When you’re applying for motor carrier or freight broker authority, there’s a barrage of paperwork that needs to be completed. Whether it involves applying for a commercial truck loan or actually getting your legal authority to operate, it all just gets overwhelming.
One of these forms that you will have to complete goes by the name of “Form BOC-3 Designation of Process Agents”. As usual, the instructions can be confusing. But it’s not so bad. We’ll go over what exactly you need to do when you are filing your BOC-3.
What is the BOC-3 Form?
When you are operating as a motor carrier or freight broker, you’ll be doing business in many multiple states. Because you most likely will not have a physical presence in every state that you operate in, the FMCSA requires carriers and brokers to designate a process agent in every state that they will operate.
For example, if you are a regional carrier that operates only in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, you’ll only have to designate a process agent in each of those states except the one you are physically located in.
The form is only required to be filed once, and most businesses will choose to designate an agent in all fifty states as the cost is the same. This protects you and prevents you from refiling the form in case you decide to expand your services into other states in the future.
What is a Process Agent?
A process agent is a registered an entity or person (usually an attorney or similar professional) that is designated to receive legal notices on your company’s behalf. They are required to maintain a physical office or location in the state in which they represent on your behalf, and are also required to be open during normal business hours.
Should legal issues arise in a state that you operate in, the process agent that you designated on your BOC-3 filing will accept the documents on your behalf.
How to File Form BOC-3?
There are two ways that you can go about filing a BOC-3. You can complete the form on your own, by locating a process agent in each state that you plan on operating in, or you can utilize a blanket process agency. A blanket agency maintains a network of process agents in all fifty states and files the form on your behalf for a nominal fee. The fee is usually less than $50 which is why 99% of new brokers and carriers choose to go this route.
To begin, download a blank copy from the FMCSA website here.
The entire form is four pages, and the first one should look like this:
At the top of the page, you’ll need to write your MC or FF number (whichever applies) followed by the date.
Next, write your legal company name in addition to completing the section titled “Address of Carrier, Broker, or Freight Forwarder”.
Just below, there’s a section titled “Person Authorized to Sign Form”. Don’t worry about signing it. Your Process Agency will actually be the one that signs this part of the form.
Now, you’ll never believe this, but that’s it! The rest of the form will be completed by your BOC-3 process agency, and they will file it with the FMCSA electronically.