INTERSTATE OPERATING AUTHORITY OVERVIEW
Formerly known as ICC or FHWA authority, Interstate Operating Authority is permission granted by the federal government to transport regulated freight across state lines and is
identified by the issuance of an MC number. Interstate Operating Authority is now granted by the Office of Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the auspices of the FHWA.
Unlike many of the other regulations governing interstate operations, there is no minimum weight threshold that requires compliance. Any vehicle operating for hire in interstate
transportation of regulated freight or passengers must have operating authority.
After authority is granted, all regulated motor carriers must register their authority with the states in which they will conduct operations. This is done through the
Unified Carrier Registration Program (UCR).Currently 34 states participate but if your base state is a non-participating state, then application is made through a neighboring state
that belongs to the UCR. Only after you are registered with the UCR are you legal to operate in interstate commerce.
For more information regarding the Unified Carrier Registration Plan click here.
Any regulated freight that is transported wholly within state lines (pickup and deliver the same load without crossing state lines) is considered intrastate carriage or point to point
and is controlled on the state level. Permission to conduct this type of operation is known as Intrastate Authority. Most intrastate operations require registration with the state(s)
where these operations take place. For more information on Intrastate Authority click here.
Certain Freight is considered "exempt" (such as produce) and is therefore bound by statutory regulations. Although exempt commodities do not require federal operating authority,
all exempt carriers must now register through the Unified Carrier Registration Plan.