Freight Broker Bond
A freight broker surety bond – also referred to as a BMC 84 bond, a transportation broker bond, a property broker bond, a truck broker bond or an ICC broker bond) – are required to be filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to register as a property broker. A BMC 85 trust fund agreement may be used instead of filing a BMC 84 Bond. A freight broker surety bond is for $75,000.
In addition to filing the appropriate form in the OP-1 series, all applicants for motor carrier, forwarder, and broker authorities must have specific insurance and legal process agent documents on file before the FMCSA will issue the actual authorities. The required filings vary, based on the types of registrations involved. Below is a list of pre-registration forms, followed by an explanation of which types of registrants are subject to filing those forms. Liability and cargo insurance forms must be submitted directly by the home office of the insurance company furnishing the coverage. The FMCSA does not furnish copies of insurance forms.
Applicants should be prepared to contact their agents to request filing of the required forms immediately after obtaining their designated docket number. These filings must be received within 90 days after the FMCSA has published a public notice of intention to register the applicant. Applicants will be notified by letter of their docket number and date of publication in the FMCSA Register. Applicants are cautioned to ensure that the name and address of the business as set out in all pre-registration filings matches exactly the information provided in their Form OP-1 filings. Any deviation will result in the rejection of the supplemental pre-registration filings.
All insurance/process agent filings should be mailed directly to the FMCSA, Commercial Enforcement Division, MC-ECC, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE W63-105, Washington, DC 20590. Information on the status of insurance filings may be obtained quickly by dialing 866.637.0635. This automated response system is accessible at all times.
Applicants for authority to operate as motor carriers of household goods or freight forwarders of household goods also must offer arbitration as a means of settling loss and damage disputes on collect-on-delivery shipments. (See 49 U.S.C. 14708.) Failure to comply promptly with all pre-registration requirements will result in the dismissal of the application. Refunds of filing fees are not permitted.
What are the requirements for freight broker bonds?
After obtaining their registration documents, applicants must register with every state through which they will travel as they conduct business. To begin this process, applicants should contact the state transportation body (usually located in the capital city) in which the business is headquartered. Copies of the FMCSA and appropriate state registration documents must be carried in each vehicle performing FMCSA authorized operations.
What is the cost of a freight broker bond?
These bonds are extremely complex. They can range anywhere from $935 to $15,000 depending on a number of factors. Navigating to the right solution requires expertise and NFP is the industry leader. To earn more, give us a call at 800.863.3210.
Freight broker bond terminology
In government language what most people call a “trucker” or a “trucking company” is called a “motor carrier” or sometimes just a “carrier.” If you are attempting to fill out a form asking you or your company what kind of trucking activities you are engaged in, the following simplified definitions may be helpful. The word “company” is used below as shorthand to mean any person, partnership, corporation, etc., engaged in these activities. FMCSA stands for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
- Motor Carrier: A company that provides truck transportation. There are two types of motor carriers, private carriers, and for-hire carriers. To operate as an interstate motor carrier, either as a private or as a for-hire carrier, a company must register with FMCSA by filing a Form MCS-150.
- Private Carrier: A company that provides truck shipping of its own cargo, usually as a part of a business that produces, uses, sells and/or buys the cargo being hauled.
- For-Hire Carrier: A company that provides truck shipping of cargo belonging to others and is paid for doing so. To operate as an interstate for-hire carrier, a company must also register with FMCSA by filling out a Form OP-1. There are two types of for-hire carriers, common carriers, and contract carriers. A for-hire carrier may be both a common and a contract carrier but must file separate registrations to obtain both licenses.
- Common Carrier: Before January 1, 1996, this was a company that provided for-hire truck transportation to the general public. The services offered and the prices charged were published in a public tariff and these were the only prices the common carrier could charge.
- Contract Carrier: Before January 1, 1996, this was a comp. that provided for-hire truck transportation to specific, individual shippers based upon private contracts between the carrier and each shipper, stipulating the services offered and the prices charged to each.
- Selecting “Common” or “Contract”: The OP-1 form requires an applicant to designate whether it is registering as a “common carrier” or a “contract carrier.” The historical difference between these two types is reflected in the definitions immediately above. The ICC Termination Act of 1995 defines contract carriage as truck transportation provided under a contract, but, effective January 1, 1996, it no longer distinguishes between common or contract carriers. However, the Act specifically authorizes FMCSA to continue registering applicants as either common or contract carriers. The current principal distinction between the two types is that common carrier applicants must file proof of cargo insurance while contract carrier applicants are not required to do so.
- Freight Forwarder: A company that arranges for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. The Forwarder does assume responsibility for the cargo from origin to destination and usually does take possession of the cargo at some point during the transportation. Forwarders typically assemble and consolidate less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments into truckload shipments at origin and disassemble and deliver LTL shipments at destination. Forwarders must register with FMCSA by filling out a Form OP-1 (FF).
- Broker: Also the company that arranges for the truck shipment of cargo belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck shipping. However, the Broker does not assume responsibility for the cargo and usually does not take possession of the cargo. Brokers must sign up with FMCSA by filing the Form OP-1.
These trucking definitions are simplified for easier understanding by the persons required to fill out the above-referenced forms. Legally acceptable definitions of these activities would be longer, more complex, and supported by the results of many administrative proceedings, court decisions, and judicial opinions. If there is any question about the applicability of these simplified definitions, please consult a legal authority.
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