How to Get an Auto Transport Broker License

by Ben Price

The auto transport industry can be very lucrative for many, with auto transport brokers in particular being capable of making great money. But the process of becoming an auto transport broker isn’t the easiest, as there are many steps involved in doing so.

In order to become an auto transport broker, one of the necessary steps in doing so is to get an auto transport broker license. So today, we’ll be going over how you can get an auto transport broker license, how long this process will take, and any other major takeaways that you should know about. 

1. Get Your USDOT Number

First and foremost, if you want to get an auto transport broker license, you’ll need to get your USDOT Number. To get your number, you’ll have to register online via the Unified Registration System from the US Department of Transportation. 

This number is required for some application materials, and attaching your USDOT ID number to all of your paperwork will help to streamline the process.

2. Apply Through the FMCSA

Unlike many other business owners, auto transport brokers are primarily regulated at the federal level, instead of by the state. Because of this, you will be working through the FMCSA, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Thus, you’ll need to fill out the FMCSA’s application for motor property broker and carrier authority, or the OP-1 Form. In order to submit the form, you will have to pay a $300 application fee. After doing so, you will be issued a Motor Carrier Number (MC). 

Next, you’ll be subjected to a 10-day protest period where a company may file a protest against your application. While the protest period can be frustrating and at times nerve-wracking, it doesn’t halt the application process – during this period, you can still continue on with other steps.

3. Get an Auto Broker Bond

In order to legally operate as an auto transport broker, you’ll need a freight broker bond. The bond is necessary as it protects any carriers you work with, in the event of you failing to pay them. According to Form BMC-84, this surety bond fulfills the FMCSA’s registration requirements.

While the minimum bond requirement for brokers is currently $75,000, your broker bond cost will be only a small fraction of that amount. The actual amount will depend on your credit score and personal history, with the bond premium usually somewhere between 1/25%-4% of the total amount.

4. Designate Your State Process Agent

As a general rule of thumb, you’re required to pick a legal process agent in any state in which you do business – this agent will receive and process any legal actions on your own behalf. The FMCSA requires you to designate your process agent through the Form BOC-3. Also, you may want to check your state’s insurance requirements for auto transport brokers just to make sure that you’re properly covered.

Learn More

If you follow this guide, you should be able to get your auto transport broker license in no time – but it’s also important to study up, and do some research on your own in order to learn more about getting started as an auto transport broker, to ensure that you do everything properly. Certain requirements may vary depending on your state, and laws and rules may change over time, so you should always try to stay up-to-date.

For more information on getting started as a broker in the auto transport industry, take a look at our full guide on how to get started as an auto transport broker.

Super Dispatch’s auto transport platform is the perfect tool for new brokers, as it offers tons of benefits such as automating various processes, offering real-time updates, connecting various apps together, and much more. On top of all of that, the connected Super Loadboard allows brokers to find and work with reliable Carriers faster than ever before. If these features sound like they’d be beneficial to your business, then consider trying it out yourself – request a demo today!

Published on September 14, 2022


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