On behalf of the applicant (carrier), only a process agent can file Form BOC-3 (Designation of Process Agents) with the FMCSA. A broker or freight forwarder applicant, without CMVs, can file Form BOC-3 on their behalf. Only one completed form may be on file. It must include all states for which agency designations are required. The carrier or broker must retain one copy at its principal place of business.
According to federal law, the designation of a process agent is an essential requirement for obtaining the authority to operate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (also known as FMCSA) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a federal agency in the United States that regulates the trucking industry. To acquire and maintain this authority, companies must submit Form BOC-3 to the FMCSA.
This article explains what a BOC-3 filing is and how transportation firms, such as motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders that operate across state lines on a daily basis, can designate an SOP or process agent and frequently asked questions such as, how much does a boc-3 cost to get?
1. What is a Process Agent
A process agent is a person or entity that the law allows to receive service on behalf of another. There are two types of process agents: (1) statutory and (2) nunc pro tunc. These designations allow a carrier, freight forwarder, or broker to comply with the requirement under federal regulations for filing Form BOC-3 with the FMCSA in order to acquire and maintain the authority to operate.
However, only one individual may be assigned as an agent for each state listed on Form BOC-3. If you have more than one office in a given state, then each office must designate an individual who is not related by blood or marriage as its agent. The designated agent can change at any time through
2. How having a process agent is beneficial
Having a process agent can be beneficial to a company in that it reduces the time and costs associated with compliance. The process agent is considered the authorized representative of the carrier. The carrier can communicate with their process agent regarding updates to their safety rating, future compliance requirements, and other important information regarding FMCSA regulations. This allows carriers to focus more on their operations rather than spread thin, trying to keep up with all the regulatory duties that must be completed in a timely manner.
3. The different types of process agents
There are three types of process agents: statutory, nunc pro tunc, and temporary.
A statutory process agent is a person who has been designated as an individual to accept service on behalf of another by law. This can be done through an insurance company, motor club, etc. A statutory process agent must be 21 years or older and legally able to designate someone else (e.g., corporation) to act for them. Examples of corporations that may serve as statutory process agents include commercial freight forwarders, brokers, leasing companies with CMVs operating under their authority; however, the BOC-3 designating these carriers will not be accepted by FMCSA.
A nunc pro tunc (meaning “now for then”) process agent is a person who has not been designated as an individual but is now granted the authority to accept service on behalf of another. This can be done by petitioning a court and receiving permission to designate someone else (e.g., a corporation) to act for them.
The temporary process agent designation will give a company 30 days from the date of filing BOC-3 with FMCSA to file its pending application with DOT. If this filing does not occur within 30 days, then you cannot use your temporary process agent’s designation unless you refile for additional 30-day extensions or by filing Form BOC-3 again and designating yourself as your own process agent.
4. Who Needs to File Form BOC-3 and Where?
A carrier that operates commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce should file Form BOC-3 if its intended service area extends into another state. For example, if you are a carrier with operations in California only, then the only state for which you will need to file BOC-3 is Nevada. If your carrier operates in more than one state, then you must file Form BOC-3 for each respective state where your company conducts business.
Further examples of where to file form BOC-3 include but are not limited to:
• A motor club that has its headquarters in Florida and provides coverage throughout the United States;
• A freight forwarder that has offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; New York City; and Los Angeles, California;
• An independent contractor whose operations extend into multiple states (e.g., delivering goods across state lines).
5. Who does not need to file form BOC-3?
A trucking company that does not operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce will not need to complete Form BOC-3. For example, a trucking company whose operations are only within the state of Georgia does not need to file Form BOC-3 for any other states because it is operating exclusively within one state. A freight forwarder whose business is limited to one state may still be required to designate an agent on behalf of its carrier clients if those carriers have operations outside that particular state or states. Also, a carrier’s agent designated for a single state should also file BOC-3 even if their client operates solely within that same state.
6. Terminating Your Process Agent’s Services
If you would like to terminate service with your current process agent, you may do so by filing BOC-3 and designating yourself as your own process agent. If you have more than one office, each office must designate an individual for each state listed on Form BOC-3 and cannot be related by blood or marriage in most states.
If you are looking for a process agent to help with BOC-3 filings, make sure they have experience in this area. It’s important that your process agent is familiar with the laws and regulations of each state where your company conducts business because if not, it could lead to costly errors or even fines from FMCSA. If you’re still unsure who should be designated as your current boc 3 designee, check with boc 3 filing services which will be an up-to-date directory of boc 3 designated agents.