called common authority and you will also need cargo insurance cover for your load. The total time spent on ICC filing applications is around 21 days. When you are filing for it, you will require your US DOT number with you. You will be issued a docket number when you are in the middle of the application process but the ICC filing will only be granted to you when the feds have all the information and items needed for the filing. 

Once you obtain your ICC filing, you will also get a letter of authority which you will have to carry with you in your automobile. The next step will be registering for the unified carrier registration process. And then once you have your ICC filing, the next step will be the new entrant carrier safety audit process. 

A member of the state police is going to visit you and cover all the items related to safety. There are 16 critical items that you will have to satisfy and the safety auditor is going to make sure that none of them is missed out. If you fail to satisfy any of these critical obligations, you will fail the safety audit. The result will be that your ICC filing will be taken away. According to an independent study, close to half of the truckers around the country usually fail this safety audit. Understand these 16 critical items that must be in place so that you do not lose your ICC filing.

ICC Filing Application-Time Scale 

The entire process of ICC filing usually takes somewhere between 21 and 24 days. The process may get a little delayed if you do not submit the documentation on time. Make sure to make the payment for the ICC filing with a credit card or debit card. You must also have proof of liability insurance and the BOC-3 list of process agents. Make sure to submit all the information on time to get your ICC filing within 24 days. If you have issued a check for the payment, it will add 7 days extra to the time period. This is because your bank is going to take its time to process the check. The moment the FEDS in Washington DC receive all the information including your ICC filing form, they will decide whether the ICC filing can be granted to you or not.

ICC Filing Docket Number  

In the process of applying for your ICC filing, you will be assigned a docket number and US DOT number. If you already have a US DOT number, then this number will be used for the application process.

Your docket number will function as your reference number during this process. Once you obtain your ICC filing, your docket number will be used as your ICC filing number. Once you are granted your ICC filing, you can start hauling loads legally.

Before you start hauling loads, make sure that you carry the letter of authority with you in your vehicle. If you fail to carry the letter or a copy of the letter of authority, you may be penalized by some scale masters if you are not able to produce it.

This letter is usually called a certificate of authority. If you are applying for ICC filing or contract authority, this letter will be called a permit. Your letter of authority is usually going to take somewhere between 7 and 10 days to reach your mailing address.

You can keep this letter or a copy of this letter inside your vehicle before you start hauling loads. A scale master may not consider you having ICC filing unless you can produce this letter in front of them.

Personal Injury / Property Damage Liability Insurance 

When you are applying for ICC filing and if the weight of your loaded vehicle or any of the combined trucks, trailers, vans, or pickup apparatus is 10,000 LBS or less, and if you are about to haul non-hazardous loads on a for-hire basis and intend to cross state lines, you must have a minimum of 300,000 in personal injury and/or property damage liability insurance. 

If you apply for your ICC filing and drive a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 LBS or more including a power unit or pulling truck, a trailer, and intend to haul non-hazardous materials, you must have $750,000 in personal injury or property damage liability insurance. If you intend to carry hazardous loads, then in the process of ICC filing, regardless of the weight, you must carry liability insurance worth 1 million dollars. This amount can exceed up to $5 million.

Cargo Insurance

When you are about to make an application for ICC filing, you must carry a minimum of five thousand dollars in cargo insurance. And practicality, you must have enough insurance cover that takes care of the entire value of the cargo that you are carrying at the time of application. You are not required to show proof of cargo insurance when you are making an application for ICC filing or contract authority. In case you intend to haul sandstone or gravel across state lines, you may not need this insurance at all.

You can apply for contract authority if you work with a single shipper and have a dedicated contract with him. That shipper should be in a position to provide you with cargo insurance on your loads. In any other situation, you will need common authority when you are applying for your ICC filing.

New Entrant Safety Audit  

Everyone who applies for an ICC filing must go through a new entrant safety audit. After having submitted your application and documents for ICC filing, the US department of transportation will send you a letter directing you to make a call to a number. They will ask you for your US DOT number or MC number that is associated with your ICC filing application. The department of transportation is going to contact the state police motor carrier division. They will be informed about your inquiry regarding the safety audit. Someone from the motor carrier division of the state police will get in touch with you and set up a new entrant safety audit appointment with you. 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are 16 violations that you must be careful about. The administration has raised the bar for passing a new carrier safety audit since December 2008. A new carrier will automatically fail the audit if it has failed any of these 16 violations. Out of these violations, 14 are “one strike and you are out.”

The remaining two are a failure on the part of the driver to make a record of duty status and not being able to periodically inspect a commercial motor vehicle during its annual inspection requirement. To fail these violations these must have been discovered in at least 51% of the trips audited.

If you are a new carrier with an ICC filing, committing any of these violations will lead you to lose your operating authority. You must correct this problem right away as per the regulations that went into effect on February 17th, 2009.

When you have registered for an ICC filing with the federal motor carrier safety administration and received a US DOT number as a new interstate motor carrier, you will be considered a new entrant for 18 months.

As a new entrant / new carrier, you are required to pass a safety audit within this period of time. If you fail this audit, you will be notified of the same within 45 days. You will be given 60 days to rectify this problem or it will lead you to lose your ICC filing. This period will be shortened to 45 days if the violations have been made by a passenger carrier or a hazmat hauler.

If the FMCSA revokes your authority and issues an out-of-service order for you, you will have to wait for another 30 days before you can apply for an ICC filing. Remember, these safety audits are usually conducted at the place of business of the career itself and this means that you will have to arrange for a space at your place of business. Group audits can also be arranged if you are not able to provide sufficient space at your place of work. The entire process takes around 2 to 4 hours because 72 safety-related questions need to be drafted and out of them, 19 are related to hazardous materials

They are also going to check whether you are compliant with the various requirements laid down by the authorities such as insurance equipment and maintenance records, accident records, driver qualifications, commercial driver license standards, records of duty status, hazardous materials, drug and alcohol testing, etc. if applicable.

The new audit rules and regulations for an ICC filing are very stringent and are enforced quite strictly. In the past, it was a simple pass-or-fail audit. Even if a carrier found several safety problems that triggered any formal safety compliance review, a carrier could still pass the audit. Drug and alcohol testing, for example, was an aspect failing which one could still pass the audit. However, under the new rules, a carrier is automatically going to fill the audit if it fails to fulfill any of the 16 conditions mentioned by the authorities. 

If you go by the new rules according to FMSCA, 47.9% of the audits conducted in the recent 5 years would have ended in failures. Close to 40,000 audits are performed every year which means that more than 19,000 would likely fail annually. However, after the new release is implemented, the same number of failures are quite unlikely to occur. 

Carriers are expected to take the appropriate actions necessary to uphold these rules and regulations. Upon the implementation of this rule, there should be very few failures 

Let’s Have A Look At These 16 Safety Regulations That You Just Cannot Afford To Violate During Your Safety Audit For An ICC Filing

  1. Not being able to implement a drug and alcohol testing program or a similar controlled substances testing program. According to this rule, as an employer, you should not allow any of your drivers to perform any safety-sensitive jobs or functions including driving a truck or handling any critical equipment or machinery if they haven’t been tested for drug and alcohol use and abuse. If you get an ICC filing, you must keep the test results with you when the safety audit is being performed. This is proof that you have implemented a controlled substances testing program.
  2. Taking services of a driver to perform safety-sensitive responsibilities, who is known to have an alcohol content of 0.04 or greater in their bloodstream.
  3. Taking the services of a driver who has refused to test for alcohol or controlled substances under part 382.
  4. Employing a driver who has tested positive for any of the controlled substances mentioned under the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  5. Inability to implement a controlled substance or random alcohol and drug testing program in your workplace.
  6. Using a professional / hiring a driver who does not possess a valid CDL driver’s license.
  7. Using or hiring a driver whose CDL has been revoked or permitting a driver who has been suspended from service or whose license has been canceled by the state and is not allowed to operate a commercial vehicle.
  8. Authorizing or permitting or allowing a driver to drive a commercial motor vehicle despite their lack of qualifications to do so.
  9. Failure to have in effect the required minimum levels of financial responsibility coverage such as liability insurance, cargo insurance, and the like and operating a motor vehicle in such a situation.
  10. Failure to have in effect the required minimum levels of financial responsibility coverage such as liability insurance and operating a passenger-carrying vehicle in such a situation.
  11. Using or allowing a disqualified driver to use your vehicles.
  12. Using or appointing a physically disqualified driver to operate your vehicles.
  13. Failing to direct your drivers to maintain a record of duty status and logbooks.
  14. Allowing or permitting the operation of a commercial motor vehicle within your fleet that has been declared out of service due to any reason and may be inoperable before any repairs are made.
  15. Not being able to rectify out-of-service defects in your commercial vehicles. When the same has been listed by your driver in the driver vehicle inspection report that the vehicle must be repaired before it is operated again, you must take that into consideration.
  16. Using a motor vehicle meant for commercial use that is not being inspected periodically.

The Name Of Your ICC Filing

You must have a name that you are going to use for your ICC filing. The name of your trucking business is very important and it is also the most basic way to identify your enterprise but several trucking companies might get it wrong.

You can also add a “doing business as” to your name and it can be abbreviated as D/B/A. If you decide to do this, most of the states across the country will need you to register the DBA name at your local county courthouse.

And this is the most practical thing to do when you are in the process of applying for your ICC filing. The DBA name must be entered along with your insurance policy that is associated with the ICC filing application.

You must ensure that you name your company by your DBA name to make your ICC filing successful. This prevents any conflict from arising when you are in the process of ICC filing application. The name on your policy and your application name should match exactly with each other.

Becoming An LCC For Your ICC Filing  

The name that you use for your ICC filing can be the name of your business or your personal name followed by the DBA name. You can also become a limited liability company when you register for your ICC filing. Before your ICC filing is initiated, you must incorporate or register as a limited liability company. If you don’t do that and file for your ICC filing before incorporating your company, it may create problems for you. You might find that the name that you use in your application may already have been registered by some other company which is going to create a conflict. This is why it is important to register the LLC if you intend to create a company before you apply for ICC filing.

It is beneficial for you if you want to become a limited liability company because it is going to limit your liability and protect your personal assets. However, this does not protect your ICC filing business from any liability.

The personal injury or property damage liability insurance is going to cover a certain amount but beyond that, it will be covered by your business assets. It does however help you protect your personal assets from any liability or lawsuit. You must register the LLC or the corporate name of your company with the Secretary of State.

You will also have to obtain an EIN federal identification number. Make sure that the name you choose for your trucking business is absolutely unique and does not exist with the secretary of state already in its register.

If you already have a US DOT number, you may choose to assign this to the LLC or the corporate name that you decide for your company as you file for ICC filing. You may also choose to get a separate US DOT number for the LLC or the corporate entity when you are applying for your ICC filing.

In case you have an IRP license plate in your name, this means that this plate was issued in your personal name and the US DOT number was generated as well. They both will be in your personal name and they will go together.

You can also assign your US DOT number to the newly created LLC entity. You can do that before you file for your ICC filing and it will be moving your US DOT number from one legal entity to another. This comprises moving your social security number or personal federal ID number that you use for the 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax to another legal entity which is the new LLC that you have formed with its new EIN federal ID number

Doing this could result in a problem with your IRP license plate. Using the same US DOT number associated with your personal name and assigning it to your corporate name will result in you no longer having a US DOT number assigned to your own name. This is because you will need this number for your IRP license plate.

As a result, you may have to return a portion of the license plate to the IRP office without any compensation in return. They will insist that you apply for a new IRP plate in the name of your corporate when you file for your ICC filing. This can create a whole lot of confusion when you are applying for your ICC filing.

Employer Identification Number For Your ICC Filing 

You will need your employer identification number when you are about to file for your 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax. You will also need it when you are about to file for ICC filing. If you are an owner-operator with trucks that are registered with license plates for 55,000 LBS or above, you must have a federal ID number to help you file your annual 2290 federal Highway use tax.

If you intend to establish an LLC or a corporation before you file for your ICC filing, you will need a separate employer identification number. You may have it in your personal name but you will need it for your corporation because that will be a different legal entity now.

ICC Filing And Your IRP / Apportioned License Plate

If you want to apply for an ICC filing, you are probably going to cross state lines. When you apply for it, your truck, pickup truck, van, or trailer combination along with a truck or a van must be 26,000 LBS or under when they are loaded.

In this case, you will not need an IRP license plate. Once you have your ICC filing with you and if you have a three-axle truck with which you will be crossing state lines at any weight, you are going to need an IRP license plate for your vehicle. In this case, if your truck, trailer, truck trailer combination, or any other vehicle has a weight of more than 26,000 lbs including your semi-tractors and trailers that are crossing the state lines, you will have to register for an apportioned license plate / IRP license plate.

If you are traveling as a private carrier, you will need your ICC filing. If you intend to work as a for-hire carrier that hauls exempt commodities or for hire registrant that is leased to a trucking company, you will need your own ICC filing before anything else.

International Fuel Tax Agreement And ICC Filing

When you receive your ICC filing, you are aware that you will probably be crossing state lines and if you have an IRP license plate for the purpose, you must register for IFTA fuel tax as well. Once you have signed up for the IFTA fuel tax, you will have to make sure that you file its reports quarterly without fail. Once you have your ICC filing, you are allowed to start hauling loads across state lines. You must keep all your records accurate with regards to every trip that you make with your truck or trailers. You must make sure that you carry out your IFTA fuel tax reporting and IRP license plate renewals every year.

Weight Distance Tax State Registration And Your ICC Filing

After you have received your ICC filing, the next step will be to go for a weight distance tax registration if you decide to travel to any of the following states:

New York

When you receive your ICC filing, you need to register / pre-register with the state of New York before you enter the state. The registration fee is $15 per power unit and if you have a vehicle that has a weight of more than $18,000 LBS you are required to register for the New York Highway use tax. You must keep accurate records of all the miles traveled in and across the state and should also file the quarterly weight distance tax reports without fail.

Kentucky

Before you register for a Kentucky KYU number, you must have your ICC filing with you. If you have a vehicle that is 60,000 LBS or more, you are going to require an active ICC filing that shows your IRP cab card for the KYU registration. You must also pre-register for your KYU number before you enter the state. Remember to record accurate miles that you have traveled on your vehicle in this state. You must also file the quarterly weight distance tax report with the state without fail.

New Mexico

The state of New Mexico requires you to pay the port of entry or you can register for an account number and pay for it quarterly. You must do this after your ICC filing is complete. Once you receive your ICC filing, the next step is to get a New Mexico account number. This way, you will not have to pay at the port of entry every time you visit this state. Also, you will have to file the quarterly weight distance tax report with the state. If you drive a vehicle that is 8,000 LBS in weight and cross on I-40, you will have to pay $60 at the New Mexico port of entry. However, if you pre-register and get a New Mexico account number, you will only have to pay $16.75 for each trip at the end of the quarter. 

Oregon

The state of Oregon also requires you to follow a few rules and guidelines. It does not have a fuel tax which means that once you procure your ICC filing, you can go with a $2,000 bond with the state. Just file the monthly weight distance tax report with the state and you are sorted. You can also simply pay at the port of entry to enter Oregon once you get your ICC filing completed.

Intrastate Trucking Authority And ICC Filing

After having obtained an ICC filing for the purpose of hauling loads across state lines, you should also go for an intrastate trucking authority. The intrastate trucking authority allows you to pick up and deliver loads inside your home state.

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