Freight Broker Bond Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

If you want to start a freight brokerage and are confused about the process to get your license, our guide will break down every step you must take to ensure you comply with all FMCSA requirements.

Step 1: Register with the FMCSA

If you're starting up a new freight brokerage, the first step to get your license is registering with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to get your Motor Carrier, or MC number and USDOT number (current freight brokers can skip this step). You can apply for both the USDOT and MC number using the FMCSA online registration system. Once you have registered, use the detailed step-by-step process to apply for your freight broker authority. There is a small fee in order to get your authority, and the registration process will take anywhere from 2-3 weeks for the FMCSA to complete.

Get Your Freight Broker License

Step 2: Get Approved for Your Freight Broker Bond

Once you have received your MC and USDOT numbers from the FMCSA, your next step is to apply for a freight broker bond and get approved online. You can't get your authority without getting the surety bond first. Before you apply, you may want to learn the tips to cut your freight broker bond price in half.

Step 3: Ensure Your Bond Gets Filed

Freight broker bonds are filed electronically by the surety company with the FMCSA, which may take a few days to be processed. While you wait for the FMCSA to confirm your freight broker bond in their system, you must file form BOC-3 to designate process agents in each state where you have an office and where you write contracts. When your bond filing is complete, you will be able to view your bond on the FMCSA website.

If your application is good to go, the FMCSA will send your license for your operating authority, and you can begin brokering loads. Keep in mind, you will have to update your registration with any changes to your brokerage every couple of years to avoid FMCSA fines. Before you begin to operate as a broker, it's incredibly important to understand why you should avoid claims on your bond.


Eric is an industry expert that specializes in taking complex surety concepts and explaining them in terms that make sense to the general public. He also manages the JW Surety Bonds website and works with various partners to help further educate the public on suretyship using various mediums.

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