Private carriers who are moving their own cargo, “for-hire” carriers hauling commodities that aren’t federally regulated, and carriers operating in a federally designated commercial zone are not required to have operating authority. the building blocks for carrier selection when moving interstate freight include an active DOT number and active FMCSA operating authority. Doing an MC number lookup on the FMCSA’s Licensing and Insurance website validates active authority status and provides visibility as to whether the carrier has sufficient Bodily Injury Property Damage (BIPD) insurance on file, and which insurance provider writes the coverage.
SAFER is a searchable, online database maintained by the FMCSA. It helps businesses make better informed decisions about which carriers and/or companies to contract with to make sure they’re fulfilling their internal safety and risk management standards. The FMSA’s Company Snapshot is one of the Searches available at SAFER that can help protect a business from risk when selecting a carrier to do business with.
The FMCSA SAFER database can be searched using a company name, DOT Number, or MC Number for a Company Snapshot. The Company Snapshot provides “a company’s identification, size, commodity information, and safety record, including the safety rating (if any), a roadside out-of-service inspection summary, and crash information” for free. Data is updated daily with the exception of inspection and crash counts which are updated every week.
In general, the Certificate of Insurance and any additional certificates should be issued by the insurance agent who wrote the coverage, and should provide the contact name, phone and address, policy number, insurance coverage, limits, effective and expiration dates. In every case, it is important to request the Certificate of Insurance from the agent, and not the carrier. You’ll find in the long run that it’s much easier to avoid fraudulent certificates and claims if all information is gathered from the correct sources and kept in order.
With the publication and immediate suspension of the URS, existing carriers will need to continue to follow the same procedures and forms for registration updates as they do today. According to FMCSA spokesman Duane DeBruyne, the agency intends to lift the suspension once the technology to implement the URS is complete.
Since the passing of 2015’s FAST (“Fixing America’s Surface Transportation”) Act, carriers’ compliance, safety and accountability scores (CSA scores) have been temporarily removed from public view, leading to a select group of companies developing their own systems of determining a safety score based on information still available to the public.